In 2019, the George Heritage Trust commissioned a number of its members to start with a heritage inventory of Pacaltsdorp in order to ensure the proactive conservation and protection of important heritage resources and places. Funding has been provided by a private donor who has kindly donated a generous sum for the inventory.
At its first workshop in November 2019, the members of the survey team (Henry Paine, Kathy Schultz, Lita Webley, Marlise de Bruyn and Patrick Sambo) were introduced to the legislation and to the methods of heritage surveys and inventories. Unfortunately, the team had just started with its survey work in February 2020, when Covid placed a major obstacle in the way of introducing the project to the community of Pacaltsdorp. The date for the first public meeting in March 2020, coincided with the lockdown and had to be cancelled.
During 2020 and 2021, the team has been working quietly in the background. Kathy has completed background research in the archives and has recorded the history of the community. Blanche Benjamin, and members of the Gwaing Action Group in Pacaltsdorp, have been actively involved in assisting with the survey and have helped Lita with her archaeological surveys. They are also helping Eugenie Marincowitz (a new member of the team) with the recording of buildings of architectural heritage value within the Pacaltsdorp core. Buildings older than 60 years have been photographed and recorded in the inventory. The team has studied the original 1875 survey diagrams for the historic core of the village and they have incorporated the work of Vivien and Derek Japha, architects who worked in Pacaltsdorp in the 1990s.
A draft document, which includes the history of Pacaltsdorp, has been compiled and submitted to the George Heritage Trust. They will in turn make it available to the Pacaltsdorp community to comment on.
Melanie Martin has joined the team and she and Nanno Evenhuis will be taking the public participation process forward together with Peter Noble who will chair the meeting to be held on March 9 at the Pacaltsdorp Community Hall at 18h00. Everyone is welcome and the residents of Pacaltsdorp are encouraged to comment on the draft document which will be discussed at the meeting and subsequently posted onto the internet in Draft form pending the insertion of material obtained from the community. The Trust hopes that members of the community will share their memories as well as opinions of places of heritage importance. Once the inventory has been completed, it will be submitted to Heritage Western Cape for their approval and to the George Municipality. The Inventory will be placed in the public domain and the Trust hopes that it will be added as one of the layers of the Municipality’s GIS system on their website. The document is a ‘live’ work and we hope that it will be added to as more information becomes available in the passing of time. The Inventory, although paid for by the George Heritage Trust, will be publicly owned and more especially will belong to the people of Pacaltsdorp.