By: Roy Merritt
No missionary family spent more of their lives and energy at Namwianga Mission than Alvin and Georgia Hobby.
They lived in one of the small houses near the school at first, then I understand that A.B. Reese built this house for them. As far as I know, they are the only family to have lived here.
The main road from Kalomo split right in front of the house, so that then you drove into Namwianga the house dominated your view, its high roof and arched window making it look like a cathedral. It was my favourite house at Namwianga.
It was built cheaply because to the severe economics of the time, and so became infested with termites. It stood abandoned after Hobbys went to USA to study nursing in the late 1950s, and was torn down a few years later.
Alvin Hobby loved astronomy, and hand-made the mirrors for two telescopes he constructed from scratch. Below is the larger one he made, with a ten-inch mirror, I believe. The only times I have ever seen the rings of Saturn, the red spot on Jupiter, the clouds of Venus or the mountains of the moon were when I had my eye to one of Alvin’s telescopes.
Both Alvin and Georgia were master teachers. Literally thousands of young Africans sat in their classes and managed to claim good jobs because of the hard work and dedication of this dedicated, hard-working couple.
Alvin has gone on to his reward. Georgia, here with her three oldest children, is in a nursing home in Little Rock, Arkansas. She is nearing 100 years old, and her mind is just as sharp as I remember it being when she taught me how to play the flute back about 1950.