Dundee ready to mark 130 years since Isandlwana

2009-01-13 00:00

Dundee is gearing up for the influx of visitors expected for the commemoration of the 130th anniversary of the battles of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift during the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879.

The commemoration programme runs from January 16 to 25 and includes re-enactments, tours and a conference on the war, featuring several international scholars.

This Saturday the Natal Carbineers will exercise their right to the Freedom of Dundee with a march-past along with other invited regiments. A re-enactment of the battle of Isandlwana will be staged by the Dundee Diehards and Zulu warriors at the Oval. The day ends with the Commemoration Ball at the Battlefields Country Lodge.

“We have quite a few people coming from overseas, including the Second Welsh Regiment,” said Decima Jones of Endumeni Tourism, Dundee. “They will be playing rugby and soccer matches against the local clubs.”

Among the speakers at the one-day conference on Monday, January 19 are John Laband, professor of History at Wilfred Laurier University in Canada, and British military historian Damian O’Connor.

Other speakers include Mark Coghlan, historian with KZN Provincial Museum and Heritage Services, Major Edric Pascoe, acting commanding officer of the Natal Carbineers, and Martin Everett, curator of the Royal Welsh Museum, Brecon, Wales. The conference will be opened by Mangosuthu Buthelezi who will make a presentation to Nicky Rattray in recognition of her late husband David’s contribution to Zulu culture.

On January 22, the 130th anniversary of the battles, there will be wreath-laying ceremonies at Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift.

The commemoration is rounded off by the David Rattray Memorial Half- marathon from Isandlwana to Rorke’s Drift on Saturday and a Moth parade at Rorke’s Drift on Sunday.

For more information contact Endumeni Tourism, Dundee, telephone: 034 212 2121 Ext 2262; e-mail: info@tourdundee.co.za or visit the website www.tourdundee.co.za.

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