In Memory of John Killick

The Society of Malawi would like to remember the life of John Killick who passed away peacefully on 12th May 2020, at Newlands Homes, Malawi.

John Killick was a stalwart member of the Society and ran many walks. He served on the committee from 1986 to 1990. John arrived in Malawi in 1952 with his wife Anne. He was based for many years at the Fort Lister Gap, above Phalombe in Mulanje district, where he was an agricultural adviser.

Blantyre will surely remember and miss him.

Here is a tribute coming from his friend, Wolfgang Daehne, which we are glad to be able to share with you albeit late.

To the Friends of John around the World:

It is with deep regrets and a sad duty to inform you that our dear and respected friend John Killick has passed away at Newlands Homes in Blantyre, Malawi, this morning. John’s youngest son, Richard Killick, phoned me from the U.K. with the sad news. I promised Richard that I would assist by informing everyone that I have a valid email-address of. John is survived by his wife Anne, who is a resident at Newlands Homes.

To John’s other two sons, Professor David Killick in Arizona, and Peter Killick in Brussels, I herewith extend my deep sympathy. Richard told me that unfortunately none of you will be able to attend the funeral services in Malawi due to the virus-lockdown. Richard mentioned that John’s ashes will be buried at Newlands cemetery. Part of the ashes will be forwarded to him in the U.K.

For most of us John was the Mulanje Mountain companion. On many occasions during the 1970’s John was our MMC tour-leader who took us up to the various huts on the mountain, often taking one of his famous shortcuts…. Sadly so, John was unable to visit his beloved mountain in recent years due to his failing eye-sight.

It was kind of a mischievous habit of his to leave behind on some of the peaks he had climbed (and had climbed all of them – many several times) one of his worn-out takkies, which on occasions we would find there. “Ah, John has been here …”. He was unrelenting when it came to keep his mountain clean. He would pick up sweets-wrappers someone had carelessly dropped on the path – his worn out plimsolls were the one and only exception! … and, whilst we are on, those worn out takkies of his.

Here comes the Mulanje Mountain story I shall always remember John for:

I think it was in 1974 when our party met at Sombani-Hut with a party John Killick was taking down to Fort Lister parking lot. As we descended, about half way down that path, I noticed little white powdery marks on the track. When we all took a break I mentioned these white markings, asking if anyone was losing something from his backpack. “Oh, I think that’s me, my soup-pack must have bust”, John Killick commented. Everyone watched in bewilderment as he unlaced his takkie and pulled out a pack of “Rhoyco” soup powder from which the remainder now poured onto the ground. He turned his shoe, it had a big hole in the sole and John had fixed it – his way. I think even the “small people” across on Mchisi Mountain, on the other side of the valley, heard the roaring laughter of about a dozen people…..

John, we shall remember you whenever Mulanje Mountain is mentioned!

Cheers, Wolfgang
Wolfgang Daehne, Heschredder 76, 22335 Hamburg/Germany