Where’s John?

John has worked as the hospital carpenter for over ten years. I have been amazed at what he was been able to achieve with the most primitive of tools. If you examine the photograph carefully you will notice the saw blade is very narrow simply because it has been sharpened so many times just using patience and a triangular file. Saws in the UK when they become blunt are thrown away. However that would be regarded as wasteful beyond belief in Kenya.

Over the years we have given John a great deal of work. He has been responsible for most of the malaria screening on the windows in the hospital; the wonderful hard wood desk I am working at was made by him; and he made the X-ray drying machine which outlasted the expensive newer one that was bought to replace it. These are just a few examples of the many items he has produced. Being interested in woodwork I had the highest respect and admiration for him.

His last work was making the chairs you see in the photograph. Shortly after the picture was taken he disappeared. He left his few treasured tools at the hospital and went back to his home. He has not been seen again. His siblings have contacted the police who have not been able to help. His great friend has spoken to his wife who will not discuss it. All his friend says is that he lives in a bad area and he is fairly certain he has come to some serious harm and in all probability has been murdered.

So we are all greatly saddened by this and sincerely hope he will turn up again but after one year now that seems a forlorn hope.

John making chairs. After going to his home he has not been seen since.

Dryer John made for X-ray

John's mallet on his old work bench

I have now learnt that a body was eventually found. It was thought to be John’s. No cause of death was established. Though the police were involved no further action was taken because of lack of evidence. The case is now closed. Poor John, someone did not like you!

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