ROTARY PROJECT: Undaunted by cold, wind and misty rain and prior vandalism, Rotarian Dave Hawkins, right, puts the finishing touches to the plaques at the Bathurst Toposcope, denoting the direction of the 1820 Settler settlements. With him are helpers Herman Potgieter and Benny Tshisani

The Toposcope is a heritage site commemorating the 1820 Settlers and their descendants. Plaques reflecting the names and ships of the parties arriving in the Eastern Cape in 1820 appear around the Toposcope. The plaques create a compass direction indicating the location of the settler groups.  In an inclusive gesture, further plaques have recently been added honouring the various Xhosa chiefs who resisted the 1820 settlers’ efforts to make their homes here and to acknowledge the history we share with them of a very turbulent time. The new plaques carry the names of the various chiefs who were the settlers’ protagonists and point to where their kraals were located; with distances from the Toposcope indicted.

The Historic Bathurst Committee members have now completed the further plaque laying task and they believe that the time is right to organise a celebration of that completion. The event is scheduled to take place on Saturday, 25th of May 2019, at 15.30 and visitors and locals, along with their picnic baskets and liquid refreshment, are invited to join in the fun. Bathurst is a welcoming village and the occasion is one very worthy of celebration.

Various dignitaries and interested parties have been invited but the event will not be characterised by too much formality. That would detract from what this is intended to be – a celebration and Historic Bathurst would be delighted to see you sharing the celebration with them.

Preston Will – Bathurst Historic Society


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