Shackleton engine start-up an International Museum Day highlight at AFB Ysterplaat

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The SA Air Force (SAAF) Museum at Air Force Base (AFB) Ysterplaat in Cape Town was an active participant in last month’s International Museum Day, showcasing its commitment to education and research.

This endeavour was in line with the International Council of Museums (ICM) theme of “museums for education and research” for 18 May.

Lieutenant Colonel James du Toit reports the base was visited by close to four thousand people on the designated day – a Saturday – and treated to events and activities as well as displays and exhibitions highlighting the history and contributions of the Cape Town base, officially established on 1 February 1968.

Those who turned up at the base were treated to an engine start-up by a Shackleton, a sight to see with flames belching from each of its four Rolls-Royce Griffon engines.

“Detailed planning and execution of the event were outlined with hosting the International Museum Day, emphasising the rich history of the SAAF displayed at the museum to promote aviation awareness among the youth,” Du Toit wrote. “The International Museum Day celebration anticipated 1 500 attendees but had an unexpected turnout of 3 800 visitors, marking and celebrating the existence of the AFB Ysterplaat Museum. The event served as a major drawcard, exposing near and far-flung communities to career opportunities in the SAAF as well as showcasing the base’s capabilities.

“The success of the Ysterplaat Museum’s participation in International Museum Day is seen as a testament to the power of community engagement and the importance of museums as educational and research institutions. It reflected the museum’s dedication to providing enriching experiences that educate and inspire visitors, solidifying its role as a vital part of the cultural landscape.”

In addition to museum and base personnel, the Friends of the Ysterplaat Museum all contributed to a good and successful day.