Heritage conservationists win gold
3 October 2016
HASA 2016 awards celebrate outstanding achievements in heritage conservation
From the preservation of the historic mission station of Genadendal in the Western Cape to the establishment of a museum in Fietas in Johannesburg, this year’s Heritage Association of South Africa (HASA) awards acknowledge those exceptional individuals whose passion and commitment ensure our country’s stories are not forgotten.
The HASA awards recognise outstanding conservation efforts across South Africa as adjudged by a distinguished panel of heritage and conservation experts. All societies or bodies affiliated with HASA, and the general public as well, are asked to nominate individuals, or bodies, that they believe warrant awards. The conservation experts appointed each year consider the nominations and recommend to the HASA Council that these awards be confirmed.
There are three awards made by HASA, namely the Simon van der Stel Gold Medal, the Simon van der Stel Gold Certificate and the national Award of Merit. The Gold Medal Award is given to an individual, whilst the Gold Certificate is awarded to an organisation. Both are regarded as the premier awards of HASA. The third category of award is the national Award of Merit – given to an individual who has made a worthwhile contribution to heritage conservation in South Africa.
This year there are two Simon van der Stel Gold Medal winners – they are Dr Isaac Balie and Twin Mosia. Isaac Balie has spent much of his lifetime working to celebrate, restore and preserve the heritage of Genadendal. He has sought to claim the value of the role of ordinary people in shaping the social and cultural history of South Africa.
The decision to award the Gold Medal to Twin Mosia is somewhat unusual because medalists have normally spent a longer period working for the cause of heritage conservation in South Africa. Twin Mosia is only 32 years of age, but the adjudication panel considered him to be an ambassador for reconciliation and unity. He has made an outstanding contribution to the education of the public by creating greater awareness of a part of South African history, namely the South African War, which he considers to be the history of all the people of South Africa.
Salma Patel was awarded the HASA national Certificate of Merit for her selfless dedication to work in promoting heritage. She is the founder and driving force of the Fietas Memory-in-Action Museum, where she works as the manager and curator of the Museum. She has successfully done this since its inception.
The Gold Certificate was awarded to the Fietas Memory-in-Action Museum. The Museum commemorates a historic multi-racial area in Johannesburg that was almost completely obliterated by Apartheid. Patel has established the Fietas Memory-in-Action Museum as a community facility that documents and preserves the cultural history of the area and raises awareness of the ongoing challenges confronting heritage resources in South Africa.
The awards will be presented to the winners by Len Raymond, HASA chairperson and a past winner in his own right, at HASA’s 16th annual symposium to be held at Genadendal from 20–22 October. This year the symposium focuses on the Khoi people and the Genadendal mission movement.
Some of the recipients of the Simon van der Stel Gold Medal include Alta and Irvin Coetzee, Judy Maguire, Gawie Fagan, Harry Oppenheimer, Hannes Meiring, Flo Bird, Philip Tobias, James Kitching, Valli Moosa, Herbert Prins, Len Raymond, and Roger Charles Fisher.
Any media enquiries may be directed to:
Chairperson Heritage Association of South Africa
082 651 9252
ABOUT THE HERITAGE ASSOCIATION OF SOUTH AFRICA
The Simon van der Stel Association was established in 1959 in an effort to create a national heritage resources organisation. It is known today as the Heritage Association of South Africa (HASA). It is currently the oldest non-government organisation (NGO) involving heritage conservation in South Africa.