Master Builder

Master Builder

Bro Huub Welter mhm, Cameroon

To say that he is still firing on all cylinders may be a slight exaggeration, but at age 75 thoughts of retirement are still far removed from Brother Huub Welters' mind.

"I'll continue for another three years here in Cameroon", he says confidently.

He is an eminent representative of a rapidly shrinking breed: the Mill Hill Missionary brothers. Mostly operating in the background away from the limelight missionary brothers in the past often made their own invaluable contribution to the work of evangelization by helping to build the necessary infrastructure, serving in a host of different capacities.

Theirs was a lifelong missionary commitment, accepting to be 'devoured'. In some quarters there is a renewed awareness and acknowledgment of the value of such long term missionary involvement in an age of predominantly short term volunteering.

Brother Huub Welters mhm perfectly fits this characterization. In the span of more than 50 years of loving service he has put his considerable talents at the service of the local Church in Anglophone Cameroon. Architect, builder, fund raiser, accountant, administrator, legal advisor, pastoral worker, teacher – the list of his varied involvements is extensive.

Henry Kang, Huub Welters

On a recent visit to the Mill Hill missionaries in Anglophone Cameroon I accept his invitation to come and see some of his building projects in Ilung and Njinikom. Together with his Cameroonian assistant and right hand man, Henry Kang, we visit

several schools, a hospital, multipurpose halls in outstations.

I come away hugely impressed both with the thought that has gone into the design as with the solidity and care of execution.

Huub talks a mile a minute when he takes me around the various sites. His has good reason to be proud. The number of buildings which carry his signature is impressive. To mention but the most prestigious: The design for St Joseph's Cathedral, Bamenda, came from his drawing table.

But buildings and architectural design are not his only interest.

For many years Bro Huub worked in close and supportive cooperation with Fr Jaap Nielen mhm. This led to a variety of pastoral engagements. He has fascinating stories to tell of how, when visiting local prisons, he was instrumental in getting persons who were falsely accused off the hook. Leading prayer services in the absence of a priest was also part of his brief, as was hospital visitation. Clearly he is no stranger to multitasking.

At the end of a long day’s tour he observes with a touching sense of balance:

"This is enough now. I have shown you enough of my own work. There are many others who have done as much, if not more than I have".

Fons Eppink mhm

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