Remember removals

2018-09-18 06:01
The Phoenix Committee planning the 50th commemoration of Slangkop, back from left: Elizabeth Petersen, Shakiena Meyer, Rodeny Adams, Mary Clayton and Richard Clark. Middle: Valerie Charles, Joan Orgill, Geraldine Charles and Janet Cartwright. Second row: Patsy Adams, Patty Arendse and Heather Carlson. In front: Mary Kindo and Suzette Farmer.

The Phoenix Committee planning the 50th commemoration of Slangkop, back from left: Elizabeth Petersen, Shakiena Meyer, Rodeny Adams, Mary Clayton and Richard Clark. Middle: Valerie Charles, Joan Orgill, Geraldine Charles and Janet Cartwright. Second row: Patsy Adams, Patty Arendse and Heather Carlson. In front: Mary Kindo and Suzette Farmer.

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The 50th anniversary of the establishment of Slangkop, now known as Ocean View, when residents in Simon’s Town were forcibly removed, will be commemorated on Sunday 29 September.

A planning committee, the Simon’s Town Phoenix Committee in Ocean View, has been established to plan this event and is chaired by Suzette Farmer.

“We are affiliated to the Simon’s Town Museum and the members are from the former community that was forcibly removed from Simon’s Town, e.g. Cardiff Road, Klein Vishoek, Dido Valley, Waterfall Flats, Mount Pleasant and Red Hill,” says Farmer.

“We collect photographs, memorabilia, death pamphlets of the deceased and artefacts for the Simon’s Town Museum’s expanding exhibitions and archives. We also collect any history of the town of former years to reconnect the community with the other areas they were displaced from.

“The areas that we cover to gather the history are Simon’s Town, Glencairn, Dido Valley, Seaforth, Miller’s Point and Red Hill but we included the other areas Noordhoek, Sunnydale, Ou Kaapse Weg, Sun Valley and Witsand,” Farmer says.

In 1996 the late Albert Thomas, late Peter Clark, late Herbert Levendal, late Vernie Wessels, Cathy Salter Jansen (Simon’s Town Museum curator), Janet Cartwright and Rocky Roberts started reconnecting former residents with the museum in order to preserve the history of the Simon’s Town people.

“We are a non-profit organisation, established in 1996, and if sponsors or donors would join us in commemorating the birthday they can contact the museum or committee. Initially the residents in Ocean View were apprehensive in what we were doing and hopefully they will help with exhibiting the history of the community,” Farmer explains­.

“September is Heritage Month and what better way to celebrate the community’s heritage than to exhibit the true history of the community?

“The forced removals impacted heavily on the disposed communities who were forced to settle in Slangkop, now Ocean View. The committee assists the museum in ensuring that the visual displays are a true reflection of history, especially the history of our very diverse community that goes back generations. We need to assist the staff of the museum to collect photographs, memorabilia and artefacts for exhibitions, displays and archives,” Farmer says.

The committee will also assist the museum by initiating projects and promoting the museum and the heritage of Simon’s Town.

“We would also develop partnerships with government, tourist groups and other structures. All the history that has been preserved so far, was done with very little funding. Being part of the planning committee for the 50th celebration of Ocean View, we want the community of Ocean View to be part of our event on Sunday 29 September.

“We know this is a touchy subject but I believe we should not be forgotten, because some people that were moved still get emotional when they talk about what happened back in the day. We, as the Phoenix Committee, wants to share the stories and don’t want to allow our history or memories to be washed away. We want people to reconnect again and to heal – although they might have forgiven they will not forget,” Farmer says.

She says she can identify with the pain of other displaced persons because her parents were forcibly removed from Glencairn and Noordhoek in 1968 when she was born.

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