Learn the local seas at clubhouse

2016-02-23 06:00
George Hendrie, chairperson of the Ship Society of South Africa, points to a fictional flag created for one of the society’s models on display at its clubhouse in the harbour.  PHOTO: Louisa Steyl

George Hendrie, chairperson of the Ship Society of South Africa, points to a fictional flag created for one of the society’s models on display at its clubhouse in the harbour. PHOTO: Louisa Steyl

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Did you know that the fountain at the end of Adderley Street used to be at the end of the harbour’s pier? How about the fact that the harbour’s current container basin was built using sand pumped from Flamingo Vlei?

These are just some of the facts you’ll learn during a short visit to the Ship Society of South Africa.

Focused on preserving the maritime heritage of Cape Town, the society has become a place for people interested in the shipping world to share and learn.

The society’s chairperson, George Hendrie, explains that the group was started in 1953.

The society slowly evolved until the 1970s when it became instrumental in saving the Waterfront’s Clock Tower, which was the society’s museum.

While the maritime museum, which used to be in the building where the Waterfront’s Watershed is now, was closed down some time ago, the society’s clubhouse in the harbour, opposite the cruise terminal, houses boat models, posters and maritime literature from around the world.

Only one of its models is housed at the Maritime Centre in the old Union Castle building.

Many of the models were made by shipping companies.

“Quite a few of these started out life in shop windows for the travel agents in the old days.”

Many Ship Society members, like Hendrie himself, are former seamen, but others haven’t been to sea.

“They’re just interested in ships and shipping; that’s what it’s all about.”

The members meet every Thursday evening for screenings of maritime documentaries and films and once a month they try to present a guest speaker. Visitors are welcome to join in at a cost of R25.

Occasionally the society arranges ship visits – from cruise liners to dredgers. They even visited Cape Town International Airport’s control tower recently.

The clubhouse is also open on Saturdays from 16:00, when visitors can come and chat to the members and learn more about Cape Town’s shipping world. Hendrie says he’d prefer maritime enthusiasts to see what they do before signing up as a member.V For more information contact Hendrie on 072 647 7944 or geolesh@telkomsa.net or Pat Downing on 072 603 5904, 021 557 5519 or patdowning@telkomsa.net.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.