I was born the year before WWII was declared but I assure you it was not caused by me!
Like many contemporaries of my generation, my Dad served in the British Army and was away from home for six years, the last eighteen months of which he spent in German prison camps. However, my mother had the support of her sisters and an extended family of friends to help bring up my brother and I. The War encouraged all to work together and though food was rationed and luxuries non-existent it engendered a spirit of unity friendship and cooperation as never before.
Things were still tough after the War but by pulling together a rock-bottom economy was pulled out of the doldrums within a few short years. Somehow social democracy and integrity worked for them. Something that South Africa could learn from, after 20 years of decline.
My interest in the “out-doors” and the environment was created by being in a Boy Scout Troop, and at the age of 15, I eventually became a Queen Scout and was selected to represent West Yorkshire at the 1955 World Jamboree at Niagara on the Lake, in Ontario Canada. Two years later I attended the Jubilee Jamboree, as a Rover Scout in Sutton Park Warwickshire UK.
Virtually all my life has involved technology starting as a boy with crystal sets and ending with Main-frame computers supporting on-line banking installations and finally installing large numbers of PCs and designing Computer Labs and providing support at the University of Cape Town.
Having lived in Hout Bay since 1972, today I use computers to help my my personal campaign with some fine colleagues to help encourage the conservation of Hout Bay’s natural and cultural Heritage.
An interesing outcome of the 2nd World War, in the UK, was that many historic homes and estates could no longer be maintained by their owners and many were bequeathed to a charity, the National Trust of England Wales and Northern Island. As a result today the “National Trust” is the largest private landowner in the country it is also a huge tourist drawcard which which makes a massive contribution to communities throughout the country.
Hout Bay’s heritage is very special but also very fragile and threatened. I’d like to think that I will leave this World with the satisfaction that I have made a contribution to the conservation of Hout Bay’s heritage and that future generations will grow to appreciate it and enjoy the benefits that Hout Bay deserves.
D.C. Oct 2017
A nation that turns its back on its history, the lessons and experiences of the past, good or bad, undermines the foundations of its future.