Saturday a group of us decided to go down to the Southend Museum. It had been recommended to us on our city tour on Friday. I called to make sure the museum was open and then all 16 of us piled into a combi for the museum. When we came streaming into the museum the tour guide on duty was a bit surprised to see us.
Southend was an inegrated community, in Port Elizabeth, that was ripped apart through the governmental policies of Aphartheid.
I am including these two photos which I think best illustrates the diversity of the Southend neighborhood. These houses of worship are from across the spectrum: Jewish and Hindu Temples; Anglican, Methodist and Seventh-Day Adventist churches but what I found most remarkable are the dates that these were founded, some of these worship communities dated back to the early to mid-1800’s.
We speak often of diversity, community, and cross-cultural community, but many times we fail to achieve this ideal. Then when you see an area that seemed to have achieved this diversity being pull apart for no reason, its sickening.
The Southend Museum, like other monuments and museums I have visited in South Africa, is both a place of on-going reconcillation and commemorating what happened.