Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Central, Port Elizabeth

Ensconced in Central, the historic heart of Port Elizabeth, in the late 1980s, and again single, I took myself off on regular walks around the place. Having lived in the city since 1984, I grew increasingly aware of its rich built heritage, the product of its interesting history since the arrival of the 1820 British settlers.

One of many historic landmarks in the city is the Edward Hotel, which faces across the Donkin Reserve towards the sea. It was built in 1908.

I took a walk along the banks of the Baakens Valley, drawing this view of part of that green lung.

This is a view looking down on the reflective surface of the Baakens from above a cliff in Settlers Park.

Stick around in the park long enough and you're sure to come across a tortoise or two - not to mention some of the hundreds of wild bird species that frequent the place.

Another view down the Baakens valley, with part of the harbour at the end of it.

St Mary's Cemetery is situated right at the mouth of the Baakens and behind the now dilapidated PE Tramways building (where my grandfather, JC Bentley, was a senior executive in the mid-19th century). This is one of the tombstones in the graveyard.

For me there was a symbolic significance about this statue in that cemetery, because either the angel looked a lot like my ex-wife, or else I drew her thus.

I made a note of two epitaphs in the cemetery, which includes the graves of many actual 1820 settlers. The top one refers to an early editor of the newspaper I work on, the Eastern Province Herald (now simply called The Herald), which was established in 1945 and is the oldest daily in SA.

Who are you? The guy on the right is me, a self-portrait done probably in the late 1980s, because I only got spectacles around 1988. The guy on the left is a bit of fun.

1 comment:

  1. SO glad you are helping take Settlers Park back by walking there - well done.