Noon Gun Commemoration Plaque Unveiled On Signal Hill
On 14 May 2018, Minister Anroux Marais of Cultural Affairs and Sport officiated at the centenary of the introduction of the first 2-minute silence in Cape Town.
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS), City of Cape Town and the South African Navy partnered with key stakeholders to observe a special firing ceremony for this commemoration at the Noon Day Gun, Lion Battery on the slopes of Signal Hill.
The symbolism of 14 May dates back to 1918 when Cape Town Mayor Harry Hands hosted a ceremony in Adderley Street, signalled by the Noon Gun, in remembrance of his son who died in World War 1. The annual commemoration of the 2-minute silence is known internationally as Armistice Day and is observed on the 11th day of the 11th month at 11:00.
Commander Leon Steyn of the SA Navy welcomed the esteemed guests and introduced them, amongst others, to Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Malgas of the SA Navy. Malgas is a stalwart who has been firing the Noon Gun for many years, except on Sundays and public holidays. The two green cannons (one is used as a backup) have been fired since 1806.
The commemoration proceeded with a touching performance of the Last Post before the Noon Gun was fired by CPO Malgas. The Cannon Association of South Africa continued with a volley of 10 shots (one for each decade).
Minister Anroux Marais unveiled a plaque next to the cannons and referred to those who died in many conflicts and wars that have also claimed the lives of South Africans. “Let us reflect on their causes and legacies and how each one of us have and will continue to play an active role in the progress of Cape Town and its people”, she said.
Minister Marais’ speech is available online for ease of reference.
DCAS safeguards our diverse cultural heritage and encourages communities to take pride in it. Let’s adopt a better understanding of our shared inheritance, BETTER TOGETHER.