Swakopmund to celebrate 120 yearsBy: ADAM HARTMAN
ON AUGUST 4 2012 Swakopmund will celebrate its 120th birthday with a big birthday bash.
“This is a local party only. It’s only for Swakopmunders, and it will be something by Swakopmunders for Swakopmund,” said Annelize Swart, the spokesperson for the chief executive officer of the town.
Swakopmund was founded by Captain Curt von François in 1892 as the main harbour for the Imperial German colony. The founding date was on August 8 when the crew of gunboat Hyäne (‘Hyena’) erected two beacons on the shore. Swakopmund was chosen for its availability of fresh water.
Swakopmund quickly became the main port for imports and exports for the whole territory, and was one of six towns which received municipal status in 1909. Many government offices for German South-West Africa had offices in Swakopmund.
More than a hundred years down the line the town is known as Namibia’s holiday and tourism Mecca, and boasts one of the best run municipalities in the country. It has also become a popular location for movies and actors – the latest being Mad Max: Fury Road, with Charlize Theron.
A celebration planning meeting was held last week where several stakeholders proposed how the day would be celebrated.
“We came to the conclusion that everyone who has something to offer for the celebration can do it. No budget has been set aside for this; whatever people do, they will have to organise it at their own expense. We will just coordinate it,” explained Swart.
The municipality will also make available the Swakopmund Sports Ground for stalls, exhibitions, plays and performances – without having to pay a fee. No alcohol will be sold, or used, at the venue.
“The main aim is also to give all the sme’s and ngo’s and home businesses a chance to do some business. And we will not allow any business from out of town to participate. Celebrations will be all day on Saturday, and we will end the night with a big music concert,” Swart said.
On Sunday, August 5, an inter-denominational church service will be held at the Swakopmund Municipal Council Chambers.
People have until July 13 to propose their plans and ideas at Swart. She can be contacted at 410 4100 or email@example.com.