Background to the History Group in Hermanus 2007-2012

The interest in history started in 2007  when SJ du Toit introduced Angela Heslop to local history , later we formed a group when tasked to do a time line of  the history of Hermanus by the Heritage and Aesthetics committee. The  Hermanus history group included  SJ du Toit a well known writer of the people and places of related to Hermanus and Stanford, Elsabe Brink a social historian, Leli Hoch who has lived in Hermanus and has a keen interest in the history of Camphill Farm Community  and Ella Gordon of Karwyderskraal, Angela Heslop, the chair  and Lucie Conradie a graphic artist. Our emphasis otherwise was to involve people in local history. We have undertaken walks where the history of people and events are discussed.

We are fortunate to have had resources in local historians Happy Engela, late John Annandale, late Hercules Wessels who have assisted us. The late Mayor Theo Beyleveldt supported our endeavors,

Examples of our activities are:

  • Walks in the Hemel-en Aarde Valley and Hoy’s Koppie.
  • Outreach plans have included assisting children undertaking history projects
  • A memory box project involving the history teacher Elsa Nel and Standard 6 pupils. (Gansbaai, Hermanus, Mt Pleasant and Zwelihle) undertaking oral history and writing up a personal account
  • Displays on the books by Hermanus writers and the Life of Ella Gordon are in the area opposite the library,
  • Proposal to upgrade Swallow Neethling’s garden as a place of memory and an urban space.
  • In 2009 the Heritage and Aesthetics- 2009 tasked the group – to do a timeline of the history of Hermanus. This is a summary and narrative of past activities. The history time line display will be sited on Hermanus Pieters Fontein plain.

This led us to make a decision to formalize our group and become a society in 2012