GEORGE NEWS & VIDEO - The George Heritage Trust awarded heritage plaques to one of the oldest public graveyards in George, the Memorium Street cemetery, last Wednesday 17 March.
Among the attendees were members of the George Heritage Trust, George Mayor Leon van Wyk, Deputy Mayor Charlotte Clarke and Ward Councillor for the area, Sean Snyman.
Henry Paine, chairperson of the George Heritage Trust, said graveyards are refuges for wildlife and are public open spaces. "They are 'green lungs' in cities and often the very last places that get developed. But, we in George have already lost a lot. Too many," he said.
"Why are graveyards important to us? Many, and in fact, most people die without leaving a legacy of what they may have achieved on planet earth. Many people die without the legacy they've left behind even being recognised. It is up to our researchers to discover the stories, of which there are many. It is also the responsibility of our citizens to assist them by telling the stories that they know; we cannot always leave it to the municipality."
He said while the graves in this graveyard are not immediately important to all sections of the George community, it is one of the oldest remaining graveyards in George. "We would like to commemorate George's other cemeteries in the future."
Watch a video below:
Van Wyk thanked the trust for its work and said the cemetery goes back in George's rich history.
Snyman said to build a better future, people need to understand where they come from. Personally, he likes to visit graveyards in other towns, as they offer insight into the people that were living there.
George Heritage Trust
Established in 1996, the George Heritage Trust promotes the sustainable conservation of the architectural, archaeological, cultural and natural heritage of George and its surrounds.
At the ceremony, Paine quoted part of the preamble to the National Heritage Resources Act. It reads, "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".
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