UPDATE: FORM : The condition of Rhodes Memorial after the Fire Mon 19 April 2021

UPDATE: Friend of Rhodes Memorial : The condition of Rhodes Memorial after the Fire

I just wanted to update everyone as many members have contacted me Sunday and today regarding the condition of the Rhodes Memorial after the devastating fire that swept through the area from Sunday Morning to go on and damage invaluable UCT libraries and buildings and more.

For news reporting on events one never knows the real truth and trying to assess fake and real through social and big tech news nowday’s is becoming increasingly tricky.

To try find some truth at 9am this morning I walked up the still burning and smoking pedestrian path all the way up to the monument, the monument was deserted and still smoldering

The only living thing I saw was a lonely boomslang that crossed my path in front of me – that I took as a good omen of renewal. I was worried about many things in and around the Monument mainly damage and vandalism.

Looking around there didn’t appear too much damage to the physical Monument- the bottom of the statue of Energy was blackened, but no cracking of granite or bronze etc was apparent.

The Way Forward, using this opportunity to plant well
There has been a Huge outpouring of real interest to Rhodes Memorial, The Memorial holds a dear place in everyones heart both locally and internationally. It would be a blessing to be able to call upon the Cape Phoenix to appeal to people of all groups to come together and clear the debris and to plant indigenous trees and plants, this disaster would provide a window of opportunity to give the Rhodes grounds a real cleaning and planting of the Cape’s finest fynbos.

Flash Mop (Mob) Event
We would like to have a FLASH MOP II as soon as possible – Possibly this Saturday 24 April (See Next Article reference to moving it to 1 May because of SANParks Meeting) to clean up the Memorial from ash and pull out old burnt bushes and burnt litter. We wont touch the restaurant that might need an insurance person on hand first etc. . I will contact all by Thursday after I speak to SANParks Wendy Johnson for a go ahead to possibly let us in.
Lets hear your thoughts and comments
Please let me know your thoughts and comments, I will be posting this and many more photos on our site www.friendsofrhodesmemorial .co.za on Tuesday, but please feel welcome to email me on this address, We would love to hear from you!

Looking forward,

Gabriel Clark-Brown
Friends of Rhodes Memorial


Monument Fire in Pictures
To make things simple I have numbered and indexed images so you can see for yourself and not have to read so much.

1, 1a walking up to the Monument (all Fynbos in front and sides of has burnt)

2. Stairway up, most trees have burnt, lots of debris around.

3. Right Hand side – Rhodes Bench- lots of awful bushes alien pines gone – Rhodes bench burnt a little but needs a lot of restoring.

4. Memorial Front- no real damage, but would be good to sweep roof of the Monument and steps soon.

5. Statue of Energy – blackened underneath- it would be good to assess the possible damage or cleaning with a specialist.

6. Swan’s Rhodes Bust is fine, no melting or cracking happening

7. South Side- garden ok, Simon vd Stel Foundation Notice board seems ok.

8. North Side- all fine, tree and aloes burnt

9. Back of Memorial ok

10 Simon vd Stel Noticeboard a bit brown.

11- 12 Rhodes Memorial burnt badly, looked like Chernobyl – abandoned food was left on the tables, The restaurant, toilets, and …. sadly the Chapel has burnt down.