This is a complete and accurate transcript of the first oral history interview of Earl Austin Winsor (CN 93, #1) in the Archives of the Billy Graham Center. No spoken words which were recorded are omitted. In a very few cases, the transcribers could not understand what was said, in which case "[unclear]" or "[?] were inserted. Also, grunts, verbal hesitations such as "ah" or "um" were usually omitted. Readers of this transcript should remember that this is a transcript of spoken English, which follows a different rhythm and even rule than written English.
... Three dots indicate an interruption or break in the train of thought within the sentence of the speaker.
.... Four dots indicate what the transcriber believes to be the end of an incomplete sentence.
() Word in parentheses are asides made by the speaker.
 Words in brackets are comments made by the transcriber.
This transcription was made in January 1991 by Robert Shuster and Kerry Cox.
Collection 93, Tape #T1. Interview of Earl Austin Winsor by Mary Ann Buffington, October 30, 1979.
BUFFINGTON: Well, everything's going now. This is an interview with Mr. Earl Winsor from Mary Ann Buffington for the Missionary Sources Collection of Wheaton College. This interview took place at 336 East Jefferson Avenue...
WINSOR: Three thirty-nine.
BUFFINGTON: Oh, three thirty-nine (excuse me) east Jefferson Avenue in Wheaton on October 30th, 1979, at five minutes until three [both laugh]. Okay. Just...we just want to talk...
WINSOR: All right.
BUFFINGTON: ...about your experiences at Wheaton and on the mission field. I know that you came to Wheaton and did some work here as a student for a while.
WINSOR: I...I had...I was...graduated first in engineering in Massachusetts and came here at the insistence of my older sister, really, who had been a stu...was a student here at the time. And she felt that I needed something more than engineering, science; that I needed, and I sure did need [laughs] something of the liberal arts.
BUFFINGTON: Right, right.
WINSOR: So I came here and had one year and by virtue of, I think, some charity I got a BA on top of the B.S. that I had gotten for...in the engineering school, here. And during the year, one of the teachers (a teacher of history and social science) died at Christmas time. His work was divided amongst other faculty members. At the end of the year, I was asked to take it over. I don't think anybody in his right mind in these days would have think...have thought of doing that with my background. But for some reason or other, they did. College life was less formal and less organized in those days. The enrollment as I remember, in my se...the year I was here as a student, was somewhere between a hundred and seventy-five and two hundred only, and faculty correspondingly smaller, of course. And...so I was asked to take it over. I had had some basic work in history during that year. That had obviously been lacking in my engineering study. And I must have impressed on one of the teachers from our....
BUFFINGTON: I'm sure you did! [laughs]
WINSOR: So I was asked to take it over. I went on then during summers and one semester off and got a masters in...in history and economics minor [unclear] and went on and taught here for five years from 1920 through 19...the school year ending in June of '25.
BUFFINGTON: Was the reason you came to Wheaton to begin with to get some liberal arts...
BUFFINGTON: ...because you had intended to go to the mission field?
WINSOR: No. Not that at all. I was going to be an engineer.
BUFFINGTON: And just decided to take a little liberal arts on the side.
WINSOR: Right. Well, actually, my older sister engineered that. She had the vision for me.
BUFFINGTON: And then there was another purpose in the end...
WINSOR: Well, the Lord worked it out and things developed and I must say that during the course of the year (actually, through the course of that student year) there developed a little nostalgia. I saw something of the difference between working with people and working with things, material, inanimate material. It was a custom in the College in those days that every senior had to write a senior essay and deliver it in chapel. And I wrote mine on BA versus BS.
WINSOR: That was to suggest a difference between those two things. And consequently, I guess, I sort of prepared in thought for the suggestion of change in my direction. Not that I didn't enjoy engineering and actually I had done well in engineering school. But there was some nostalgia for...I know that where I.... Some feeling developed that working with people was different. [laughs] And so...
BUFFINGTON: Right, right.
WINSOR: ...it went on. And as it developed, education has been my life since then, whether here or on the field, abroad.
BUFFINGTON: So whe...during the time at Wheaton, your interest in missions kind of developed then.
WINSOR: Yes, yes. Actually, missions had been in my background in the sense that my parents, during our life in Massachusetts, had become interested in the work of the Christian Missionary Alliance, you know that organization.
WINSOR: And they had found their fellowship.... We lived in a small town outside of Worcester, Massachusetts, and they had found their Christian fellowship in a Christian Missionary Alliance branch in Worcester. They were members of a local church which was called Evan...Evangelical Congregational which was practically Unitarian, as was true of all the other churches in the town, so that they...they found...they found their fellowship with the Christian Missionary Alliance, and since it was the "missionary" alliance, we heard a lot about...
WINSOR: ...missionaries and the folks entertained missionaries, and we had them in the home so then we heard that sort of thing through those.... If it was an incoming year, of course, it was in the...in the air all the time. And Dr. [Charles] Blanchard [president of Wheaton College] had agreed with leaders of the Christian Missionary Alliance that he would let them have an annual conference here if they would use the College as a college for their constituency, rather than their trying to start a college for themselves, as was being proposed in those days. He had been associated with the Alliance as was possible for many because in those days, the Alliance wasn't a denomination, it was a fellowship. And so that's how it came out and then we heard there.... Actually, during my five years of teaching, this older sister went to the field. And then the leader, the head of her mission, approached me with a proposition, considered it a call. I had become interested in a young lady that was a classmate here, and we went out together.
BUFFINGTON: So you went out under AIM, I believe.
WINSOR: Under Africa Inland Mission. Yeah, that's right.
BUFFINGTON: Right, right. And your sister also....
WINSOR: Yes, and two other sisters.
BUFFINGTON: So you really had a missionary family there [laughs].
WINSOR: We had...four out of five of us went. The youngest one was as much interested as the rest of us, but she stayed with my mother who had been widowed while we were still...adol...adolescents, of course, mostly, except for the oldest one. I was actually twenty-one when my father died. We were all...
WINSOR: ...young, young, young. So she stayed and she provided the home base...
BUFFINGTON: Well, there's...
WINSOR: ...for us and our children...
BUFFINGTON: ...a need for all of that.
WINSOR: ...and our children. So that the next generation of children all looked to her. Actually, me and my wife [first wife, Mary Park Winsor] lived with her here. And this is home to those...a lot of those children, some of whom live right in the area now, and others of them have gone to Africa, too, following us.
BUFFINGTON: Start a dynasty here [both laugh].
WINSOR: Well, it's sort of a....
WINSOR: So that.... We went to the field and came home for the second time in '39, expecting normal furlough and return, but the war intervened before we got back. And then my first wife...I lost my first wife to cancer, and felt I was ended for the field because I had children, two children, one of whom is Dr. Haddock...Haddock's wife [Faith Winsor Haddock] at the college, in geology. But...so I thought I was kept home from going.... And yet two years later they came...again there came a call from the field, and the Lord arranged so that I could go...arranged different arrangements for the provision for the two children, but adequate. And so.... In one case...in my son [Arthur Austin] the younger of the two, it was suggested, in advance of the call, that if ever there was a call, I would have a place for him with friends then living right here in town, with a son his own age, a classmate of his, and then the man was on campus as Dean of Men, Dean of Students. Couldn't have asked for anything better, and the Lord provided for the daughter [Faith] in other ways, but same way.
BUFFINGTON: And then he could use you, too.
WINSOR: Then I could go.
WINSOR: So I went out and was there nearly ten years alone, and then my present wife [Ada Rury Winsor], who had been college nurse here for twenty-some years, agreed to come out and take care of me instead.
BUFFINGTON: [laughs] Well, that's wonderful.
WINSOR: So now we've been...we've been married over twenty years, now retired.
BUFFINGTON: Now tell me, when you first went to Africa and went with AIM to the field, you and your wife went and how did you go? Did you go by boat?
WINSOR: Oh, yes, yes. There was no other way in those days. We went right by boat to England, and then by boat from England through the Mediterranean, down the Red Sea, and then across...in the Sudan, across to the Nile, and by riverboat two weeks up the Nile; a riverboat like the...the Mississippi sternwheelers. Then the last two hundred and twenty-five miles by car.
BUFFINGTON: How long did it take you to...?
WINSOR: We left New York the first of May and got there the twelfth of July.
BUFFINGTON: It took a little while [laughs]. Now I underst.... AIM is a faith mission.
BUFFINGTON: And you raise your support before you leave, is that correct?
WINSOR: That's the idea.
BUFFINGTON: So you were appointed to go out under the board and then you did your....
WINSOR: Although actually in those days it was not.... Actually, when we went out, missionaries were on what was called general fund. Income came into the mission and it was...it was pooled, and actually I knew very little of raising support because we went out....
BUFFINGTON: I'll tell you why I'm interested in that. Also, we have collection of.... We just got the AIM papers. I didn't know if you know that or not.
WINSOR: Is that so?
BUFFINGTON: And so we're so proud of those.
WINSOR: I knew that something was being done.
BUFFINGTON: And we're very....
WINSOR: Is that through Dr. [John] Gration [former AIM executive and professor at Wheaton]?
BUFFINGTON: He helped us, and we went through your councils, and they...they would like for us to have the papers, and we have them in. We're in the process of arranging them. That's why I was asking you a little bit about how you went about your work.
WINSOR: Well, it's interesting. My second...my third sister went with my wife and me on that trip, and my second sister followed two years later. Our first sister was already there.
BUFFINGTON: Were you all in the same area?
WINSOR: Yes. We were all...all under AIM, and at one time all in the same station. So we were very happy together, and with other friends on the same station. Another couple was a college classmate of one of them and...and his wife, and he had lived in our home for one student year here while I was teaching. And then another man came out who became my third...third sister's husband [Amy Winsor Pierson and R. Floyd Pierson?]. So the other sisters, the older sister and the second sister found their husbands out there, both from California. I...I should have mentioned, and I don't think I did, that during the forties, when I stayed home, because we came in '39 and I didn't go back till '49, I went back to teaching in '60...in '42 and taught the rest of the time there, so I had six and a half years again on campus. I got..I think I got tenure twice and that, I don't think, happens very...happens very often on that Wheaton campus.
BUFFINGTON: A rare case.
WINSOR: And, incidentally, another thing, so far as I know, there's no ex-faculty member who is teaching...who...living...who taught before I...as far as I know, I'm the oldest...the earliest...
BUFFINGTON: ...of the former instructors.
WINSOR: ...of former teachers. Right.
BUFFINGTON: That's why we're interested in your reminiscences of the campus at that time and the faculty and students.
WINSOR: Well, just one other thing along the line of support. During the first term, income after the breakdown...the depression of...that we're celebrating this week, you know...[stock market crash of 1929]
BUFFINGTON: That's right. The crash.
WINSOR: ...the crash, income...mission income went down. And there were times when they couldn't distribute the normal amount (incidentally, we started down at thirty-five dollars a month, per person. That was the allowance.)
BUFFINGTON: Now, did that...was for your own support plus the work that you did there?
WINSOR: Pretty much.
BUFFINGTON: So that was not only for you.
WINSOR: ...for the work, yeah.
BUFFINGTON: For the work.
WINSOR: But prices were different.
BUFFINGTON: And I'm sure your prayers and the Lord's help stretched it to the....
WINSOR: Well, the Lord worked it out, and I...I never suffered. We never lacked necessity, but somewhere along after '29, I supposed it was '31, '32, '30, '31, there was this shortage and folks here at home knew of it and people in my church, which is College Church [of Wheaton], who had never known...it was...it was...had a congregational connection in those days, but was an evan...it was truly an evangelical congregation, knew of this. And the ladies became concerned and they undertook...they...they finally said, "We're going to undertake to support the two ladies. The two men the mission can take care of," which showed so little comprehension on their part of mission operation. And the reason for that is plain. They had known prior to that, I think mainly, missionaries who were supported by denomination...denominations, Congregational and...and Presbyterian, where anybody sent by church went into the denomination and the missionaries were supported right from the denomination. So that was the idea. But the Lord took...did take care of us and then it...ultimately it came about that mission procedures changed a good deal until the practice of individual support became common, and that was truly individual support came in for us, mainly from College Church.
BUFFINGTON: I just was interested in that...knowing the work that I...and the information that I had been working with just today. So when you first went out in '25?
BUFFINGTON: '26. What was your position and what were you doing?
WINSOR: Well, the job I was called out to do was to try to help the missionaries upgrade the very eleva...mentary schoolwork that they were doing. Of course we were in the primitive area. Totally primitive. Unwritten languages and so on. French the official language, but very few Africans knowing any French. And the area that the AIM was working in was an area six or eight hundred year...miles long and a couple...two or three hundred miles wide, included ten or more different tribal tongues and two lingua francas [very simple languages used for trading] so that...(What was that label?)...you were aware of it and when I got there, they had in...I got there in July... they had in...in February for the first time a general field conference at which time, for the first time, those who were there and were in schoolwork got together and put together some...formulated a curriculum. It was before there was anything from government...available from government. And this they adopted and they were hoping that I, as a school worker [laughs], might be able to be of help in...in spreading that and...and stimulating it and seeing development. The thought of the old general director of the mission, Dr. [Charles] Hurlburt, was that if we can develop our schools on a sound enough basis and well enough organized so that we will be up to anything the government may ultimately propose, we can hope to maintain control...
WINSOR: ...and not have regulations imposed on the ground that we're not doing a good enough job.
WINSOR: So that was the idea, and for my first term, that was my main job, although I had various others.
BUFFINGTON: Well, now, how many schools did you have in the...?
WINSOR: Well, we had about...at that time, maybe [pauses], let's see, we had about twenty stations, each with one or more schools, and then there were little village schools, many of them, all over the countryside, for every time you sent out an evangelist into a village, he would start teaching.
WINSOR: The most elementary teaching, of course, but that would be a little school...
BUFFINGTON: Well, anything is....
WINSOR: ...and you had to try to help them. Actually, as far as they went in those days was the fifth grade, and that not in many places. So it was...it was very elementary, but it was where we started.
WINSOR: The first teaching I did was in fifth grade arithmetic. [laughs]
BUFFINGTON: I was just going to ask you what type course work did...did you find, and how did you find the Africans? Were they receptive to you?
WINSOR: Oh, yes, yes...the...the youth were. The young folks were because...
WINSOR: ...a wha...a paper that talks was a marvel to them, you know. And you...you could.... They saw a white man write something on a piece of paper, give it to them, and carry it off to another white man and he would know what the other man wanted to tell him.
BUFFINGTON: That was just a marvel.
WINSOR: That's a marvel. [spoken at same time]
BUFFINGTON: How could that happen? [laughs]
WINSOR: So they were anxious to...and if they could learn to make use of the same devices, why, they were interested.
BUFFINGTON: All the better, right.
WINSOR: Then, of course, you could...when we got...when we...when I got there, a government was insta...was in control. There were merchants in there and sooner or possibly then, there were a few European planters, plantation folks, coffee maybe, and that all meant that there were...there were occasions or opportunities for some to, once they got a little knowledge, to make use of it, as clerks and as whatever.
BUFFINGTON: So they were able to market their skills much...?
BUFFINGTON: What was the main occupation of the Africans you worked with?
WINSOR: Africa...it's strictly a subsistence agriculture, it was in those days, mainly. But at...oh, I should say we were in a mining...gold mining region, and that too provided a market for...for crops...
WINSOR: ...food, because they recruited labor and had to feed them, and so there was a market for...for basic staples.
BUFFINGTON: How large was your mission station, your particular station, and then...?
WINSOR: Well, the one that I first worked on was this...this one where we had a dozen or more. It was the headquarters, and one of my jobs first was mission treasurer. My wife was the mathematician of the family and she did the work and I...
BUFFINGTON: Got the credit.
WINSOR: ...I had the name. And in addition I started...started putting to use printing equipment that had been sent out that had been damaged in route and had laid...lain idle for some years. I was asked to check and see what was needed to put it...to make it usable, which I did and then that's...those were...supplies were provided. And then I was supposed to put them to use and started that.
BUFFINGTON: And that was your first press, then?
BUFFINGTON: Were you printing materials for use in the schools and for your little texts?
WINSOR: Yeah. Flash cards and...and little primers and so on.
BUFFINGTON: Were you able to...?
WINSOR: And song books and a little Scripture although we mainly depended upon Bible Societies for Scripture.
BUFFINGTON: And these Bible Societies were like the American Bible Society?
WINSOR: And the British...British Fellowship....
BUFFINGTON: And they would send you the materials. How...now on the language barrier. How did you deal with that, I mean...?
WINSOR: Well, we had...fortunately we had linguists which I'm not. [laughs] I mean to say, it would not be my.... I would not be a...make a good linguist. Some have that gift...
WINSOR: ...and some don't. I think my first wife was better and my wife's sisters were better. They shared in some of the early New Testament work. Like my sister was honored by getting one of the first bound copies of the New Testament when it came out. But we...we did have some bulk partial New Testament material.
BUFFINGTON: Every translation that you had I'm sure was beneficial.
WINSOR: Right, yes, yes.
BUFFINGTON: You lived on the mission station.
BUFFINGTON: Each missionary would have a station where they would live on. Then there was the area...
BUFFINGTON: ...that you were responsible for.
WINSOR: Tributary work.
BUFFINGTON: Would there be...were the Africans living in little family units or...
BUFFINGTON: ...did they live in clans?
WINSOR: No, that varies with different tribes. There's different tribal customs. Off to the northwest of our...in the northwestern part of an area...our area, there was a Sudanese...a large Sudanese tribe that spread all through the Sudan and French Equatorial... which lived in family units...family clusters not too...too widely separated, but in family clusters. Whereas where we lived and further south, they were village...village.... Sometimes large villages would be...oh, amongst some of the tribes and villages was five hundred people in it. Whole lines of houses...huts along the ridges of the hills. So it...it...it varied, really.
BUFFINGTON: I just wondered about how large they were. How close were you to the largest industrial center or [laughs] was that unheard of practically?
WINSOR: No industrial center in...in the area then, and there never...never has developed to the present in the whole quarter of Zaire which, of course, you recognize is the present day Belgian Congo. In that whole quarter, there's no industrial center. There are some...small things did develop that unfortunately have mainly petered out since independence because the govern...country has gone backwards since independence, as possibly you've heard.
BUFFINGTON: Well, that's...that...your impressions of that, too, I'd be very interested, and especially.... Now, when you were first there, it was...colonial rule was...
BUFFINGTON: ...still in effect.
WINSOR: Yeah, it was colonial rule.
BUFFINGTON: And so the presence of the Belgium government was probably...
WINSOR: It was....
BUFFINGTON: ...widely felt.
WINSOR: Oh, yes. No question about it. And...[pauses]...I don't think that anybody can deny that in the earlier stages of colonial government there were atrocities and...and abuses and all that sort of thing. But with the passing of years and the operation in Belgium of a colonial school for the training of colonial officers, the personnel on the colonial government rose in quality...improved in quality markedly. The earlier...earliest time when under King Leopold's regime, before it became Belgian Congo, and even perhaps afterward, he had to recruit soldiers of fortune from here, there, and everywhere. And those people may or may not be human...humane, you know.
BUFFINFTON: Right, right.
WINSOR: That sort of thing. And...but in our beginning days, they still were using the whip, but that was the thing that their chiefs used. It was the thing talked to them.
BUFFINGTON: We shudder, but actually, when you consider their culture was that way,...
BUFFINGTON: ...it's not like that they were being given undue treatment.
WINSOR: No. Actually, my wife was compelled one time to...to watch a man who was working for her stretch out on the ground and receive the...the stripes by an official who, a few minutes later, would be very courteous and so on to her or to me...
WINSOR: ...because we'd been offended, he thought, by something he might have done. I forget what it was now. But I don't think that anybody has any reason for denying the fact that the colonial government was responsible for all the development that has come into the country until...until independence. It came.... It...it provided the roads and the river transport, because in some places it's dependent on the river transport and other places the roads. But hundreds and thou...mi...thousands, I suppose, of miles of...of roads usable by motor vehicles. And we travelled them, and they were organized, they were maintained, and that's the thing that hasn't happened...
BUFFINGTON: Since inde...?
WINSOR: ...since, the same way. Belgian...Belgium put money into the co...country as well as taking money out. And, of course, the development of the mines has all been by...under the colonial government, some of it by independent companies. But in most of them, the government has had a share. In fact at...at times, it was...in later times, it was a requirement that a part of the capital should be in the hands of the...of the government, whereas [unclear] in the hands of the private so that.... Then there's been the industrial development...the agricultural development. They had a system of experiment stations all over the country experimenting to improve the indigenous crops and the impor...introduced crops, whatever they were. One..one area, rice might be native and they had a station to experiment with ways of producing varieties and so on. Another place cotton, another place coffee, another place rubber, another place what have you. The same way with animals, domestic animals. In our area there was one such experiment station which introduced into this cattle-growing region blooded stock that would improve the quality of sheep and pigs and...and cattle, fowls and so on. And you could...it seemed at times, you could see the fowls scattered all over the country, you know, and that sort of thing so that this...this was a contribution that's widespread.
BUFFINGTON: There's always a pro and a con to every issue.
WINSOR: Yes, [unclear].
BUFFINGTON: So that was the beginning. And how did you relate as a missionary to the political situation in the country. I mean, were there ever any problems that you had or did the government want to cooperate with you in your mission activity? [laughs].
WINSOR: Well, yes, I think so, generally. It varied. There were in the earlier times.... Of course, we were there and the Catholics were there...
WINSOR: ...and in the earlier times the Catholics had...had a tendency to insist that they were better...higher...they were more powerful than government. And at times they were, I guess. But there came times when, in Belgium, a change from Catholic control to liberal control would alter the attitude of government. And in the latter years, we saw a little of...relatively little of that favoring of the Catholics by...from the local officials. As a matter of fact, too, actually people in Belgium don't know too much about Protestants. Now they don't. I work now for Greater Europe Mission up here and they have work in Belgium and the...the proportion of Protestants in Belgium is less than [unclear]. So many of them come out and they don't know Protestants. They've heard a lot about...bad things about Protestants and coming living two miles from us or nearer and, getting acquainted, they learn we weren't so bad after all.
WINSOR: And the folks became friends, friendly and so on. You could see peoples' attitudes change through contact.
BUFFINGTON: So you were able to work with other mission agencies, i.e. the Catholic church. And yet there were...there probably were Catholic missions close by to you.
WINSOR: Oh yes, yes. Almost every...everywhere there was. And if there wasn't and we started a mission where there wasn't a Catholic mission...
BUFFINGTON: [laughs] There was!
WINSOR: ...pretty soon there would be.
BUFFINGTON: Were there any other mission agencies around in the area?
WINSOR: No. Early in...in...in mission activity in Congo, there came to be an intermission policy of comity, agreement that one mission would work in an area and one mission would work.... The country's big enough, you know, so that you didn't have to compete.
WINSOR: The only competition we had from other missions in our area was when, in the later years, when the Seventh Day Adventist came and they...they didn't participate in that...that practice of comity. But otherwise we had...there wasn't....
BUFFINGTON: You were the only mission.
WINSOR: Yeah, the only Protestant mission.
BUFFINGTON: Well, what about.... I'm sure there was a conflict, of course, [laughs] of interest between the Catholics and the Evangelical movement...
BUFFINGTON: ...but what type...how did you work and deal with the Africans in their own tribal or indigenous religious affairs? How did you...what kind of religion were they practicing?
WINSOR: Well, there again...
BUFFINGTON: Occult or...?
WINSOR: ...their religion is animism, national...national...native religion is animism and the tendency is to...was to take a positive approach and present something higher and better than what they had known, rather than to decry the old, to present the new and try and introduce that. I think that has been the general...general method as far as....
BUFFINGTON: Do they take on Christianity as just a higher form and just incorporate into their own or did...were they able to...
WINSOR: Well, that's so distinct that...
BUFFINGTON: ...get away from...?
WINSOR: ...so distinct that its pretty hard to do that. Even in the current era since independence there has been an effort on the part of some leaders to...in order to emphasis...to further authentic Africanism, to...there has been an effort to (now, what is the word I want) to incorporate the two (what's the word). Not ecumenicalism but.... Well...
BUFFINGTON: To join.
WINSOR: ...to put the two all together, to emphasize...to retain such of the...of Christianity as they can, but to insist on some of the features of their old life too, witch.... I started to say witchcraft, but the recourse to...to witchcraft comes in the dealing with...with sickness is one thing that they want to retain. And sometimes there's reason for that, for the maintenance of the excellent medical ministry...medical organization that the Belgians had hasn't been possible or hasn't been carried out by the national government. Consequently medical...medical service hasn't continued to be available...
WINSOR: ...as extensive as it used to be. And so there's been a pressure to go back to the old, as least a lack of [unclear].
BUFFINGTON: So the hospitals are deteriorating...
WINSOR: And they gone out...out of work. Then of course besides the hospitals proper, there were many multiplied rural dispensaries maintained or operated by just a national nurse trainee...medical trainee who couldn't do everything but could at least treat the routine disorders...
WINSOR: ...of ulcers and of malaria, worms and that sort of thing.
BUFFINGTON: Well, I did notice in the records where they would indicate when the missionaries would come whether they had a nursing certificate from Belgium...
BUFFINGTON: ...and then a midwife or midwifery certificate and then a certificate in tropical diseases, then they could...
WINSOR: That was from Belgium.
BUFFINGTON: ...become the head of a dispensary or clinic or whatever and....
WINSOR: Well, that wasn't essential...wasn't required in the earlier days, but Belgium...the colonial government knew how to make laws. In the great big code book of laws governing almost anything...area of life that you could of. To practice it wasn't always possible. I remember one example of that was what they said after establishing regulations concerning the practice of medicine: the qualifications a doctor, a nurse, a midwife and so on, should have the training and certification. There was a...inserted a statement to the effect that, "While these are the things that legally would be required, it is recognized...to be recognized that an unqualified person may easily find himself living in an area where authorized medical aid is not available but where he might have knowledge superior to that of the people around him and where he has a moral obligation..."
WINSOR: "...to do what..."
BUFFINGTON: If he can.
WINSOR: "...he can to help. And we recog...this is to be recognized by those who administer the law." Which provided a sensible basis for doing what you could when you didn't have Africans[?] who qualified.
BUFFINGTON: Did you ever...were you on mission station that had a hospital or...?
WINSOR: Yes, yes I had...on two different stations with hospitals with qualified doctors and nurses and so forth. And I was also on a station where that wasn't true, where there was just a nurse and African nat...African national. In fact my wife...my first wife was a nurse, oversaw the...the dispensary in one of the...in one of these stations where we were.
BUFFINGTON: What kind of.... I know then in your second term you went back to the Reath....
WINSOR: Rethy, yeah
BUFFINGTON: How was that...?
BUFFINGTON: Rethy Academy...
BUFFINGTON: ...as principal, right?
WINSOR: That's right.
WINSOR: You've been doing some homework.
BUFFINGTON: Well, I try. [laughs] So what type of...?
WINSOR: Well, there we had...you had this academy for missionary children...
WINSOR: ...which ran from first grade through high school.
BUFFINGTON: Were these only for missionary children?
WINSOR: Yes, at that time. Well, although...well, primarily. We did in my time take two or three students from settlers' families. But it was mainly for missionary children. Latterly...currently there are one or two African children there from families of.... The Belgian [Belgian phrase quoted here] "evolue"[?] "evolved nationals", in other words those whose...who by virtue of training and experience have come to live a life on a different level than average people. And we've had some, just a few. In fact I know...I think I absolutely know only of two from one family. But the father in that family came here [to Wheaton College] and went through Bible school and then went through the university and went back to teach. And while he and his wife were here, the..I think the two children were born here. They actually could have American...in fact, the oldest girl, now of high school age, is actually here studying.
BUFFINGTON: I see. Well now, how many...about how many children did you have then?
WINSOR: Well, during my time, thirty was the maximum that we had. It's been up to somewhere around seventy or eighty. Its back down to less than that because the personnel is decreased.
WINSOR: But we drew from four...three or four other missions as well as our own.
BUFFINGTON: So I assume that you also taught in the...
WINSOR: Oh yes.
BUFFINGTON: ...academy. [laughs]
BUFFINGTON: A dual role, so to speak.
WINSOR: Quite so, quite so. Yes, I was a teacher. And it was.... You had to teach around the curriculum, you know. You taught what had to be taught although we had...we had teacher training at that time. My first wife had been a high school teacher and a couple that taught with us were both...he...she had had training. I'm not sure that he did but he got a lot of experience [both laugh]...
BUFFINGTON: On-the-job, so to speak.
WINSOR: ...and on the job training.
BUFFINGTON: Well, I guess that's more or less like the one room school. You just....
WINSOR: Well, it was. You...we actually had to have...we had [unclear] for us. And the lower grades we had primary...the first four grades were in a one room situation with one teacher and somehow.... For instance, that's where I taught third grade arithmetic to those kids, too. But the other ones we had the...from fourth...fifth...fifth up, I guess, we had in one room, but we had additional rooms that we had sort of a...(oh, what would you call it?)...pupils going to different teachers.
BUFFINGTON: Right, right. Kind of changing classes.
BUFFINGTON: Right, right. And I guess you...they would meet the basic requirements for schooling in the [United] States or in your upper...wherever.
WINSOR: It was organized on...on the basis of an American curriculum, and actually we had students go home and...transfer without difficulty into schools in various states around the country.
BUFFINGTON: When they were on furlough or whatever.
WINSOR: Yeah, yeah.
BUFFINGTON: So I take it....
WINSOR: And as far as I know, folks who had done exceptional work with us were not penalized in any...I think in any case that I ever heard of.
BUFFINGTON: So not only did you have charge of the students during the day, I assume that the students lived...
WINSOR: We had dormitories.
BUFFINGTON: ...it was like a mission station in itself.
WINSOR: It was a little.... Or, yes, we had a dormitory...one big dormitory there with boys and girls ends. Then we later got to the time where we had to have three dormitories. But I wasn't there.
BUFFINGTON: And you...you were only at the academy for one term.
WINSOR: One term. It was after that that we came home in '39...
BUFFINGTON: And then you stayed...
WINSOR: And we didn't get back.
BUFFINGTON: ...until '49. But how was the political situation when you left? Was there...?
WINSOR: No problems.
BUFFINGTON: Could you tell...
WINSOR: Everything was fine our way.
BUFFINGTON: ...in '49...
WINSOR: No, no.
BUFFINGTON: ...that there was...?
WINSOR: No, we had no idea about the troubles that came in the '60s. No inkling of that that I knew of.
BUFFINGTON: Did you...?
WINSOR: As a matter of fact, we lived in those years and until...until a year or so before independence we lived with no sense of insecurity.
BUFFINGTON: You felt very safe and all[unclear]?
WINSOR: Right. [Someone continually moving microphone] We were...we were accustomed to native friendliness. It was...it was customary. It was...it was the way. We were few amongst the many, but there were good relationships. It was only when the independence propaganda began to get going, the last year and a half or so before 1960, that things began to....
BUFFINGTON: That was when you were forced to evacuate.
WINSOR: Well, we were evacuated the first time in '60, the second time in '61, and the last time in '64. That's when...when we thought, "Its the end." Because in '64 the cause of the trouble was the Communist parties. That seemed to be the end. When we left in '64, we said good-bye to everything except two suitcases we took out with us at the time.
BUFFINGTON: I want to get back to that, but I want to go back in time a little bit to.... Now...so then when you went back in '49, you went to language school, right? You....
WINSOR: Well, I...yes, yes. We had to...we...that was when the government had, for the first time, agreed to include Protestant missions in the system of subsidized schools. In '25 they had established that system of subsidized schools, but only for, quote, national schools.
BUFFINGTON: This did not include Catholic schools then [laughs].
WINSOR: National schools meant those who were op...who were operated by those who had organizations which had bases in Belgium. There were no government schools in those days because they had...policy had been to commit the instruction to the missions. It was the cheapest way for the government to operate.
BUFFINGTON: Right. [laughs]
WINSOR: And it was the only practical way because they didn't have personnel for it.
WINSOR: And these missions were prepared to do it. It was a fruitful source of converts.
BUFFINGTON: I'm sure.
WINSOR: You had...you had...you had regular daily contact with the youth, of course.
BUFFINGTON: Who in turn had daily contact with the...
WINSOR: ...older folks.
WINSOR: So...but in '25 they...they established the first system of subsidized schools but only...open only to national missions which were ninety-nine percent Catholic.
WINSOR: Enough so that.... There was one Protestant mission, Belgian Protestant mission. Now the [unclear] say, "We're not...we're not..."
BUFFINGTON: Discr.... [unclear]
WINSOR: "...negotiating" you see, but they were negative
BUFFINGTON: [laughs] With that one percent there.
WINSOR: One percent. In '67 or '8, under a liberal or non-Catholic government in Belgium, the colonial minister halted that and opened it to the Protestant missions, after long insistence by Protestant nationals...Congo nationals. They said, "We pay taxes too, but we don't get anything back from it. And you don't...won't let our...our missionaries share." Well, so that...but the condition was, "You must come be Belgium, you must qualify in French and you must pass through certain orientation courses," is the used term...the term I used, "to acquaint with our system, our way of looking at...at education, our way of looking at government and our Belgian and colonial governments, our laws concerning hygiene and concerning tropical hygiene itself." It was a valuable, valuable material. So we had to do it, both medical and educational workers.
BUFFINGTON: So then everyone from that point went to Belgium or went through...?
WINSOR: Everyone who wanted who wanted to engage in...
WINSOR: ...subsidized school work.
BUFFINGTON: School work.
BUFFINGTON: Which I would think that you would want to do that, so it would...
WINSOR: Well, it was...I...I had no hesitancy about it. Actually I had had some French before, of course. I had...actually I had French in high school. But that gave me a head start. But it used French and actually one of the first jobs I was given was to handle all the customs for our incoming goods because it was done...had to be dome in French. I was one of the few who could...could...
BUFFINGTON: Read it.
WINSOR: ...read it. And so...but I did go there and...and qualified in French and took the course and went through that.
BUFFINGTON: And I've got a note here that you were the legal representative so I'm sure that your...
WINSOR: Well, that was...that was...
BUFFINGTON: ...use of French was....
WINSOR: ...required, you see.
BUFFINGTON: Right. So then you returned to Wheaton and were here...were here until '49, at which time you went....
WINSOR: Went to Belgium.
BUFFINGTON: I guess you went to Belgium until '50 and then went....
WINSOR: No, I went to Belgium from April '49 to the fall of '49. Actually, other folk who followed...actually, the earlier classes, the first two or three classes at the colonial school had to qualify so that they could study there, on their own, but later the Belgians set up a full year's...
WINSOR: ...of study, providing organized French study and organized study of their pedagogy, which took a...the best part of a year to take. But I didn't have to take that long, partly because I had a head start in French...
WINSOR: ...and could handle the....
BUFFINGTON: And from there you went directly to the...?
WINSOR: And from there I went directly to the field, in the fall of '49.
BUFFINGTON: And so.... Then what were you doing?
WINSOR: At that....
BUFFINGTION: At that point...
BUFFINGTON: ...my research breaks down. [laughs]
WINSOR: My going back was because of this new regulation...
BUFFINGTON: Regulation. And then you....
WINSOR: ...and the field felt I could the lead in...in leading them to take advantage of this opportunity.
BUFFINGTON: Right. Right. Right.
WINSOR: And so that was what I went back to do, to...to serve as director of education, if you want the term. [laughs]
BUFFINGTON: Your title. [laughs]
WINSOR: That was the title.
BUFFINGTON: So then did the missionaries that were on the field, in order to take part in the subsidized education,...
WINSOR: And as they came on furlough.
BUFFINGTON: They would just come back through Belgium. [laughs]
WINSOR: That's the way.
BUGGINGTON: I see, I see.
WINSOR: And the...we started out with a very small subsidized...in fact, I think we started out with one very elementary teacher training school that was offered for...for accreditation for subsidy. And then as we got personnel, both teaching personnel for the secondary schools and supervisory personnel from the missionary side to staff new schools to meet the requirements, then we presented them for...for recognition and they were inspected. But I had the oversight of that...the direction and help of...to those who were doing it and the...the inspection of the classes.
BUFFINGTON: I guess you were doing quite a bit of traveling if that was...running a....
WINSOR: Yes, yes. I...I...it developed eventu...by that time that in order to touch all the schools of our mission...our field, I had to...one circuit would be 2500 miles. [laughs]
BUFFINGTON: Quite a distance.
WINSOR: And that was...
BUFFINGTON: How long would it take you to make a circuit or...?
WINSOR: Well, I...
BUFFINGTON: I'm sure you would go and stay in a place.
WINSOR: ...would have to go and stay. I never tried to do the whole thing once...in one...
BUFFINGTON: At one time.
WINSOR: ...in one journey, see. Because I was living at a central place. That was both...one way. It would take time, of course.
BUFFINGTON: I'm sure it did, I'm sure it did.
WINSOR: And it was necessary to make the annual reports and all that sort of thing.
BUFFINGTON: That takes time too. There's always paperwork no matter where you go. [laughs]
WINSOR: The French used to have a...a word for it that appealed to me. They called it "paperasserie," which means paperwork. It was kind of...that word always intrigued me. [laughs]
WINSOR: They complained of it...
BUFFINGTON: I guess so.
WINSOR: ...as well as those of us who had to respond to it
BUFFINGTON: Then you were there for...did you come back on furlough during that time?
WINSOR: Yes, yes I did. I came back...I came back once before I was...before we were married. By that time I had been inspected by the Belgium inspector and that time I spent again three or four months in Belgium, the object being to...to make new connections with Belgian education. And I visited Belgian schools.
BUFFINGTON: An update. [laughs]
WINSOR: An update, yes, update. And then I went out a second time. During that second term my wife came out. [unclear]
BUFFINGTON: Right. And now this was just previous to the political unrest during the whole period.
WINSOR: Yes, yes. I...this was just previous...she was married...we were married in '58 and the independence came on in '60. That was the beginning of independence. [Banging on the microphone continues.]
BUFFINGTON: So now, you say that you didn't...or you felt safe up until the time of independence...
WINSOR: Preceding independence.
BUFFINGTON: ...when you could just.... What kind of things...how did you...out in the country, as you were, how did you feel the tremors and the...?
WINSOR: Well, the change in attitude of the people. We used to be able to move around the people and the greetings.... Well, on the road you waved to everybody as you drove along the road yourself and you never expected as you went into villages to find unfriendliness and that sort of thing. That...that changed. And there was surliness.
WINSOR: Distrust, yes. Because they...they were...they were receiving propaganda by folks who...who had gotten it from unfriendly sources. There were folks by that time who had been in Russia and had come back and were separated and telling all sorts of things. And that embasrassing to many people. After '64, the rebellion of '64 and the time of the Communists, the Simba Rebellion.... (Do you remember that term at all?)
WINSOR: Do you remember when Dr. [Paul] Carlson was killed in the time in Stanleyville?) Well, that was a time of much propaganda and the people who...who...(some of our people had tried to warn what was coming and they [the Africans] couldn't understand and know what it was all about) told them when they came back, beginning in '65, "You don't need to tell us about Communism anymore. We've seen it." And that was enough for them.
BUFFINGTON: That was enough.
WINSOR: And now the general attitude is again friendly around...I'm told. I haven't been for ten years. But it..it's not that sur...that unfriendliness that there was. But life is...life isn't as well organized as it was under the colonial government.
BUFFINGTON: Colonial. And that's when you spent of your time in...
WINSOR: Yes. Yes I...I never...
BUFFINGTON: ...when it was the Belgian Congo.
WINSOR: ...worked in the Congo...well, I say I never worked. I did work from '60 to '64 was under the government.
WINSOR: We had a furlough in '62, '62 to '63, after we came back from the second evacuation.
BUFFINGTON: So when you were evacuated, were you warned? I mean did the government officials come and say...?
WINSOR: No, they didn't warn us...
WINSOR: ...right. We got warnings...we got warning by radio from our American consu...consular authorities.
BUFFINGTON: The Embassy.
BUFFINGTON: Did you just like pack your car? Did you have transportation?
BUFFINGTON: And just drive across the border? How far away from the border were you?
WINSOR: Well, that was the...that was the reason that our mission...
BUFFINGTON: Right, those....
WINSOR: ...fared better than Dr. Carlson's and others. We...our field abuts Sudan and Uganda...
BUFFINGTON: So, you went to Uganda?
WINSOR: ...so we had.... From what...one station it was only about forty miles to the.... And another station, the first evacuation we went across, the border's about sixty miles. We were close.
BUFFINGTON: How...were you warned? I mean, was it like hours or did you have a day or so or...?
WINSOR: No, we had a little bit more than that. And the three evacuations were quite different. The first time we went with two other cars, of course. We had a rather unpleasant, at first unfriendly time, at the border but no...no real trouble. We were investigated as to the matter...show some of the things we had with us. But we had had time to...more...take more with us. The second time we...in '61, the army was arriving...was run amuck.
ADA WINSOR: [To Buffington] Excuse me. Could I interest you in a cup of tea?
BUFFINGTON: Oh, thank you but I...I'll pass. I just had a cup of tea before I came, I'm afraid. [laughs] Excuse me. [To Winsor] But if you'd like a cup of tea...?
WINSOR: No, I don't want a cup of tea.
ADA WINSOR: [Unclear]
BUFFINGTON: Oh, that's quite all right.
WINSOR: My wife, Ada. [Makes introductions] Ada, meet Miss Buffington
BUFFINGTON: Oh. I'm glad to meet you. And perhaps you might be interested some day [in taping an oral history interview]. I know you have some interesting experiences to share too.
ADA WINSOR: Well, I've been around alot.
BUFFINGTON: Well, perhaps we can talk [unclear] giving us a few moments of your time one day.
WINSOR: She knows....
ADA WINSOR: If I can contribute anything, I'd be glad to.
BUFFINGTON: Well, great, great. I'll talk to you...
WINSOR: She...she has a longer campus experience than I.
BUFFINGTON: Well, there'll be campus experience and then African experience also. I'll be interested in both. [laughs] Nice to meet you.
ADA WINSOR: Nice to meet you.
WINSOR: As I say, she was college nurse here...
ADA WINSOR: Right.
WINSOR: ...for...for over twenty years.
BUFFINGTON: I'm sure you do have some experiences [laughs] with all these that you saw.
ADA WINSOR: Yes, it was a bit different than it is now.
ADA WINSOR: More primitive.
WINSOR: But a little more personal, a little more personal.
BUFFINGTON: I'm sure. Not quite as many students.
WINSOR: No, oh no. But in that...in that second time, we had had time to assemble almost all our missionaries at...at Rethy and we had that time to send to our district government post for authorization to go out, for some.... We went out with papers authorizing us to go. And when we...when we went out, we went out in a convoy of thirty...between thirty and forty cars, accompanied by UN [United Nations] soldiers and a squad of Congo soldiers along with them. And when we got to the...to the border post, we were stopped at first a barrier...the army post. They didn't know I...they had no warning of what it was all about, although they had been told at the...at the district post that the border would be warned. The telegram hadn't gotten through and they were...they were taken quite by surprise when they saw car after car go by. It so happened that they went out to stop the cars in front of me. I was the first one directed into the army camp. They got hold of the others later. And we were there most of the afternoon while they blustered and argued and threatened us with all sorts of things. A lot of them were drunk. But the...we got great respect for the Ethiopian soldiers...squad who were with us for their self control and the quality of the lieutenant who was in command. But we...and we finally had to get papers signed by the official. But we did. My brother-in-law [R. Floyd Pierson?], who was the legal representative of a neighbor mission, and I had to sit with him and make out the papers.
BUFFINGTON: My! [laughs]
WINSOR: So then we went on to the...to the customs post, which was two or three miles away and there they insisted on searching the cars. We got there about six o'clock and the last ones to get...get through left the post about eleven.
BUFFINGTON: Very thorough, I take it.
WINSOR: Well, they...they didn't...they were intrigued, in part. They didn't know what things were. They got into one man's suitcase and found a stick of deodorant. "What was this?" [laughs] How would you explain, you know...?
BUFFINGTON: [laughs] Yes, I see....
WINSOR: They took away from me...they took two things away from me. One was a mache...machete[?]. You know what I mean?
WINSOR: A corn...corn knife [unclear]. They said, "This can't leave us. This is wealth of the Congo." Well, we carried them customarily in our cars because we were liable to find a tree down across the road. You'd need them to wade your way through. So I gave that up without any regret. Then they found a leath...leatherette case with a little tape recorder that I used to dictate to my secretary with. They took that away because they said, "This is a folo[?]," which means a...a...a trans...transmitter. They thought it was, and so they took it away from me. They didn't find the other case that carried the microphone. It wouldn't do any good. They held it up in the customs office and I got it back six months later. Or...yes, about six months.
BUFFINGTON: So then you were able to return again....
WINSOR: So, then we all went out and we got in.... That was in February and I got it back in June. Others got back somewhat sooner. I....
BUFFINGTON: Did you find that the mission stations had been vandalized in any way?
WINSOR: Not at that time. The third time, yes. They had been looted, some of them worse than others. Some of not, some of them.... We had things that were hidden by our African friends and were restored to us later, were saved. We had clothing delivered to us in Kenya later on and some things I didn't dispose of until we finally retired, came home and visited up there for a bit.
BUFFINGTON: Now you went to Kenya the third time.
BUFFINGTON: The third evacuation.
WINSOR: Well, we did the...the...the...all times. You had to go through Uganda, but Uganda wasn't...our mission in Uganda was small and didn't have places to receive us.
BUFFINGTON: So you were in Kenya then for four years, from '64 to...
WINSOR: To '68.
WINSOR: Yeah, we could go back and give them marks in schools because the schools there were English.
BUFFINGTON: Again, you were teaching and helping in the direction of the schools?
WINSOR: No, I didn't do a thing about direction. We were....
BUFFINGTON: You taught.
WINSOR: Both of us taught in a girls' high school, an African girls' high school. It was...it was different...
WINSOR: ...because they taught...they talked English that they had learned from African teachers in the primary schools, who had learned from English teachers in their...in their secondary schools. From British teachers, I mean. And the English that we heard was a little strange to American ears. It took us time to...
BUFFINGTON: I'm sure...
WINSOR: ...get accustomed.
BUFFINGTON: ...to attune yourself to the...the....
WINSOR: That's right. And they to us.
BUFFINGTON: Oh, I'm sure!
WINSOR: So.... But we got on.
BUFFINGTON: So you were also tea...still teaching mathematics.
WINSOR: I taught mathematics and geography there. In Congo I taught English and history and all sorts....
BUFFINGTON: Whatever you had to teach [laughs].
WINSOR: That's right.
BUFFINGTON: So then you retired in '68...
BUFFINGTON: ...and came back to Wheaton.
BUFFINGTON: But still retain your affiliations with....
WINSOR: Yes, we're retired missionaries of the mission and still get some retirement benefits from our church through them.
BUFFINGTON: I know that there's.... Is it still...the Media [Florida town]? Is it still...?
WINSOR: At Media? Yes.
BUFFINGTON: Near Clearwater...?
WINSOR: Clearwater, Florida. My, you have...you have gotten a hold of a lot. And my old assistant lives down there and is down there now.
BUFFINGTON: And that's the retirement home.
WINSOR: That's the retirement center.
WINSOR: There are between...about fifty folk down there, living in...seperate homes, in duplexes, in quadruplets and the least able to main...to care for themselves in a...in a home were they are catered for.
BUFFINGTON: There was something I just....
WINSOR: I still go to work, however, every morning and [unclear]. I'm grateful that I have health so...
BUFFINGTON: Sure, sure.
WINSOR: ...that I can have a...have a ministry.
BUFFINGTON: They can still maybe benefit from your....
WINSOR: Can still share, can still share, can still be active. I'd be dead. I'd be dead if I had to stay here and do nothing.
BUFFINGTON: There was something that came to my mind when we were talking and I can't....
WINSOR: About Media?
BUFFINGTON: Well, it was while we were talking about that and I was thinking of Africa and there was something that crossed my mind, like one of those blips. [laughs]
WINSOR: Yes, I know.
BUFFINGTON: It has come and gone [laughs].
BUFFINGTON: Perhaps it will come again.
WINSOR: Yes, perhaps it will return.
BUFFINGTON: I have a list of things here I wanted to cover...to cover, hopefully and I believe...I think we have just about covered most of the things on it...
WINSOR: On Africa
BUFFINGTON: ...that I really wanted to talk about. The staff in the African school, was it just missionaries or did you try to...?
WINSOR: In Kenya?
WINSOR: Yes. No, no it was not only missionaries. We had some that....
BUFFINGTON: What about earlier? Did you have some sort of school for teachers, where you prepared on the mission...
WINSOR: In Congo?
BUFFINGTON: ...on the mission schools? Were there schools for teachers?
WINSOR: Yes, I have...I had...one of the jobs I had after going back in '49, in about two years after that I started a...what was called a monitors' school. It was a low level teacher training school, following the government curriculum and for which students had to have only primary training. It was a post primary school. A three year or four year curriculum, the fourth year being de...being dependent upon whether the student had made a good record in the three years. Otherwise they were...they were finished, given a three year diploma and sent out to do low level teaching. The fourth year qualified them for something better and at the time I was teaching in it there were higher level schools envisaged, but since I was out of it there have been a number of changes in that organization, with which I have not been able to keep up to date. So that the terminology they are using now is a little different. That school now has become a six year school and it's on a higher level and I think requires a...requires a six year primary, while with us it was a four primary. You cannot...you can obviously see that you're not on a very high level when you take [unclear] from a four year primary.
BUFFINGTON: No, but....
WINSOR: And you're limited. But it...it was beyond anything else.
BUFFINGTON: I was going to say, anything if that's the...is better than nothing and....
WINSOR: Actually, before that they had started this post primary...post four year...two year...they called it "pedagogie", school of pedagogy, which was supposed to train teachers for first and second grade only and that we had but that was...after a number of years was out of date, outdated, no longer [unclear]. But that provided us with some teachers we could use in the beginning in accredited schools.
BUFFINGTON: Sure, sure. And your mission work as you were evangelizing the country and they could read and it enabled them to be able to use the Scriptures. I know what I was going to ask you earlier: the number of missionaries that were going out under AIM. I'm sure you saw definite trends in increased or decreased....
WINSOR: Well, there was...there was...from the time that I first went out, there was an increase in number of stations and an increase in the number of missionaries. We have found, since our mission...(and I say this frankly) we have found that the requirement of Congo and French Equatorial Africa of knowing French is a deterrent to some folk, to a lot of folk, when they can go to other fields in our mission and utilize English and not have to have the extra time for studying French. Consequently we've...we of the Congo field have regretted the fact a lot of good folks [laughs] went elsewhere, where we would have liked them for the Congo.
BUFFINGTON: But don't you feel that there is a necessity for the French or do you feel...?
WINSOR: Oh, def...definitely.
BUFFINGTON: I mean....
WINSOR: It is now in Congo official language.
BUFFINGTON: And to get along you would....
WINSOR: Yes, yes.
BUFFINGTON: ...to communicate at all.
WINSOR: Definitely. People who don't have it are...are handicapped.
BUFFINGTON: I would think so.
WINSOR: There is no question about it.
BUFFINGTON: Even so that they...even though they do want to go out under different missions and not take the time to learn the French, they would be at such a disadvantage in...in the long run...
BUFFINGTON: ...that they would be hampered [laughs] in their...
WINSOR: There is...
BUFFINGTON: ...mission work.
WINSOR: ...there is...there are these lingua franca. But a lingua franca (or trade language) is essentially a simplified language or it can't serve that way.
WINSOR: We've seen the two main lingua francas of our area have developed into languages through the years, but still they're simple little tribal languages, but they serve...they serve widely. But anything official, they use French. And even now, it has to be...its the national language because...well, a country with seventy tribes and seventy languages, would find it difficult to operate...
BUFFINGTON: If there was not something which you could....
WINSOR: ...not a single language. And furthermore, not one of those languages is an international language. So in order for a country to operate in any external ways, its better....
BUFFINGTON: Well, I tell you, let's call it a day today since you have been so.... Well, let's see. [tape recorder shut off, then turned back on] Okay. So we're back in business here. [laughs] At least for a few more minutes...
BUFFINGTON: ...until the tape gives out. I was interested in this, especially the trends in the mission work.
WINSOR: Yes, well actually the number on the field now are reduced. Conditions have become difficult. Economic conditions in the country are very, very difficult. Transport on the roads is very, very difficult. Under the Belgians it was regular, organized, maintained upkeep of the roads, which are...
BUFFINGTON: Road maintenance.
WINSOR: ...without...with almost no exception (all in our area)...is just gravel road or maybe simply dirt road. And that needs upkeep or it simply deteriorates. They operate big, huge trucks and in wet weather, of course, that just chews up the roads. Now, they say its very, very difficult. Roads...trips that used to take a couple hours may take six to eight hours now. You may get mired and be in for a long time. And then in addition, the...the economic organization has deteriorated. Not, I think, as badly as Uganda under [Uganda ruler Idi] Amin, but...where they put all the...the merchants, the expat...the outside merchants, but the...because of the troubles in '64, the Greek merchants and Belgian merchants and so on where we were (a lot of our commerce was carried on by Greeks) and they evacuated and haven't to come back in numbers, consequently, because of the lack of folk who can handle commerce efficiently and can maintain the external contacts in order to maintain supplies, you know, that sort of thing, it's hard to live. The...our missionaries have been mainly dependent upon air transport in connection with Nairobi, with Kenya for some years now. And with the Uganda troubles and the closing of Uganda roads and air space at times, it has been very very difficult to do that, although MAF [Mission Aviation Fellowship] and our own air arm (AIM-AIR they call it, A I M AIR).... Difficult...
WINSOR: ...for them to provide sufficient transportation for people and for supplies. But that seems right now to be improving with the improvement in...in Uganda and it has been possible to get some convoys of lorries through. Do you know what I mean by lorry?
WINSOR: Lorry is the English term.
WINSOR: We became familiar.... If I used French, it would be "Camion."
WINSOR: Do you know French at all?
BUFFINGTON: My language in school was Latin and I'm afraid that it's not utilized very much. [laughs]
WINSOR: No, but I'm awfully glad for the Latin I had.
BUFFINGTON: Oh, I am too. It has helped me in vocabulary so much and I am very appreciative of it.
WINSOR: Not only the English vocabulary but French vocabulary too. Any Latin language.
BUFFINGTON: I would eventually like to [unclear]
WINSOR: So that transport is a part of it and my sister and her husband who have left yesterday to go back to Congo (came home two weeks ago from Zaire). She's going to retire...stay, but he's going back for a few months. But they report...tell us about how difficult it's been and how dependent they have been on these external sources and this air. Of course that...that means it's expensive.
BUFFINGTON: That certainly does. Maybe faster, but it certainly is expensive.
WINSOR: But still they are carrying on. They live on the station with a mission hospital facility that is functioning and...and overseeing mission work up and down the field, by air too. There's no other hospital...well, there are several hospitals on the field, but they're not...there's no other with a resident doctor and the doctor circulates by air from this medical center.
BUFFINGTON: Do they have any trouble getting the supplies they need?
BUFFINGTON: Same reason, the transport.
WINSOR: Same reason as everything else.
BUFFINGTON: What about the staff for their hospital? Do they...?
WINSOR: Well, its....
BUFFINGTON: Do they use native...
WINSOR: Oh yes.
BUFFINGTON: ...nationals? I'm sure they would....
WINSOR: Same as.... And they have a training school for nationals too.
BUFFINGTON: For nurse and interns and....
WINSOR: Nurses and.... No...nothing in the sense of a...a doctor's course.
BUFFINGTON: An orderly maybe, aide type.
WINSOR: They have somewhat different terms, somewhat different courses, but they're organized for.... There are men on the field, nationals, who have worked with doctors enough so that they can do simple routine operations...
WINSOR: ...too. [Coughs] Hernias and that sort of thing.
WINSOR: And even caesarian sections. But it's..it's in the mission, the Conservative Baptists, the Heart of Africa Mission. Do you know that name, WEC? Worldwide Evangelism [Crusade]....
WINSOR: [Charles T.] Studd's mission.
WINSOR: And then Unevangelized Fields Mission, which is another interdenominational mission. Those four. And Emmanual Mission, which is Plymouth Brethren. They...those are the one that share in the work and have personnel from the different groups share.
BUFFINGTON: Did you see or did you all ever suffer from any of the tropical diseases or...
WINSOR: Well, we...
BUFFINGTON: ...illnesses that...?
WINSOR: ...almost everybody gets malaria, of course. My wife had an infection of *filaria. It's a microscope worm that gets into your system and she had to have treatment for that. We had...we had dysentery.
BUFFINGTON: I imagine that's rather common, however
WINSOR: Especially amoebic dysentery is very common. The...it's the less severe of the two kinds. Vasculary is much more serious.
BUFFINGTON: [Unclear] I'm sure. [laughs]
WINSOR: But...yes otherwise we...we were blessed with good health, generally. But life is much different now that there is...than it was in the earliest days of the missions in Africa, of course, when they didn't know what caused malaria, didn't know the connection between the mosquito and malaria. Or another mosquito or another mosquito and [pauses] some other...well, there's a fly that gives the sleeping sickness. There's a fly that transmits these filarial infections.
BUFFINGTON: You just have to be able to tell....
WINSOR: But now there's been a lot of research...
WINSOR: ...and specific drugs found for a lot of them.
BUFFINGTON: Right. Whereas in the beginning, you got it and there was not much you could do.
WINSOR: No. And as a result, of course, coastal Africa was a...was the cemetery of many, many missionaries.
BUFFINGTON: As you said life there was very different. What was the culture shock? I'm sure there was a bit, especially when you first went to Africa.
WINSOR: Yes. And African...African native life, national life, much of it is still...still pretty primitive. Although you may see a village with wonderful aerials on it.
BUFFINGTON: [laughs] Television or was it...?
BUFFINGTON: Oh, radio....would be the radio broadcasts.
WINSOR: Radio. There's no television in our part of the...of the world. Kenya has television.
BUFFINGTON: I was...I've also been working a little bit with the International Christian Broadcasters, so....
BUFFINGTON: They're more, I think, in South America and East Asia, but there are a few.... ELWA transmits....
WINSOR: ELWA, on the west coast, yes.
BUFFINGTON: Right. To....
WINSOR: And there's one down in...Transworld Radio down in Swaziland.
BUFFINGTON: Right, right.
WINSOR: There was one....
BUFFINGTON: They did broadcast eastward.
WINSOR: Yeah, east and north. There was one in the...the Lutheran one in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. That's been taken over by the present government. But we do have...we have a lot of radio and television in Kenya, but it's on the national station. But we are given...they're given free time and asked to provide...
BUFFINGTON: Some programs?
WINSOR: ...daily programs, so that there's a hundred programs a week or something of that size. A month, I should say.
WINSOR: And they have a broadcasting studio in Kijabe. You know that name, I know.
BUFFINGTON: Right. Oh yes. What type...? [laughs] We still have a little bit left. [Refers to tape]
WINSOR: Not quite, but pretty close.
BUFFINGTON: The government officials in the local area...what...who did you work with closely? Who was your immediate representative? What political structure...governmental structure did you...?
WINSOR: Governmental structure. A governor general for the whole country. This is Nat...this is Belgian.... Provincial governor, provincial capital...governor, of which there were four, district commissaries, which, if you want provincial setup, there might be eight or ten, territorial administrators in each district, of which there might be eight or ten and then under the territorial administrator, his subagents in local posts around the country.
BUFFINGTON: So they were just....
WINSOR: And then, under them, the native chiefs, because they were a recognized part...
BUFFINGTON: They were?
WINSOR: ...of the administration.
BUFFINGTON: They were.
WINSOR: And still are.
BUFFINGTON: Under the national government?
WINSOR: Under the national government.
BUFFINGTON: I see.
WINSOR: The national government has changed...changed the territorial organizations, increased the number of provinces and altered some of the number of districts. The territories, I think, have not changed so much and the chieftaincies are pretty much the old customary ones, from what I hear. Well, that may be where you got to....
BUFFINGTON: And now we may really got to call this the....
END OF TAPE