Sunday, August 30, 2009

From Timbuktu to the Karoo

- Lorna Verran -

Contrary to the image that an AGM projects, the Cultural Foundation’s annual general meeting on Tuesday, 18th August, was a most lively and enjoyable evening for those who were able to attend.

Judy Maguire, not only chaired a most informative meeting, but also took us on a fascinating journey “Down the Niger to Timbuktu – Mali’s Peoples and Cultures”. Rich with imagery and lively descriptions, her slide-show talk was accompanied by a “show and tell” display of garments, rugs, cloths, beads and other beautifully handcrafted souvenirs which she had purchased from the various ethnic groups she encountered en route. Her slides gave us an insight into a part of West Africa, unfamiliar to most of us, where age-old life-styles still exist untouched and unchanged.

Another treasure was presented by Derek Thomas who exhibited the completion of the Prince Albert Heritage Inventory 2009 – a set of 3 volumes totalling 660 pages, a monumental record of all the town’s buildings 60 years and older. What an achievement! This was the work of BELCOM, a subcommittee of the Cultural Foundation, 20 volunteers led by Derek Thomas. Derek, diligently spent nine months capturing the results of these surveys with photographs, done by the volunteers and recorded them on an electronic database, in colour. The BELCOM group then interpreted all the data and the grading criteria were applied to nearly 300 buildings. This Heritage Inventory 2009 is an update of the Conservancy Survey done by Penny Pistorius in 1995.
Rounding off an invigorating evening, was the PACF’s handing over of its Conservation of Architectural Heritage Award to Kerrigan and Lance Speirs for their restoration of the house at 97 Church St, affectionately known as “Sonneblom”.

Indulging our usual cultural practice of enjoying food and conversation was an apt end to the evening as delicious homemade soups and breads provided were shared. A big thank you to Judy McGuire and her family and to Derek and Christine Thomas for a great evening.

Lastly, and most importantly, congratulations and thanks to Judy for advocating for the Prince Albert Cultural Foundation to become a Registered Conservation Body with Heritage Western Cape.

No comments: