It was a spectacular winter’s morning in Cape Town. Under the resolute presence of 1 of the 9.2″ Guns of the Scala Naval Coastal Defence Battery installed during WWII, the Officers and crew of the SA Navy Museum pitched up for their contribution towards the unified effort of the Navy in making Mandela Day a success.
Their task: To embark on a journey of restoration of the Middle North Battery, which once proudly housed the 9″ muzzle loading cannon and two 6″ cannons as part of the South African Coastal Defence network.
18th July, Mandela Day – so named because of our famous President Nelson Mandela whose birthday it was. In order to honour this great man, the government proclaimed his birthday as Mandela Day. Also known to South Africans as Madiba, as a title of respect, Nelson Mandela spent 67 years of his life serving his community. On his 90th birthday he made a speech in Hyde Park and said “it is in your hands now”. That was the start of this 67 minutes of Community Service.
The SA Navy had many projects planned for this day, here are listed just 3 projects known to me: Re-painting of a School in Ocean View village, re-painting of a church in the Masiphumelele township and the restoration project of Middle North Battery.
In the pictures you will see the following people:
Lt Cdr Steyn (Curator), Warrant Officer Croome, Warrant Officer Arnold, Chief Petty Officer Walker, Petty Officer Leukes, Able Seaman Tams, Able Seaman Khoza, Able Seaman Malamudanda and Mr Jacobs.
It is the aim of WO Croome to develop the site of Middle North Battery to such an acceptable state of repair so that it is presentable as a tourist attraction. There is such a lot of our history that it is a shame to ignore it and let it decay further.
Please visit the following site of the Cannon Association of South Africa for more information: The link to their site is: http://www.caosa.org.za/. Take note of the upcoming events and if you can visit them please do so – they need your donations to help them in this fantastic project.
You can also read my earlier blogs for more information: