27 September 2003

Inaugural ceremony: a retrospective

Last evening was a suitably celebrative occasion, with friends, family, colleagues, students and former students present. It was a fairly small gathering, but a number of people had come from greater and lesser distances to be there. Aside from my parents, the person I've known the longest is a woman who, along with her late husband, knew my parents before I was born. She was driven down from Orillia by a friend for the occasion. The editor and former editor of Christian Courier were there. (I have written a monthly column for Christian Courier since 1990.) I was pleased that the Center for Public Justice had sent a delegation of three persons, including the Center's estimable president James W. Skillen, whom I count as having had a rather considerable influence on me, mostly through his writings. The Christian Labour Association of Canada was represented by, I believe, four current employees and one former staff member, now retired.

Two of my current students served as ushers (or "bouncers," as I suggested to them with tongue firmly planted in cheek), and several of my former students showed up as well, driving from as far as Chatham and Ottawa. Two of these work for the CLAC, another for the Christian Reformed Church, another teaches school, and another works as a research assistant for a member of Parliament. (I'm probably forgetting to mention someone here.) A former colleague, now teaching at York University, and her husband came from Waterloo. I could keep going, but I'll stop here.

As someone who is devoted to teaching, there is something deeply satisfying in seeing former students of whom I grew so fond during their time at Redeemer. Their presence last evening meant all the world to me.

I suppose the next time there will be a gathering like this will be at my funeral. I hope to see all these people again well before that time. If not together, then certainly as individuals.

Here is the recessional hymn played last evening: "Credo in Septuple Metre" (© David T. Koyzis, 2001. All rights reserved.).

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can be contacted at: dtkoyzis@gmail.com