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Friday, April 29, 2016 - 12:33

Last month we published an article from the Restorica archives where the author spoke about the power of excursions to heritage sites to inspire the youth (click here to read). We are sure most readers can remember at least one phenomenal trip during their childhood that has left an impact to this day. Over the last few weeks we have been sent some wonderful stories and photographs of recent adventures.

The stand out submission came from Holly Muggeridge from Riverview Prep School in Malalane. Teachers from the school arranged a visit for Grade 4 and 5 pupils to the landmark Samora Machel Monument and Museum near Mbuzini (commemorating the air crash that killed the Mozambican President, top government officials and Soviet airmen in 1986). Muggeridge was so moved by the experience and the explanation of the Monument’s design and symbolism that as soon as she arrived home she set about building a scale model. This was not part of an assignment set by teachers but a spontaneous reaction to what she had seen and felt on the trip. She also experimented with various sounds for a video recreating the wailing sound that the Monument makes when the wind blows (architect José Forjaz placed small holes in the steel tubes to create this sound). If this wasn’t enough Muggeridge turned from artist and director to journalist, recording how her fellow students had experienced the outing. It is truly amazing to see how the excursion acted as a catalyst for a creative explosion that we are sure Muggeridge will remember for years to come.


Muggeridge vists the Samora Machel Monument


Scale Model of the Monument


Another trip worth mentioning was a plaque, grave and book hunting excursion in Sandton for Grade 8 pupils at International Pre-University College (IPC). Pupils stumbled across one of the oldest structures in Sandton, found graves at the Driefontein farmhouse, hunted for the plaques at the Little Church in the Pines and Norscot Manor respectively and finished by buying a history book for reading over the school holidays. It appears as though the impact of the trip was quite profound. One student asked for a list of all the good book stores in Johannesburg (she finished her recently purchased book in just two days). Another has gone grave hunting in her area and compiled a five-page history of her family which was not part of any school project. We have even heard that one of the pupils has been nagging his parents to go plaque hunting while the family is on holiday in Durban!


Grave hunting at Driefontein Farmhouse


Reading the blue plaque at Norscot Manor


The energy and excitement shown by school children from Malalane to Sandton bodes well for the future and reinforces the power of heritage sites to inspire passion and creativity. If you have stories from your childhood or from a recent trip please share them with us - admin@theheritageportal.co.za



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