Fountain stays in Adderley St

2016-02-23 06:00
 The Lightfoot Memorial Fountain is set to remain at Trafalgar Place in Adderley Street and will undergo restoration later this year. PHOTO: nicole mccain

The Lightfoot Memorial Fountain is set to remain at Trafalgar Place in Adderley Street and will undergo restoration later this year. PHOTO: nicole mccain

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The Lightfoot Memorial Fountain is set to stay at Trafalgar Place, although its restoration will still go ahead.

This after ward councillor Dave Bryant applied to have the fountain refurbished and moved to the Company’s Garden (“Vandalised memorial to be moved”, People’s Post, 9 December 2014).

The Lightfoot Memorial Fountain stands in honour of Archdeacon Thomas Lightfoot (1831-1904), a missionary and well-respected member of early Cape Town, who was renowned for his work with the poor.

He worked with all races and cultural groups across the city, and championed changes to a law which prevented non-whites from entering the Company’s Garden promenade unless they were suitably attired.

Following his death, a memorial in the shape of a drinking fountain was unveiled in his honour in Trafalgar Place, near the Adderley Street flower sellers, in 1907.

The 3m high fountain is made almost entirely of rare red Verona marble and is a copy of one in the market place in Verona, Italy, created in the 14th century.

Since its installation, the memorial has become extremely weathered and many of the features have been stolen or vandalised.

Bryant proposed that its location was not as suitable as when the fountain was first installed, as there was no longer a working water source and foot traffic around the memorial had decreased significantly.

But an investigation by City officials has found the statue has a significant heritage link to the Adderley Street flower sellers. It has now been recommended that the fountain remain at the site after it is restored.

Johan van der Merwe, Mayco member for energy, environmental and spatial planning, says the location was chosen because the large buildings that flanked it enhanced the beauty of the fountain and the proximity to the flower sellers, would ensure that it was of the most benefit to the people.

“The flower sellers are therefore very attached to the memorial, as they have been close to the memorial for 109 years,” he says.

The restoration of the memorial will begin in the second half of this year.

“The City of Cape Town has been and will be responsible for the memorial. We view this project as part of our tangible commitment to redress through the celebration of our diversity,” he says.

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