Oral History Initiative rolls out in Laingsburg
The Minister of the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS), Anroux Marais officiated the launch of the Oral History Initiative in Laingsburg on 12 June 2017. DCAS, in partnership with the Laingsburg Municipality, rolled out this collaborative initiative to the communities of Laingsburg and Matjiesfontein.
Laingsburg is a close-knit community, more so after being struck by tragedy in 1981. History indicates that 104 people lost their lives during the most severe floods on 25 January 1981. Years later, Laingsburg has become a phenomenal example of a community struck by tragedy which managed to rise from the ashes, becoming stronger than before.
The day unfolded with a most entertaining orchestral performance by the local “Hellies Band”. The DCAS Museum Service presented a video-clip where participants from Laingsburg and Matjiesfontein shared their untold stories.
Born and bred in Laingsburg, Connie van der Westhuizen spoke about the forced removals and how they impacted on the community of Laingsburg. Francis van Wyk, curator at Laingsburg Flood Museum, gave a detailed account of how the town was almost swept away on that horrific day on 25 January 1981.
During her keynote address, Minister Marais encouraged locals to share their untold stories so as to preserve them for future generations. “ I look forward to hearing your stories and eventually reading about your collective community stories in our museums in the future.” she said.
DCAS is committed to preserving the stories of our local communities for future generations. Let us continue to celebrate our stories BETTER TOGETHER.