Navy to take part in Cape Town Remembrance Day ceremonies

Nov 07, 2007
Author: P&S

The South African frigate SAS MENDI is due in Cape Town harbour on Friday to participate at the weekend in the 90th anniversary of the loss of her namesake, SS MENDI and the annual Remembrance Day commemoration.

During her visit to the Mother City the frigate will dock at the V& A Waterfront where on Saturday 10 November she will be officially opened to the public by the minister for Arts & Culture, Pallo Jordan and other dignitaries.

The public will also have the opportunity of viewing a permanent exhibition of the SS Mendi, a troopship which carried members of the 50th Battalion of the South African Native Labour Corps who were on their way to France in World War I. On 21 February 1917 near the Isle of Wight and in thick fog the troopship was struck by another vessel, SS Darro, sinking with the loss of life of 616 members of the Battalion.

After the official opening of SAS Mendi to the public a symbolic march of soldiers heading off to war will take place from Adderley Street to the Grand Parade where formal proceedings will start at 10.15am.

On the following day, which is commemorated in several parts of the world as Remembrance Day in respect of all those who gave their lives for their countries at war, the annual service and wreath-laying ceremony will be held from 10.40am.

Immediately preceding the Remembrance Day ceremony Cape Town mayor Helen Zille will unveil a plaque at the corner of Adderley and Darling Streets to commemorate the public observance of the two minute silent pause of remembrance which originated on this spot on 2 August 1919.



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