Missionary doctor, priest murdered

Published September 1, 1999

East London, South Africa
One of the first women to be ordained a priest in the Anglican Church in South Africa, Scottish-born Elizabeth Bride Dickson, aged 78, was found murdered this June in her secluded home in the picturesque village of Hogsback, about two hours drive from East London.

The East London newspaper, Daily Dispatch, reported that Dr. Dickson ? who was known locally as Bride Dickson ? was found on her bed with head wounds and her hands tied with rope.

A police spokesman said it appeared that her killers had entered the house through the back door. He added that robbery may have been the motive.

Bride Dickson, a missionary doctor, lived alone in the house. She had been a resident of Hogsback, regarded as a tourist paradise with its pastoral setting and surrounded by mountain peaks, for more than 28 years. Her home had been burgled more than 20 times in the past few years. Three years ago Dr Dickson was brutally attacked and locked in her bathroom, the Daily Dispatch reported.

In September 1992 Dr Dickson and two other women became the South African church’s first women priests when they were ordained in the Grahamstown cathedral, about 180 kilometres south of East London.

A close friend, Cynthia Canning, said of her: ‘She was totally fearless, often travelling by herself at night to other districts for seminars, church meetings, and to conduct services.’


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