THE recent Diaz celebrations in Mossel Bay reminded us again how forgetful the local historians and politicians plus organisations like the PE Historical Society, 1820 Settlers Association and others have become in this regard.
The recent centenary of the City of Port Elizabeth also went by virtually unnoticed.
I can remember watching yearly re-enactments at King’s Beach of the landing of the 1820 Settlers. Adjacent to King’s Beach where the White Train was parked during the Royal visit in 1948 is another forgotten event and site.
As for the changes made to the historical Donkin “Reserve”, they can only be described as sacrilege. The whole historical central area and some of the adjacent surrounding ones have been allowed to become mostly slum areas with the odd building here and there having being “restored”. Only the older churches and a handful of other public buildings remain virtually unchanged as a reminder of what was.
Similarly the nation and especially Cape Town do not anymore celebrate the landing of Jan van Riebeeck, without which we probably would not have had a South Africa as we know it today.
Republic Day has been done away with, yet we still call ourselves the “Republic of South Africa”, but within the Commonwealth as it was pre-1961.
All citizens need to acknowledge the contribution their own forefathers made to this country and have a respect for cultures other than their own to bring about real unity and understanding among all our citizens.
Fred Rogers, PE