SMALL ITEMS OF HISTORY – Dr Dawn Gould

The word history refers to a variety of subjects relevant to human society. However the subject does not necessarily equate only with famous men and women, appalling wars fought that somehow never bring real peace or great scientific discoveries. It can definitely refer to small events – sometimes events that happen and are nearly always forgotten soon after occurring but which did definitely occur.

 

In 1905 a  Horse Memorial was unveiled in Port Elizabeth in memory of the horses killed during the South African War 1899-1902. It has a drinking trough although, for various reasons, was never filled with water. The following is engraved on the memorial and reads: ” The greatness of a nation consists not so much in the number of its people or the extent of its territory as in the extent and justice of its compassion.”

 

On January 11 1932 George Bernard Shaw, a famous Irish author who also became an influential member of the Socialist and Fabian society, was welcomed to Cape Town when the Carnarvon Castle docked in Table Bay. When questioned by the press as to the places he intended visiting, he  somewhat facetiously  replied that he had no intention of making an “orthodox sightseeing tour, the cinema version of the Victoria Falls has quite satisfied him.”

 

In 1991 a racehorse named JUNGLE WARRIOR was made an honorary citizen of Bonnievale, in the western Cape after the horse’s racing ability had made R1.4 million for its owner. The town of Bonnievale, its water comes from the Breede River, was named by an earlier farmer, is referred to as the valley of wine and cheese