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Picture of the Day 06/09

1994 –  Jeri and Carl Baloney were in South Africa helping to train the Black residents there to assume leadership positions. The 60 undertakers Carl Baloney taught were the first Blacks to be trained and licensed in the techniques and theory of embalming. Like many other jobs licensed mortuary positions were restricted under the apartheid system to white physicians until changes  in the country’s constitution opened up opportunities for the country’s majority Black population.

While there, Baloney met President Nelson Mandela.  It was a chance meeting as Baloney was attempted to photograph the President’s estranged wife.

“I went over and shook his hand and introduced myself,” Baloney said. “It was incredible. After that I was ready to come home.”

Baloney spoke with one of the president’s aides and later received an invitation to visit Mandela in July at the leader’s official residence.

The complete story is in the April – June 1994 bound volume at the L’OBSERVATTEUR office