Peninsula Maternity Hospital opening

The District Six Community Day Centre, housed on the site of the former Peninsula Maternity Hospital, officially opened its doors on 25 July – though it has been open to the public since March. Former staff of the Peninsula Marina Brinkhuis, Patience Watlington, Georgina Blaauw, Harriet Arendse and Mike Wright represented participants of the PMH Memory Project.

Information on the new facility can be found at:

https://www.westerncape.gov.za/facility/district-six-community-day-centre

To keep up to date for news and images about the old Peninsula Hospital, like our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Peninsula-Maternity-Hospital-Memory-Project-1357601397597131/

PMH Opening

Mike Wright, Marina Brinkhuis, Patience Watlington, Georgina Blaauw and Harriet Arendse at the District Six Community Day Centre opening. Photograph: Sandra van der Merwe

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August Supper Club

‘Against the odds’

This month’s Supper Club features a conversation with two childhood friends from District Six: Pat Fahrenfort and Rachmat Fakir.

Growing up, both of them had physical conditions which affected their mobility in different ways. According to Pat, both of them were never expected to walk. Theirs is a story of a vibrant childhood in District Six, of defiant courage and intensive engagement with the world of medical care in the city. It is a story of lifelong friendship and of regaining mobility ‘against the odds’.

Please join us for an intimate evening of conversation and good food, as we listen to and respond to their story. Pat will also read extracts from her memoir ‘Spanner in the Works’ which will also be on sale.

Our storytellers:

Pat Fahrenfort

Pat Fahrenfort

Pat Fahrenfort describes herself as having ‘never been busier’ since she retired as a civil servant fourteen years ago. She spends her time writing, bead-crating and storytelling amongst other things, and has recently published her memoir ‘Spanner in the Works’ which tells the story of her working life.

Rachmat Fakir

Rachmat Fakir

Rachmat Fakir, like Pat, has never allowed her disability to define her. She embodies the spirit of District Six in her approach to life and living: people-centred and community focused. She is described as a loyal friend and absolutely devoted to her family.

Supper Club takes place at the District Six Museum Homecoming Centre, 15 Buitenkant Street, on THURSDAY 30 AUGUST, from 18h00 – 20h30. Cost is R 150 at the door (R130 if pre-paid by EFT or Webtickets), and R130 for SA pensioners, R75 for children.

The cost includes:

  • Welcome drink and samoosas on arrival
  • Main course (with vegetarian option)
  • Dessert
  • Coffee, tea and koesisters

For bookings please call Chantal Delilie on 021 4667200 or email reception@districtsix.co.za

WOMEN’S DAY AT DISTRICT SIX MUSEUM, 9 August 2018

‘From seamstresses, hairdressers, tailors, shoemakers and bakers, to koesister- and medurah-makers- District Six represented a diverse creative industry of bold imagination and style.’

So reads the text on the invitation to join the Museum’s programme on National Women’s Day, 9 August. Of the District Sixers representing the creative industries in the area before its destruction, the majority were women. Some continued to use their skills and talents wherever they lived, while others have more recently revived these skills through various memory projects.

The national theme for the 2018 Women’s Day programme is ‘Press for progress’. You are invited to participate in this programme which will celebrate and honour the contributions of women both now and in the past, acknowledging the struggles and challenges that often stand in the way of creativity. It will be an opportunity to hear how they have ‘pressed for progress’ and you might feel inspired to share your own story. The programme will create space for women to share their experiences of using their creative skills to earn an income, to transfer skills to the next generation, or as tools for healing.

You will also be introduced to the Museum’s wonderful new product range – ‘Memory Threads’- which features products developed from District Six stories and archival sources combined with the skills and expertise of District Six elders.

As we celebrate the women present at the programme, we will also take a moment to acknowledge the origins of National Women’s Day in South Africa which has its beginnings in political struggle under Apartheid. On this day in 1956, thousands of women marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to protest against amendments to the already harsh Urban Areas Act, involving the extension of the carrying of passes to African women as another means of restricting their movements.

The Women’s March was a great success, with women from all parts of the country arriving in Pretoria to support the protest. Thousands more were represented in the signatures on the pile of petitions that were handed over. Estimates of the number of women delegates ranged from 10 000 to 20 000.

A line from a song composed for the occasion became a slogan for the campaign: ‘Strijdom, Wathinti’abafazi, wathinti’imbokodo.’ (‘Strijdom you have tampered with the women, You have struck a rock.’)

Please join the District Six Museum on Thursday 9 August from 11h00 to 13h00, for its Women’s Day programme which will take place at its Homecoming Centre, 15 Buitenkant Street.

Tel: 021 466 7200 for more information.

Ensemble Vocal Luna

The Friends of Cuba Society (FOCUS) will be hosting this all-female choir on Sunday 15 July from 3 to 5pm at St George’s Cathedral. This little taste of Cuba is not to be missed!

The choir is visiting South Africa to perform at the World Choir Games in Tshwane, for the very first time.

This will most likely be their only performance in Cape Town. There is no charge for this event.

Youth Day Screening

The premiere screening of Anwar Omar’s ‘Salt River High: The Untold Story’ at the Homecoming Centre on 16 June – Youth Day – drew a full house! It was great to share in the viewing experience where the contribution of Cape Town schools in the 1976 uprisings, was foregrounded. It was a special treat to have the filmmaker Anwar Omar present to speak to the film and explain briefly why he thought it important to tell this story. It was an added bonus to hear from Geoff Mamputa who was a student activist in Langa during that same time period. Look out for further screenings or invite Anwar to do a screening in your community.

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Peninsula Maternity Hospital Memory Project final workshop

On Saturday, 7 July participants and artists involved in the Peninsula Maternity Hospital Memory Project bade a final farewell to each other. At this last workshop we watched and provided feedback on the video artwork that is installed in the new District Six Community Day Centre. This video serves as a loving record of the workshop processes, but also the history of the Peninsula through the voices of former staff.  We shared what it has meant to be part of this project and the healing process it has brought about. We also want to congratulate them on their creativity and their lively spirits, and while this project has reached its conclusion, we look forward to their involvement in other facets of the Museum’s life.