Below are a few news items and development updates from the Muizenberg Historical Conservation Society:
The developers of the new building to be built on the footprint of the notorious peppermint palace opposite the station which has been an eyesore and a slum for more than thirty years, have now almost sold a quantity of apartments that will allow them to proceed with the next step – demolition. We have proposed, because of the local community’s long-standing frustration with the snail’s pace of progress, that we celebrate by mounting our cannons opposite the building and firing sponges with paint onto the peppermint palace’s walls, that the community come with paint to put final graffiti on its walls and pelt it with tomatoes (rotten). The mayor has been invited to this fest and the joy will be rounded off with bugles and music and snacks. The arrangements are still in preparation and the Committee will notify you of the chosen date.
After a decade of seeking permission from PRASA, our plans to renovate and repair the iconic station clock and tower are coming to fruition. After the publication in the Sunday Times of an article “Red tape leaves ticked-off Muizenberg stuck in the past”, the regional manager of PRASA, Moseli Ntsiki, contacted me for a meeting and the Committee came to an agreement with him as to our plans and our access to the necessary expertise and horologist. Included in our understanding is the restoring of the teak tower and applying the correct marine varnish to the wood. Authorisation by PRASA will then be given. We shall be sending him the memorandum once the costing has been completed.
The Society would be very glad if you could make a contribution to the expenses by donating (with reference: Clock Tower) to: Muizenberg Historical Conservation Society, Current Account: 4054583634 at ABSA bank.
Using the Society’s facilities for the community and for gain: Rhodes Cottage and Het Posthuys
The Society is opening a coffee shop at Rhodes Cottage in the caretaker’s flat 246 Main Road, Muizenberg which will brew Ugandan, Ethiopian and Kenyan coffee, rooibos tea and provide muffins and scones – some tables will be available on the terrace lawn as well so that customers can enjoy the unique view over Kalk Bay. We would appreciate your support and custom.
As you know, we recently hosted a book launch at Rhodes Cottage (which we manage on behalf of the City Council) and the facilities proved excellent for the occasion. We are convinced that this facility lends itself to use for weddings, dinners and talks and we invite interested parties to make contact with the Chairman – preference will be given to members of the Society. This also applies to Het Posthuys, which we manage under a memorandum of agreement with the South African Heritage Resources Agency. The venue has a stables building which is appropriate for gatherings and which we also want to convert into a tea-room/samosa counter. We have levelled the back lawn of Het Posthuys and hope that we shall be able to use this for croquet and picknicking. We are in negotiations with SAHRA, who also believe that the venue can be better utilised.
The estate of a former member, now deceased, has approached the Society to ask if we can erect a memorial bench with a brass plaque in his honour at Het Posthuys. We are convinced that this is a project which could have some purchase as it would recognise our former members in a dignified way. If you would like to erect a memorial bench, the cost is approximately R4.000 with the plaque included.
Curator: Het Posthuys
Our curator, a keen student of the history of the VOC and Het Posthuys, Paul Regenass, has retired and the Society would like to appoint a new curator to serve on Friday and Saturday (4 hours each) at the venue. We are not in a position to employ anyone, but we do offer subsistence and transport fees to cover expenses. Please notify the Chairman if you would like to offer this service.
Camino between the religious institutions in Muizenberg
In imitation of the camino of pilgrims to Santiago di Compostello, the event organiser of the Society, Melodie Nolan, has contacted almost all the religious leaders in our area to request that members of the camino call on all the religious institutions of the area in an ecumenical gesture and as symbol of the freedom of religion and the wide variety of faiths that have long been exercised in our jurisdiction. The participants will be given a unique pilgrim’s staff to denote their membership of the group. Melodie has ensured the approval of the Anglican, Methodist and Roman Catholic leaders, the kramat and the shul for a visit of a few minutes to each institution and further progress on foot to the next visit. If you have other suggestions as to the scope of this camino please contact the Chairman. The Society would like to proceed with planning for the Easter period next year 2023.
Our library collection, under the management and control of our Deputy Chairman, Gabriel Clark-Brown, has expanded exponentially. It contains some unique works and concentrates on the era before and during the Anglo-Boer War and on the personalities around Cecil John Rhodes. It is housed in Rhodes Cottage, but new facilities are being developed by the Deputy Chairman in the caretaker’s cottage. If you have books you would like to donate to this venture, we would be glad to receive them, particularly if the books relate to the late Victorian and Edwardian eras. We also have maps and photographs and plan to advertise this library for research and study.
Compiled by Glenn Babb | 021 788 7069
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