23 October 2008


Yumna JACKSON (16), a Grade 10 student at Bridge Town High School in Athlone, has won the 2008 South African Young Historian Award for her research on the United Democratic Front (UDF). The UDF was an anti-apartheid coalition of about 400 civic, church, trade unions and other groups, formed in 1983.

22 October 2008


Saartjie BAARTMAN's grave has been vandalised. She was reburied in the Gamtoos Valley in August 2002. A gold plaque with her details, was stolen. The grave had been neglected, even though it is a tourist attraction in Hankey.


What would you have looked like if you were a teenager in another time? At YearBookYourself, you can transform a photo of yourself into a stereotypical teenager from anywhere between 1950 and 2000.


Prof. Alan MORRIS, professor of human biology at UCT's Medical School, along with his postgraduate students, was not allowed to examine human remains removed from the former Prestwich Street cemetery site in Green Point. He believes that this was due to heritage authorities bowing to political pressure from activists. This was despite a call from the SA Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) for human biologists and other specialists to become involved in the project, after human bones were found during a Prestwich Street construction project in 2003. The site was later identified as one of Cape Town's 18th century cemeteries. During archaeological excavations more than 1200 skeletons were found. It is believed that those buried there were mostly slaves, free blacks and sailors.

15 October 2008


Former Lord Charles Hotel staff are holding a reunion to celebrate its opening in November 1988. Rob MARCH started as the hotel's front office manager and became rooms division manager before leaving to start his own business. He recalls staff training in pre-fab buildings alongside the building site. The 5-star Lord Charles was built at a cost of approximately R27-million, which included imported cutlery and crockery valued at R1-million. Rob and his wife Tanya, and Debbie SPENCER also an opening team member, are planning the reunion which takes place on 25 October. A dinner will be held at Craig's Casual Eatery, 171 Main Road. The opening team consisted of approximately 200 people. Some now live in Ireland, UK, Dubai, Botswana, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. The managing director who headed the team and the Van Riebeeck Hotel in Gordon's Bay at the time, Stuart CHASE, works in Turkey. For more information contact Tanya: tanya.march@bmwdealer.co.za or Debbie: debbie@merand.co.za

14 October 2008


The Mayor of George, Flip DE SWARDT, has spoken out about the neglected state of cemeteries in the area. The town's cemeteries were discussed at a recent council meeting. Many graves are no longer marked. His son, Johan, is buried at the York Street Cemetery. He passed away in 1992 at the age of 22, after an accident in Stellenbosch. Another worry, is the lack of safety when visiting cemeteries.


A new book, Oral History in a Wounded Country, is now available and looks at the background, ethics, methods and use of oral history in South Africa. It is aimed at educators at school and university level, archivists and museum curators. Professor Philippe DENIS of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) was a co-editor. He is the Head of Sinomlando, which is based at UKZN and is the leader in South African oral history. The book is published by the University of KwaZulu-Natal Press.


The Schoemansdal Museum was recently destroyed by fire. The fire broke out during the night, destroying the information centre and the open air museum. The damage was caused by runaway veldt fires, with damages estimated at R3-million. The open-air museum was dedicated to showcasing South Africa’s pioneering history.