Page 8, 22nd November 1957

22nd November 1957
Page 8
Page 8, 22nd November 1957 — BOURGUIBA'S WHITE FATHER FRIEND

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" IF anything happens to me, go to the White -11Fathers. They will help you."

This is what the President of Tunisia', Habib Bourguiha, used to say to his wife during the anxious years of struggle for independence. In the news again today because of the Anglo-American sale of small arms to Tunisia, in spite of French opposition. Bourguiba may well consult his White . Father friend, Fr. Demeerseman, whose advice in moral questions would be invaluable.

C.H.' Reporter

ALI. Tunisia is an Archdiocese, ' named Carthage. the occupant having the title of Primate of Africa.

Catholic activity there is due to a great extent to Cardinal Lavigenie (1825-92). the Frenchman who went to Africa to start work for the conversion of Africa. To this end he founded the all-forAfrica Society of white-robed White Fathers. vowed to the conquest of that Continent for Christ.

Muslims are in power there, but the quiet work of the White Fathers and of the other clergy, secular and regular. who work in Tunisia, does much to allay trouble by radiating the ideals of justice and charity all around.

Fr. Demeerseman has been working there successfully for 30 years. He is a small, rather chubby man of 58, with a short white beard. and a sympathy for Arabs so genuine that it has won him the friendship of the present President of the Republic, Hahib Bourguiba.


Andre Demeerseman is a French White Father who last year arranged with the President to remove secretly by night a great statue of Cardinal Lavigerie, the founder of his own Order, from iis site just opposite the Moslem headquarters building, where it was giving offence to Arabs with its large cross held high in one hand and a Bible in the other.

The story of Fr. Demeerseman is told in a new book. "The White Fathers." appearing on Nevember 25th. written by Glenn D. Kittler, published by W. H. Allen at 25s.

But Fr. Demeerseman, though French by birth, is African by adoption. just as was Cardinal Lavigerie. So are all White Fathers who are dedicated to a life's work for Africa. So he sympathises with the aspirations of all Africans, be they farther south in Nigeria and

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