For some time now, we have realised that memories are short and change is inevitable. Many of our children do not understand the significance of WWI and its impact on the then “Modern World”, as it was, one hundred years ago. The Armistice halted the suicidal madness and at last caused people to think, to pray for peace and to acknowledge all those who had made the supreme sacrifice. The sense of loss and despair, by the loved ones of those who fell, must have been horrific and it is hard for us understand their grief one hundred years later.
See London’s amazing poppy day commemoration for the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I.
The British are the masters of Heritage Tourism, only they could take a World tragedy and make it into a thought provoking and sensitive heritage tourism opportunity. We have a lot to learn!
100 years on - time for reflection to consider how this fine tradition can continue to survive in the 21st Century.
This year’s event coincided with the 100th anniversary of the commencement of Word War I which was finally ended by negotiation in 1918 on the 11th Nov 1918. It has been ceremoniously honoured throughout many countries, particularly throughout the Commonwealth, for many years. However, there are no longer any servicemen, who survived WWI, to honour their comrades, neither are there any Anglo Boer War or Crimean War survivors. So the question is “Is it time for this fine tradition to lapse?” Or must we simply change with the times?
Well known Hout Bay personality Rae Graham, in her 90th year, bears the cross of remembrance for her late Husband Cecil Graham. Cecil served as a gunner with SA Forces in North Africa and Italy in WWII and was joint founder of the Hout Bay Heritage Assn in 1996. Right to left : Lt Col Johan Conradie and, Lt Col Ralph Willkinson of SANDF Reserve Force Office, Rae Graham and Allan Dellbridge.
In the last two years, we have specifically invited members of our community and their friends to join us to acknowledge the debts that we all owe to the many people who guided and supported us when we needed help and comfort, our friends, our families and those many nameless people who made the supreme sacrifice in the service of others.
The Hout Bay Heritage Assn would like all members and cultures in Hout Bay to be represented on this special day each year. However, we realise that our “Day to Remember” will invariably fall on a weekday and that many residents work outside our beautiful valley and are unable to be with us. However, we hope that at 11:00 on the day, they spent 2 minutes in reflection, thinking about those lost parents, valued friends & relatives, resolving to make it a habit each year and to make our community a more caring place.
The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month is irrevocably engraved on the consciences of many nations and we feel that the loss of such a “Day to Remember” would be tragic. It’s part of our cultural history, a reminder and worthwhile legacy of the past we must not forget.
Heritage Assn Chairman, Chris Everett, welcomes our visitors and guests, setting the scene for the event.
Several years ago the Hout Bay Heritage Assn established a tradition in our small town to observe the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour as a special event to take place at Hout Bay’s own Garden of Remembrance, a very special heritage site and we hope it will be continued for many years.
On the 11th of the 11th at East Fort Hout Bay, the “Last Post” sounds.