Ex-servicemen did their bit for South Africa’s military history days ahead of 1 September, which marks the start of Heritage Month, putting elbow grease and the sweat equity to good work at the National Museum of Military History in Johannesburg.
The military museum on the northern side of the Johannesburg Zoo is part of the Ditsong stable, an amalgamation of eight museums – seven in the Tshwane metro and one in Johannesburg.
Gunners’ Association members from the Johannesburg, Pretoria, East Rand and Vereeniging branches, under the guidance of now retired Roy Andersen, former Reserve Force Chief and former General of the Gunnners, put their backs into the GV5 and GV6 guns. When these exhibits were deemed to be “inspection ready” attention was turned to the General Dan Pienaar gun park.
After more than four hours of hard labour all guns on display outside the military museum buildings were spick and span in anticipation of a visitor flood during Heritage Month.
SAAF Association (SAAFA) representatives put their hands and backs into the Alouette, Buccaneer, Dakota, Impala and Spitfire aircraft in the custody of the military museum. Assistance for the now past flying medical fitness SAAFA men came from a handful of Pretoria Boys High School pupils. They are members of the school’s aeronautical society and their assistance was taken with thanks.
The Naval Officers’ Association focused on naval exhibits, including a mini-submarine, with the Armour Association’s energies going into tanks and armoured cars.
Museum director Sandi Mackenzie inspected the work done and, according to Andersen, pronounced herself satisfied and thanked all involved for a job well done.
“External exhibits, after their bubble baths, are looking magnificent,” she said.