FORMER Bishop Ho Chee Sin conducted a “Service of Death and Resurrection” as a memorial to nine former distinguished and faithful Methodist missionaries.
All of them died in the service of the Lord while they were resident in Singapore, and were being exhumed prior to cremation and their ashes placed in The Garden of Remembrance at Choa Chu Kang.
The service was conducted at the Bidadari Cemetery on Nov 2 last year.
The missionaries were:
The Rev William E. Horley (d. April 2, 1931), a pioneer educationist, Principal of ACS Ipoh and the founder of six other Methodist Schools in Malaya;
The Rev James Hart Hoadley Berckman (d. March 8, 1963), long-time missionary to China, and then to Singapore, as Field Treasurer and Associate Pastor of Bedok, Christ and Geylang Chinese Methodist churches;
Miss Salome Catherine Fox (d. April 23, 1934), one of the three original members of Wesley Church, one of the first teachers in the MGS and a missionary for 50 years;
Miss Catherine E. Jackson (d. Nov 14, 1944 in internment), who had served for many years as missionary in women’s work and some-time Principal of Eveland Seminary in Singapore;
The Rev Dennis M. Toomey (d. Feb 17, 1916), a missionary teacher who served at the ACS Penang;
Mr Berton O. Wilcox (d. 1914);
Mrs C. R. Zimmerman (Nov 8, 1915), who assisted her husband in church and school in Kuala Lumpur;
Mrs Elizabeth Mamoera, (d. Dec 5, 1947), wife of Batak Missionary to the Ibans, Mr Lucius Mamoera; and
The Rev Gerald V. Summers (d. Sept 1, 1945 in internment), who taught briefly at ACS, and then served in Sarawak.
The Methodist Church in Singapore appreciates the contribution of the nine Methodist missionaries and decided to treasure the cremated ashes at the Garden of Remembrance.
In remembering the life and witness of the missionaries, the Rev Ho ministered to members of the Mamoera family and others who attended the ceremony, reminding them of Jesus’ words: “I am the Resurrection and I am life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, yet shall they live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die” (John 14:25, 26), and the fact that they have joined the “cloud of witnesses”, connected with all the saints.
Present at the service were the three children of Mrs Mamoera — Eda, Borne and Satia — from Kuching, East Malaysia, and Mr Wong Pock Yeen, General Manager of Christian Columbarium Pte Ltd, the owner of The Garden of Remembrance.
Also present were representatives of the HDB and the Ministry of the Environment to witness and endorse the exhumation.