Birthday Wishes from friends for Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s 90th Birthday

Oct 15, 2021
Iconic PR
Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Photograph by Hattie Miles
We would like to thank everyone for their birthday wishes. Here are a collection of some we have received.

Dear Archbishop 

It is a great pleasure for me and Elita to wish you a most happy 90th birthday on 7 October!  

Thank you for the enormous role that you played in helping to build a better and fairer non-racial South Africa during the long and difficult years of struggle. Thank you for the manner in which you kept the flame of humanity alive even during the darkest days - and for your courage in criticising injustice - irrespective of who the perpetrators and the victims were.

I pray with you - and with all people of goodwill - that we may one day be able to make your vision of "the rainbow people of God" a reality for all our people.

God bless you - and God bless our beloved country, South Africa!

FW and Elita de Klerk


Dear Archbishop Desmond

Birthday greetings from the community at Southwark Cathedral. Every time we sit in the Tutu Room and see your picture hanging there we remember with joy your many visits and life-changing sermons.  God bless you.


The Very Revd Andrew Nunn

Dean of Southwark


Dear Arch 

You have been and continue to be such an inspiration to so many of us. In a world which has turned its back on so many of the values you stand for, you remain a beacon of integrity, social justice, human rights and equal opportunity for all.  But we could all do with much more of your infectious bubbling joy and mischief.  

Do please with Leah and the family enjoy your 90th and very best wishes for the future from Elizabeth and I.


Lord Peter Hain


Dear Archbishop Desmond,

Birthday greetings from the Diocese of Southwark where you are much loved and esteemed by us all especially your many friends in South London and East Surrey.

Be sure of our prayers, as ever in Christ,  

Christopher Chessun 

Bishop of Southwark 


Desmond: I send you greetings from the UK on the occasion of your 90th birthday. You have been an inspiration to all those who believe in the principles of social justice – fairness, equality, respect, recognition - and act on those values, despite the personal cost. Go on speaking truth to power. Best wishes to you and Leah and many more years of happiness and action.

Gary Craig

Professor of Social Justice


Dear Arch Desmond

Janet and I send much love  on your birthday.We treasure fond memories of your 75th in Cape Town when we hosted you and dearest Leah at your  Birthday Party at the High Commissioners Residence in Bishopscourt.

Janet only wishes that she could  be with you to prepare your favourite Rum and Raisin ice cream as she did then and sends you a big virtual hug.

I hold too always in my mind the service we shared with Archbishop  Hurley at Regina Mundi in Soweto at the height of the State of Emergency in 1988 when I brought you a message of solidarity from the World Council of Churches.Much has happened since then but you remain a timeless source of joy wisdom and inspiration in the on going struggle for Justice and Gods  Kingdom.

Have a wonderful day


The Rt Hon the Lord Boateng PC DL

Chairman of the Church of England's Archbishops Commission for Racial Justice and formerly Vice Moderator of the WCC,s Programme to Combat Racism and Her Majesty's High Commissioner to South Africa.


Dear Arch Desmond

On your birthday, as on every day, you are a beacon in a troubled world.

You have been a beacon in my life since I first interviewed you in 1974 and the sub-editors captured your spirit with the headline: the Diminutive Bishop who Packs a Mighty Punch. 

You did it again in Cape Town when you went out in front of the protest marches in the early 1990's to represent those who were silenced; to be a voice of the voiceless.

You cried on our behalf when you witnessed the horror of necklace killings in the mid-1980's.

When there.was a bomb scare in the Aula in Oslo when you received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 your tell-tale laugh rang out when you saw us journalists being the last to file out of the hallowed hall. 

You wept for us so many times when you bore the brunt of such harrowing tales at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

You stood back as you promised you would, when the liberation leaders were freed and you could return full-time to the ministry.

You erected a beacon of hope and human decency to counteract the inevitable tidal wave of the past which threatened to overwhelm the Rainbow Nation.

And when the new leaders showed some of the characteristics of old, you issued a dire warning: "Watch out". Just as you had done to the apartheid leaders two decades earlier. 

You communicated to the world your message of peace and love. And you inspired the youth with your transcendental.message of hope and infinite human potential.

In paying tribute to the late Nelson Mandela you magnified the silence in a packed Westminster Abbey in 2014 by delivering your key message in a whisper. 

You helped us laugh at ourselves and showed us through your example how to love one another.

You humbled us. Now we want to show you and Leah our love and appreciation as you reach your 90th.

May your spirit and your presence reign for ever.

May your special day reflect the wisdom and love that permeate your life. 

John Battersby.