Mossel Bay Museum Celebrates 24 Happy Years
The Bartolomeu Dias Museum in Mossel Bay is a place where cultures meet and where people can experience cultural warmth. The museum celebrated its 24th anniversary with the community on Sunday, 3 February 2013.
The celebration formed part of the annual Dias Festival, which offered a variety of activities from 31 January to 3 February 2013. The festival was established in 1988 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the landing of Bartolomeu Dias at Mossel Bay. The museum complex opened in 1989. A life-size replica of the ship in which Dias sailed from Portugal is housed in the Maritime Museum.
On 31 January, a music concert including local choirs, Portuguese dancers and Indonesian dancers entertained guests at the museum. On 2 February, staff participated in a parade with the SPCA [Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals] to create awareness about animal abuse. The museum’s vehicle was draped in the flags of South Africa and Portugal for the parade, and staff members and Portuguese dancers held up flags as they went past. Other staff members dressed in clothes similar to those worn by Bartolomeu Dias and his crew when they landed in 1488.
The museum hosted the activities of various festival organisers free of charge. Mr Mbulelo Mrubata said the museum’s participation in the parade enabled the general public to see that the Dias museum is a people’s institution. “Our working relationship with our partners has been consolidated through various festival activities being held at the museum”, he said. Mrubata said the festival strengthened ties between the museum and its partners in Portugal and Indonesia. He added that the music concert helped to turn the museum into a place where people could experience cultural warmth.
The museum achieved its goal of bringing people from various communities together. After 24 years, the doors of the museum remain open to the community and anyone who wants to learn about Mossel Bay’s history. The various educational programmes with schools in the area show that the museum is playing a positive role. Partners and guests enjoyed a slice of the museum’s birthday cake to celebrate.