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SHA – AGM

Swellendam Heritage Association held their AGM on Thursday 26th   May.

The event was well attended, and the business of the evening progressed quite quickly.

 Philip Bromley the outgoing chairman presented the chairman’s report and the financials.

The committee members were re-elected with Alf Hunter as the new chairman,

 Philip Bromley as secretary/treasurer and Carol Podd as vice chairman.

Additional members : Hennie Steyn, Morley Thomson, Johan Kriek, Rob Harrison.

After the business, the mayor, Nicholas Myburgh, presented Swellendam Heritage

Association’s annual  awards :

 Merit Plaques glazed on to ceramic tiles & certificates are awarded to owners of properties

who have excelled in the quality of restoration to a heritage site thus preserving such a

site for posterity.

1,Awarded to Walter & Carman Stuart for the restoration of 16 Van Oudtshoorn St –

known as Morgenzon. (PHS, 1981) The oldest section of this thatched building was built in

1751 as a house for the landrost’s secretary and was therefore part of the Drostdy complex.

It was later sold into private ownership. In the 19th century it was used as a school for girls

and was later an old age home. After numerous alterations (including having a second

storey added and demolished), it was threatened with demolition and acquired by the

province. It was subsequently restored to its 1826 appearance, but it continued to be

threatened by lack of an appropriate use. After years of uncertainty and deterioration, it was

bought by the Stuarts and has been carefully restored. As it is now a habitable home the

danger of it reverting to an uncared for building has been greatly reduced

2.  Awarded to Debbie Strydom for the restoration of 10 Heemraad St

This little original cottage within the conservation area of Swellendam was sadly neglected

and had been marred for years by an ugly iron barred security “cage” mounted on the wall of

its “on the street stoep” as well as steel frame windows which had replaced the old original

sash windows.  The house has been lovingly restored with the steel cage removed and

wooden sash windows replacing the steel windows.  This modest house is now one of pride

in historic Heemraad Street

3, A special Certificate of appreciation awarded to Oom Hennie Conradie, Water Fiskaal.

Swellendam is one of the very few remaining towns which still have a fully functioning

irrigation furrow system. Mr Hennie Conradie started working for the Swellendam

Municipality in 1962 in the capacity of Water Fiscal. As a youngster he was initially instructed

in the operation of the irrigation furrows by a Mr Jan Potgieter and a Mr Jannie Swart. 

Hennie married his wife Rienie in the early 1980’s.  As the operation of the irrigation furrows

is a full time responsibility, Rienie played an important role by often assisting Hennie at all

times, day or night and in all types of weather.  Hennie retired at the age of 65 on October

the 14th 2013 after 51 years of outstanding loyal service in maintaining the functioning of

these culturally important and historic furrows for the town. 

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The speaker for the evening was  Professor Chris Van Der Merwe

A council member of the Van Riebeeck Society Prof Van Der Merwe together

with Dr Elizabeth Van Heyningen  recently edited a book on selected letters

of President MT Steyn (ex Klippe Rivier Swellendam) Although in

extremely poor health after the close of the Boer War President Steyn was

widely respected and consulted by many decision makers of the time. These

letters cover the period from 1904 until the formation of Union in 1910

It was a delightful, well received presentation after which the members

 partook of their traditional Soup & Bread table with a glass of wine