April 1 has historical significance

Arne Soderlund, Glencairn

In case you are not aware, I would like to draw your attention to the significance of April 1, other than April Fool’s Day, to the Cape in general and Simon’s Town specifically.

South Africa’s two best known maritime institutions, the South African Navy and the General Botha Training Ship (and subsequently the nautical college in Gordon’s Bay) were both “born” on that day in 1922 and will thus be 100 years old on April 1 2022.

That day will also be significant for a number of other reasons as The Residency, which now houses the Simon’s Town Museum, will be 245 years old, and the museum will celebrate its 45th birthday.

Simon’s Town’s best known “seaman”, Just Nuisance, was born on that day 85 years ago and, more poignantly, died seven years later on the same day.

Sixty-five years ago, on April 1,1957, Simon’s Town dockyard was formally transferred to the South African Navy with the official ceremony taking place on April 2.

I wonder how many in our community are aware of this date’s significance?