IN THE NEW NIGERIA
Catholic Herald Reporter AMONG the colourful Chiefs. Emirs and leading politicians from Nigeria now in London for the Nigerian Constitutional Conference are at least four Catholics, and another is receiving instruction in the Faith.
They include a Minister in the Federal Government, a member of the Northern Cabinet and a junior Minister.
They are an encouraging indication that in the new, independent Nigeria which they hope will be a reality by 1959, there may be freedom for both Chri§tians and non-Christians Lo reach the highest political positions in the land.
Whether Nigeria gets its independence by then depends to a very great extent upon the ability of the large group of delegates now in London to present, and maintain, a united front.
Their exoctic robes and elaborate head-dresses, and their unselfconscious enjoyment of their trip to London are alike reminders that the new Nigeria. soon to take its place among the nations, vs ill not be just an • African copy of Europe.
Superficially, the more urbanised among them may appear to be " Europeanised," In fact they are essentially African and, quite properly. proud of it !
WHEN I met the Catholic dele
gates last week I was once again reminded that African Christians bring with them their own approach, and make their own distinctive contribution, to the Faith which has for so long been identified with Europe.
One of them, Mr. George Ohikere, is Minister for Health in the Northern Regional Government. He was at one time a teacher in a school run bs the Hole: Ghost Fathers. Mr. Ohikere is the only nonMoslem member of the Northern Cabinet (the country is at present divided into three federated Regions -North, East and West, each with its own Assembly). He assured me that he is never made conscious of his minority position by his colleagues, nor has his religion in the overwhelmingly 'Muslim North been any obstacle to Ms political progress.
In his view this is a situation which is likely to continue after the British have gone. " My people recognise that if we are to be free and independent we must be tolerant," he says. Mr. Ras mond Njoku as Minister of Industrs and Com
merce in the Federal bt. entre') Government is clearly likely to be
• semenmeimessimissoiesseeieseetegg prominent after independence has been granted. Mr. Audu Buba, formerly a Catholic teacher with the Holy Ghost Fathers, is Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources-a department upon the efficiency and farsightedness of which much will depend if Nigerian development is to go briskly ahead.
A new party whose aim is the seceesion of the central zone from the North. to which it is at present attached, is the United Middle Belt Congress. Its president is Mr. K. S. Tarot, who is under instruction at this moment.
Young, tall Mr. Patrick Dokotri, a former senior seminarist. is. here with Mr. Tarte, as another of its representat ives. The area from which they come has been pagan. rather than Muslim, in the past and the conversion of the people to the Faith is now proceeding rapidly. Should the United Middle Belt succeed in its aim, therefure, it would be the most Catholic Region in Nigeria.
THE TEAHOUSE OF THE AUGU S I' MOON
Certificate U: Empire Director: Daniel Mann
H ERE is the U.S.A. engaged in " its most disarming pastimegentle pulling the leg of one of its sacred institutions.
This time it is the army of occupation as it operated in the Pacific-benevolent Uncle Sam's policy and administration, as interpreted by a single minded colonel on Okinawa and as carried out hy a young offiter-a graduate in the humanities.
Between the two there is a wide gulf and it is not the letter of the law that triumphs. Not perhaps even the blundering young officer who "goes native hut Okinawa itself the island that has given hospitality to the invader over the Centuries and absorbed him.
-The play ran at Her Maiest!e's theatre tor a long time-one of the most successful of the post-war productions and a perfect little play it was getting its effects with strict economy and reaching a level of high artistry. The firm has been made with an almost equal degree of discipline and only once or twice does the material seem to strain at the seams.
Marlon Brandi:), with an entirely convincing Oriental make-up, is just about perfect in the role of the interpreter. who also acts as a kind of Greek chorus. opening and closing the story with some profound comments on the value of thought. pain and wisdom. Brandi) has always acted well but this time he is likeable as well a quality that not everyone has found in him so far.
Glenn Ford as the young officer sent to build a school with live sides like the Pentagon) and to organise the women into a " Democratic League ", works terrifically hard and sometimes is just a trifle too febrile-but all the same it is an endearing performance. Paul Ford is the colonel-a savage portrait-endlessly funny but never for an instant spilling over into caricature.
Added to these three principals is the ft-agile beauty of geisha girl (elachiko Kyo) and a large company of skilfully controlled players.
Ahove all I think it is the witty dialogue, spoken by experienced and competent players that gives this charming film its chief attraction. But it's a shame to dissect it. Go and see it. It's like doesn't come our way often.
TIIE YOUNG STRANGER Certificate A: Leicester Square Theatre Director: John Frankenheirner
0i-I, mein Papa. To me you're not at all wonderful but responsible for making me an offensive young lout of 16, who puts his feet up on the hack of a cinema seat. practically in the face of the man in front and. when 1 am asked by the manager to step into his office (being jostled by him). I hit him and land up its the police station. And its all your fault. mein Papa, for taking so much time off to make money and give me a luxurious home, and not taking any notice of me.
This is one more American television play to he translated into cinema and once again it is father
Mr. John Ryan, M.B., B.S.. F.R.C.S., F.I.C.S., the well-known Catholic gynaecologist, author of " Marriage, a iMedical and Sacramental Study," -Family Limitation. and Medical Aspects, of Marriage.htte just left for America where he will be a guest of honour at the Silver Jubilee of the National Federation of the Catholic Physicians Guild. and attend the Cons ent;en eft lie American Medical Berlin has been chosen tor the forthcoming Katliolikentag (Catholic Day). being held from August 14th to 17th, 1958. as a sign of the unity of Catholics in the whole of Germany. Celebrations will take place in both the Eastern and Western sectors.
The International Council of Nurses is holding its eleventh Congress in Rome from May 27th to 1st. The headquarters of the International Nurses Council is in London. The oarlicipation of more than 3,000 nurses is expected. who is in the dock. However much the theme may appear to he getting worn. the acting all round is impeccable-young James MacArthur as the boy, Kim Hunter as his ineffectual mother, James Daly excellent as the father and tames Gregory as the officer in chew or ate juvenile delinquent department.
New names for the most part and all making their mark.
Bishop Restiaux of Plymouth has been appointed bs the Hierarchy to lead the delegation from England and Wales to the World Congress of the Lav Apostolate in Rome in October.
The lay leader of the 22 delegates will he Mr. Derrnot ila ff ord.
Cardinal Pizzardo and high authorities of the Church, the Italian Olympic committee and Italy's Catholic Boy Scout movement, last week, attended a commemoration at the Capitol City Hall, Rome, of the first centenary of the birth of Lord BadenPowell, founder of the boy scouts.
Delegates front all parts of Europe are attending the International Catholic Girls' Society conference in London this weekend, They will discuss the problems of young girls who come from the Continent to work