Heritage Forum launched

2018-06-19 06:00
Attending the first meeting to launch the Heritage Forum are back from left: Christoffel Smalberger (City of Cape Town), Stuart Thompson (Lakeside Residents’ Association), Commander Leon Steyn (Simon’s Town Navy Museum), Daniel Blaauw, Melodie Morrisand, Chris Taylor (Muizenberg Historical), Keith Edwards (Metrorail), Derek Stuart-Findlay (Kalk Bay Historical) and Eddie Wessels (Simon’s Town Museum). Front: Sally Britten (Fish Hoek Valley Museum), Megan Cross (MIitoDS), Warrant Officer Lungiswa Nxele and Suzette Farmer (Police Museum).

Attending the first meeting to launch the Heritage Forum are back from left: Christoffel Smalberger (City of Cape Town), Stuart Thompson (Lakeside Residents’ Association), Commander Leon Steyn (Simon’s Town Navy Museum), Daniel Blaauw, Melodie Morrisand, Chris Taylor (Muizenberg Historical), Keith Edwards (Metrorail), Derek Stuart-Findlay (Kalk Bay Historical) and Eddie Wessels (Simon’s Town Museum). Front: Sally Britten (Fish Hoek Valley Museum), Megan Cross (MIitoDS), Warrant Officer Lungiswa Nxele and Suzette Farmer (Police Museum).

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The first Heritage Forum for Southern Peninsula was launched on Tuesday 12 June in Pinehaven.

The meeting was chaired by Glenn Babb from the Muizenberg Historical Conservation Society and the aim of the launch cooperation and joint action for bodies that guard over the heritage of this part of Cape Town.

“We would like to see the Southern Peninsula becoming a destination in its own right. This will mean we shall distribute information which will attract visitors and give publicity to the gamut of opportunites. This will be further stimulated by Prasa/Metrorail taking a proactive stand to bring groups here by train. We also look forward to bringing this information to the attention of visitors on the Hop-on-hop-off buses using this route,” Babb said.

At present it is an informal grouping wanting to pool resources, keep open communications and carry out joint ventures, especially in receiving tour groups arranged in collaboration with Metrorail.

“We are setting up an internet platform to distribute the information about the deep South in collaboration with one another.

“This area is rich in history stretching back to pre-historic times and has been neglected in the promotion of the wonders of Cape Town – we would like it to become a destination in its own right so that the wealth of information, from the cave dwellers in Peers Cave, the naval history of the best bay in the South, the Philippine fishermen who lived in Kalk Bay, the Battle of Muizenberg and the Randlord villas in St James and Muizenberg can be appreciated, studied and bruited abroad,” he said.

According to Babb there are different projects that he envisages that will help with the promotion of the heritage sites.

“Firstly, spreading knowledge about the South Peninsula’s heritage, secondly opening our archives and sharing documents, films and videos, thirdly, joining together to arrange, for instance, the run from Simon’s Town to Muizenberg to match the British march from the harbour to Muizenberg for the Battle of Muizenberg in 1795, and fourthly, involving students such as the tourism students from South Peninsula College in our ventures. There are many more adventures still to be defined,” he said.

The reason Metrorail/Prasa is part of the venture, is because the railway runs through all of the suburbs where the heritage bodies are situated.

“Metrorail is trying to be proactive in bringing groups – women in tourism, pensioners, learners and veterans – to our areas. The Southern Peninsula is a must for a first time visitor.

“Tourists can start with the field where the first airmail delivery took place in Muizenberg. Het Posthuys, the oldest building on the False Bay coast (1673), the cannons, the site of the Battle of Muizenberg, the Police museum, Rhodes Cottage, Kalk Bay fishing harbour, the Fish Hoek museum with its depiction of the palaeontological development of the area, the Dido Valley and War Graves Commission cemeteries, the Scratch Patch for semi-precious stones, the SA Navy Museum, the Simon’s Town Heritage Museum for Muslim history, Jubilee Square – a trajectory which follows the milestones placed all along Main and Victoria Road from Greenmarket Square by Governor Lord Somerset. This is a few sites that I can suggest the tourists can visit but there are many more,” Babb said.

Representatives of the Muizenberg Historical Conservation Society, Metrorail, Kalk Bay Historical, Simon’s Town Museum, Fish Hoek Valley Museum, the Police Museum and Lakeside Residents’ Association attended the meeting. The next meeting will be in August.

V Call Glenn on 021 788 7069 for more information.

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