Kowie Museum open again

FROM LAST WEEK’S TALK OF THE TOWN

READY AND WAITING: Kowie Museum curator, Marilyn Pattenden, left, and museum secretary Heather Howard. flank one of the new banners at the museum’s entrance that provides an overview of the early history of the area, from the settlers’ arrival to the building of the harbour and establishment of Port Alfred Picture: ROB KNOWLES

With Level 1 lockdown restrictions in place, once again the Kowie Museum opened its doors to te public on Fridays and Saturdays as from March 12. Opening times are 9.30am to 12.30pm.

Strict Covid protocols will be followed, and visitors need to be masked and stick to the limit of 10 visitors at any one time due to the size of the building. The entrance fee is R20 for adults and R10 for children.

The museum is completely funded by these fees and donations, thus the last year has been a hard one without any income since March 2020.

“Covid completely changed the face of the celebrations that were being planned to commemorate the arrival of the 1820 Settlers 200 years ago, the first ships arriving in Port Elizabeth in April of that years,” said museum curator Marilyn Pattenden.

The Kowie Museum decided to mark the event with the installation of a new display in the form of two banners. These banners will become part of the permanent display because of the information they carry.

The background of the banners is a map of the Lower Albany area, taken from an old map. The sections are mainly pictorial with short pieces of relevant information on why the Settlers came to this area, how they came, who some of them were, the conditions they found here, some of their artefacts, the early houses and the start of Port Alfred as first a port and then a town.

The information was originally designed by Pattenden using the collection of materials in the museum, and then transferred from Publisher to Corel Draw by Pattenden’s daughter, Heather Pattenden, who is the exhibitions officer at the KwaZulu-Natal Museum in Pietermaritzburg.

“The KZN Museum in Pietermaritzburg very kindly printed the banners which were paid for by a donor,” explained Pattenden. “The means to hang them was executed by Patcraft and two Friends of the Museum installed them.”

Pattenden expressed her gratitude to those who helped in getting the museum ready for tomorrow’s opening.

“It is a pleasure to receive visitors again, particularly as the renovations across the road at the Police Station are reaching completion and there is better parking available,” she said.

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