BISHOP C. EDWARD CROWTHER is a man of conviction- and he has had to pay for it.
In June, 1967, the South African Government deported him “in the public interest”.
And at present he is on $25 bail over incidents during a 20-minute sit-in at the Pentagon in Washington in November, 1969.
Now Bishop Crowther, 42, a British-born American citizen, is visiting Australia to try to stop the Springbok rugby team visiting Australia.
Bishop Crowther is assistant bishop at the Episcopal Diocese in California, where he lives with his wife, Margaret, a son, 15, and daughters 13 and 11.
Wearing the small black and white badge of ACCORD (Australian Citizens’ Committee Opposing Racial Discrimination) on his black clerical suit- and having taken his shoes off to relax- the bishop yesterday explained his mission in life.
“There are things I must protest about in this world- and I won’t be quietened,” he said. “Things like the proposed South African rugby team visit, which is crucial to the whole question of racism and apartheid.
“I want people to be aware of what their acceptance of the team here implies.
“It implies acceptance of the South African way of life, a life that dehumanises the black man and leaves him living in misery, ignorance, poverty and without a vote.
“And by accepting the while players here, Australia is in great danger of accepting implicit racism.
“For racism is an infectious disease and must be wiped out before the whole world dies of it.”
Bishop Crowther suggested “It is not too late to withdraw your invitation.
“And I implore your country to do just that,” he said.
“if they come, then I suggest you picket and demonstrate against them wherever they are and let them live in the tight security in which their black neighbours live in South Africa.
“Australia is one of the few countries South Africa can call a friend.
“They send their sportsmen out here to act as ambassadors.
“And in a similar fashion, your tennis player, Evonne Goolagong, will go there and be treated well.
“I hope she declines the invitation , as I would hate to see her used, perhaps abused, like a verbal vegetable.”
Bishop Crowther will leave Australia next Tuesday for New Zealand.