Garden Route Accommodation

Who do you think you are?

We cherish the cultural heritage of all the people of South Africa. Our heritage is unique and precious and it cannot be renewed. It helps us to define our cultural identity and therefore lies at the heart of our spiritual well-being and has the power to build our nation. It has the potential to affirm our diverse cultures, and in so doing shape our national character. Our heritage celebrates our achievements and contributes to redressing past inequities. It educates, it deepens our understanding of society and encourages us to empathise with the experience of others. It facilitates healing and material and symbolic restitution and it promotes new and previously neglected research into our rich oral traditions and customs.

As the Treasurer to the Swellendam Heritage Association I have the pleasure of meeting with some keen minds every six weeks to discuss the role of heritage in Swellendam and how the association can play a meaningful part in preserving the past of all in the region. It encompasses the whole gamut: food, music, dance, poetry, architecture and the list goes on…

The Simon van der Stel Foundation, known today as Heritage South Africa, was established in 1959 and is currently the largest and oldest non-governmental (NGO) organisation involved in heritage conservation. Heritage SA is a non-profit section 21 company with many affiliated branches. Responsibilities of Heritage South Africa To liase with and inform individuals, decision makers, authorities both national and local, and relevant organisations with respect to the protection of conservation-worthy structures and places, our rich cultural heritage, shipwrecks, archaeological sites and objects relating to our collective past in terms of the National Heritage Resources Act. To provide heritage conservation guidelines and advice on restoration activities in conjunction with specialists, professionals and academics. To stimulate and promote a collective awareness and appreciation of the value of heritage in all communities.

On the picture is the lovely Sylvia Schulman Benatar (concert pianist of note- pardon the pun), Penny Pistorius who is a much admired historian and octogenarian nice guy Peter Rattray of KwaZulu battlefields fame. Look forward to some BIG ideas later on in the year and some serious membership drives to get our people to care about Who They Are.