Fiery meeting in Muizenberg

The Muizenberg Historical Conservation Society arranged a packaged programme for Sunday 2 September where they combined a general meeting and the firing of one of its cannons from the stoep of Het Posthuys.

“Het Posthuys (1673) is the oldest building on the False Bay coast, and a miniature edible version was served as an hors d’oeuvre. Members of the cannon society, Peter Wright and Martin Venter, were cannoneers for the day. It was them who had mounted the cannon and supplied the wheels in teak. The cannon was fired in commemoration of the Battle of Muizenberg 223 years ago,” says Glenn Babb, chairperson of the Muizenberg Historical Conservation Society.

A person who is now little spoken about, but who was a sportsman, philanthropist, member of Parliament and a Randlord, and who is presently chiefly known because of his cottage, Bailey’s Cottage, was the subject of their address at the firing.

“At the time, he was an important figure on the South African landscape and deserves to be celebrated. Chris Taylor gave a talk illustrating Sir Abe Bailey’s life, works and his donation of his art collection. His influence on the political and mining scene came clearly through – but that was not all: his wife, Lady Mary Bailey, was the first woman to fly solo from Europe (UK) to South Africa and back in an open De Havilland Moth biplane 1928-1929. She had learnt her craft as an aircraft mechanic in the First World War,” he says.

The Board of the Muizenberg Historical Conservation Society was elected after the chairperson’s report which touched on the new Deep South Heritage Forum, Museum Day at Rhodes Cottage, the endeavour to provide stream water from Rhodes Cottage to the community, and a joint movement to make Bailey’s Cottage more community friendly. Thereafter followed the financial report.

The board now consists of Glenn Babb (chairperson), Chris Taylor (vice-chairperson and treasurer), Daniel Blaauw (secretary), Melodie Morris (project manager) and Paul Regenass (Het Posthuys and curating).