Gill Esler has been involved with the Museum since 1999, forming an integral part of the committee as Treasurer for most of this time. Gill and Tannie Ria arranged interviews with the old folk in the community and recorded their stories about the old days in Darling.
Gill also played a large part in the collection and display of historical information on the Jewish community in Darling. She along with Denise Kriel also mapped out the old graveyard and collected the names of the folk who were buried there for the cemetery project.
Gill has always been willing to take on weekend duties in the museum and regularly took over from Dianne when she was out of the office or on leave. Her interest in the museum and history of the town has led Gill to collect stories about our town and various items in the museum, and she has entertained and delighted many visitors young and old with these stories over the years.
She has worked tirelessly in promoting the Museum and all it stands for. As a gesture of the Committee’s appreciation, an intimate function was held for Gill to thank her for all the hard work and loyalty shown over many years. We will all miss your smiles and ongoing enthusiasm as it relates to the running of the Museum and look forward to seeing you in and around Darling.
3 709 visitors went through the Darling Museum during 2015 compared to 3 355 in 2014. That’s about 350 extra visitors during this last year. We saw a large increase in visitors over the weekend of the Wildflower Show in September which can be attributed to the fact that the show ticket included entrance to the Darling Museum as well as shuttles running up to the museum over the weekend.
Things have been a bit slow in 2016 with only 403 visitors during January and February compared to 606 over the same period in 2015.
These are some of the comments from the visitor’s book over the past few months:
- Thanks for the memory-wonderland
- Lekker terug gegaan en kuier in die verlede
- Awesome to go back old school style
- Van die beste plattelandse museums. Pragtig
- Very interesting. Glad I am in 2015
- Charming history of the town
- An excellent effort to be inclusive & representative of the local history. Sensitively curated with loads of potential for further initiatives
- Inspiring. Could spend a lot more time
The Museum will be acquiring a beautifully restored spider wagon on the 11th March.The wagon was restored by Piet Serdyn (then farming near Moorreesburg) and Anton Roux (then retired and also from Moorreesburg). It’s on loan from Iziko Maritime Centre & JH Marsh Maritime Research Centre, Dockyard Road, V & A Waterfront and while it’s with us, you should really come and have a look at this beauty.
Darling has many historically interesting buildings and, walking through its streets, one comes across many of these gems. For example, did you know that the current siting of Ormonde Wine Estate was originally Langfontein. The current stately farm house was built in 1908 by Pieter van Breda of Geelbek and remained in the family until 1937. It was operated as a race horse stud and was renamed “Ormonde” in honour of a champion Van Breda racehorse. And, the elegant church situated at the top of Long Street was originally a Mission Church. Prior to its inauguration on 29th July 1928, the coloured community worshipped at the Dutch Reformed Church. It continued to be used until the time of the forced removals of the apartheid era when the congregation resettled in Darling North. It is now privately owned.
The Museum has compiled an informative brochure pinpointing the older buildings in Darling with a short snippert of their respective history. It is a lovely relaxed and interesting walk. These brochures are available at the Museum.
This will be held on Wednesday 23rd March at 17h00. The Museum is an integral part of Darling and it would be wonderful to see as many of you as possible at this event. Snacks and refreshments will follow the AGM.