Nelson Mandela's legacy will live on after he helped save Bhaktivedanta Manor, Aldenham temple

Borehamwood Times: Mr Ward travelled to South Africa to garner Mandela's support Mr Ward travelled to South Africa to garner Mandela's support

He might have lived thousands of miles away – but Nelson Mandela’s legacy will live on in Aldenham, where he helped save a Hindu temple from closure.

Bhaktivedanta Manor, in Hillfield Lane, Aldenham, was on the brink of shutting down in 1995 – but the South African leader vowed to do all in his power to ensure it stayed open.

Mandela wrote a letter to then British Prime Minister John Major pleading with him to step in and take action.

The man behind it was Frank Ward, former vice chairman of the Hare Krishna Temple Defence Movement, who travelled to South Africa with the sole intention of getting the late president’s support.

Mandela died last week at the age of 95 after a long illness – but Mr Ward joined hundreds around the world in paying tribute to him.

The 75-year-old, of Mildred Avenue, Borehamwood, said: “This wonderful human being was opposed to injustice in any form.

“President Mandela was incredulous about any attempt to close down a public place of worship in the UK.

“During his lifetime, he cherished and promoted the belief in a democratic society within each nation of the world, where people would live together in peace, harmony and equality – regardless of colour, creed or religion.”

Now chairman of Borehamwood UKIP, Mr Ward believes he is the only man in Hertfordshire who travelled to South Africa to meet Mandela in person.

In paying tribute to Mandela, The International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKON) said: “We join the world in mourning and paying tribute to the foremost human rights icon of current times.

“We offer our condolences to the Mandela family and to the entire South African nation.”

Sruti Dharma-Das, temple president, said: “Nelson Mandela was extremely helpful in the process of getting the manor recognised as an important place of worship back in the campaign days.

“He fully supported religious cultural freedom for everyone.”

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