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Name: WRIGHT, William Joseph MBE (Rev.)

Birth Date: 4 Aug 1881 Dorchester

Death Date: 29 March 1954 Frinton-on-Sea

First Date: 1920

Last Date: 1938

Profession: Chaplain, All Saints' Cathedral, Nairobi

Area: Nairobi

Married: In Kenya 1936 Elizabeth Clidsdale Carter b. 25 May 1910 Kenya, d. 2001 Torbay (dau. of Berkeley Morris Carter) {Foster has Elsa?}

Children: 1 son and 1 daughter

Author: 'Their Excellencies'

Book Reference: Red 25, EA & Rhodesia, Red 22, Harmony, Nicholls, Foster, Rabai, Pat Tomalin, KAD

School: Dorchester Grammar School, St Edmund Hall and Wycliffe Hall, Oxford

General Information:

East Africa & Rhodesia - 1/4/54 - Canon William Joseph Wright, MBE Dean of Nairobi from 1928 to 1938, died this week at his home in Frinton-on-Sea at the age of 73. Born in Dorchester, he was educated at the local grammar school and St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, and was a curate in South Lambeth, London, from 1909 to 1916; vicar of Christ Church, High Wycombe for the next 2 years, and then chaplain in Nairobi from 1920 to 1928. Then and during the subsequent decade, when he was dean of the cathedral, he became very well known in Kenya, for he had wide human sympathies, a gift for friendship, a special tolerance for the unhappy and unsuccessful, and a charity which knew no bounds of creed or race. He was a good and good-humoured companion, but as a preacher he could be very forthright.
Before he left Kenya he was made a canon of Mombasa. In 1939 he became rector of Lambourne, Essex, and from 1942 to 1946 he was vicar of Naylan-Weston. During the war he acted as chaplain to troops and the RAF in Essex and Sussex. Canon Wright continued to take a deep interest in African affairs, and he spoke and wrote frequently on the problems of the continent, particularly those of Kenya. He was fair-minded, constructive and optimistic, but he could be a trenchant critic. His letters often appeared in the correspondence columns of 'East Africa and Rhodesia', and a book of his, entitled "Their Excellencies" is now in the press. He seldom missed any important public meeting in London connected with East African affairs, and he will be much missed at such gatherings and at the East India and Sports Club. In 1936 he married Miss Elizabeth Carter, who survives him, with one son and one daughter.
Red 22 - Chairman, Kenya Boy Scouts Association
Member of Lodge Harmony - Joined 1/11/20, Clerk in Holy Orders
Nicholls - The Revd. Falloon was succeeded in 1916 by Alexander Thornton Down, whose stay was brief. In 1920 William Joseph Wright became the fourth Anglican chaplain of Nairobi; he stayed for 18 years before leaving East Africa in 1938. A bachelor known as 'Padre' Wright, he surprised everyone by getting married shortly before he retired. Though earning the miserable pittance paid to the chaplain, he made a shrewd investment by buying shares in Paka Neusi, a Kakamega goldmine.
Foster - Rotary and Freemason Rabai - During the Harry Thuku riot (so-called) of 1922 the Rev W.J. Wright, European Chaplain at All Saints, appears to have been the only European in the crowd determined, as he later told Mrs Hooper, that "if anything could be done I wanted to do something." He tried to draw attention to what he believed to be a cease fire order …
Foster - 1929 - First Dean of All Saints' Cathedral - He made a substantial profit at the time of the Kakamega Gold Rush by his investment in one gold mine called Pakaneusi and the Cathedral benefited enormously from his generosity. Wright had been a bachelor for most of the 18 years of his Ministry, but shortly before he retired he married Miss Elizabeth Clidsdale Carter, the daughter of a storekeeper of the Kenya Uganda Railways. He left Kenya in 1938 due to ill-health. Throughout his time Wright had lived in "The Parsonage" but just before he retired he renamed the house "The Deanery" and so it soon became, after his retirement "The Old Deanery".
Red 25 - Chaplain, Kenya Boy Scouts Association. Formerly Curate All Saints, S. Lambeth, Vicar Christ Church, High Lycombe
Gazette 23 Nov 1954 probate
Letter from Pat Tomalin - Dean Wright lived in a small bungalow in the grounds of the Cathedral of the Highlands. In those days only a bit of the nave was built and the 2 towers were separate. The Dean was a lovely old man and used to walk up to us in Rawson Road (just below Nairobi Club) in the evenings for a chat. He later fell in love with a very young woman and married her but had to leave as the old fogeys in the congregation couldn't take it.
KAD 1922 has Rev. W.J. Wright, All Saints Vicarage, Nairobi.
Red 31 has Rev. Canon Wright, Box 202, Nairobi

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