DEDICATION OF PRINCE MAKONNEN HOSPITAL
It was Our preoccupation that Our son, Prince Makonnen, after he had reached his maturity, would have lived to dedicate his life to the service of Our people.
The Ethiopian people will pursue the responsibility of seeing this project completed.
It is a truism that man is mortal, but his achievements during his brief sojourn are vital both for the history he leaves behind him and the benefits derived therefrom by posterity.
This is illustrated by the fact that we are able to meet the demands of our time primarily because our ancestors, besides transmitting to us the benefits of tradition, had shed their blood to safeguard the independence and territorial integrity of our nation.
In this era modern methods, thoughts and ideas have superseded the old ways; but because of our tradition we have been able to move with the rhythm of the times and still maintain our sense of proportion. Although much has been devoted to attain the harmonious welding of the old and the new in a manner acceptable to all – the old, the young and future generations – much still remains to be accomplished. Who would not be pleased to see his baby born as a five or ten years old youngster? But this is contrary to nature’s plan.
That the results of our consuming efforts for the prosperity of Ethiopia and the improvement of the standard of Our people should be five or ten times greater would afford Us the greatest satisfaction. Since, however, progress must proceed by stages, it is with a great degree of gratification that We witness the standard of growth and development made by Our people.
It is a mark of pride that we can recall today some of the many sacrifices made in the interest and general welfare of Our people. Hence, when they decided to dedicate a monument in Our honour as a gesture of their love for Us We proposed instead the establishment of a University, and, subsequently, laid the cornerstone for that institution on this site.
Monument To Posterity
We later bestowed for the youth of Ethiopia the property inherited from Our father for that project, so that, in conjunction with the contribution made by Our people this will facilitate the establishment of the University which will live for posterity as a monument both in Our name and in theirs.
It was Our preoccupation that Our son, Prince Makonnen, after he had reached his maturity, would have lived to dedicate his life to the service of Our people. But since God’s reasoning differs from that of man, he died prematurely. Not content to share, as they have done so equally, in Our’s and his Mother’s grief, the people of their own free will have donated money for the erection of a Memorial Hospital in the Duke’s honour.
As Kantiba Zewde Gabre Hiwot has explained, a substantial part of the contributions has come equally from foreign friends of Ethiopia, a fact that illustrates the love that the Ethiopian people has won abroad.
Man, during his lifetime, is usually absorbed with the problems of his existence, in which both the material and spiritual phases complement each other. We have extended much effort in building the moral strength of our people which, with God’s help is succeeding.
Even though We dedicate this hospital to Prince Makonnen, it is the people of Ethiopia that will benefit from its services – those who have contributed and those who have not. We cherish the hope that whether We are present or not the Ethiopian people will pursue the responsibility of seeing this project completed.
We thank the Board for what you have done. Continue your effort with the same earnestness. It is only with God’s will that man can reach his ends. May He continue to bestow His assistance for the accomplishment of this Memorial Hospital.
We express Our gratitude to Our entire people and to those foreign friends who have contributed so generously to this welfare fund.
Nov. 8, 1961
Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie - page 545 -