Make Curries Fountain a national monument

2010-01-23 00:00

CURRIES Fountain stadium could soon be declared a national monument to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Indians arriving in South Africa.

This is one of the plans by Cosatu to pay tribute to the Indians who arrived in 1860 and helped shape the country.

The trade union said that it would be significant if the sports stadium were made a national monument because it was a venue where Indians played soccer and where Cosatu was born in 1985.

Sadtu chairman and Cosatu member Chris Ndlela addressed the council and members of the 1860 Commemoration Council at a meeting earlier this week.

He said that Cosatu will hold a meeting with the council and hopes that the stadium will be declared a national monument by November.

At the meeting, the council also suggested that the 106-metre-high arch at the Moses Mabhida Stadium be inscribed with a tribute to the Indian community.

“Remembering, Reflecting, respecting, the 1860 Indentured Labourers” are the words being suggested.

1860 Commemoration Council spokesman Seelan Achary welcomed the decision to declare the stadium a national monument.

“It’s a wonderful tribute to both Cosatu and the Indian community. We are extremely excited as Curries Fountain was a mecca for Indian soccer players and the home of Cosatu,” he said.

Achary said that May Day celebrations will take place at the stadium this year.

“The president will attend the function, which will incorporate our anniversary celebrations. We are hoping to attract a huge Indian crowd,” he said.

On the proposed stadium inscription, Achary said it would be great if the council approved the inscription before November 16.

“It might not be feasible to do this before the World Cup. We hope that this can be done before November. The arch is an iconic feature in South Africa, so it would great to have a tribute engraved on it,” he said.

Other events during the anniversary celebrations include a sari competition, art exhibitions, prayer services, a film festival and several sports events.

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