City restores old cannon

Mayoral committee member for corporate services and compliance Xanthea Limberg with the newly restored 400-year-old cannon.

A 400-year-old cannon in front of the City of Cape Town’s Kuils River municipal offices was restored to its former glory, just in time to celebrate Heritage Month.

The cannon was donated to the Kuils River Municipality in 1972, where it stood outside, enduring the elements for more than 40 years.

It was rusted and in its dilapidated state posed a danger to residents, especially children, who enjoyed climbing on it.

“Cape Town has a vast collection of military artefacts that are steeped in history.

“It is important that we do what we can to preserve this military heritage in the city.

“It is quite appropriate that this restoration has coincided with Heritage Month and Tourism Month, which is focusing on military heritage tourism this year,” said mayoral committee member for corporate services and compliance Xanthea Limberg.

Hundreds of years ago, the cannon was used to defend the anchorage in Table Bay during the latter half of the 1600s.

When the gun became old and worn, it was “retired” to signal duty and placed on the hill on the farm, Skoonheid, in the early 1700s.

“The cannon forms an integral part of the history of the Cape, and preserving it instils a sense of pride and belonging in the community.

“Not only was the gun restored, but a new gun carriage was also built.

“The carriage consists of a wooden platformupon which the cannon is anchored to provide a solid base,” said Ms Limberg.

She thanked Fiorisa Agostini from the City’s specialised technical servicesdepartment for taking the lead in preserving a piece of Cape history.

The cannon was originally cast in Sweden for the Dutch East India Company.

The restoration started in July 2016 and was completed last month at a cost of R7 350.