George's youth got to experience the power of historyFrom the 27th of October to the 2nd of November over 1 000 grade five and nine learners from schools in George were treated to a tour of the Transnet Transport Museum.
From the 27th of October to the 2nd of November over 1 000 grade five and nine learners from schools in George were treated to a tour of the Transnet Transport Museum. The museum, which fulfils the Transnet Foundation’s Heritage Preservation Unit’s objective to preserve its assets of historical significance, is a stalwart of the South African railway industry.
“This was a first time visit for 99 percent of the kids and from what we observed they really enjoyed the visit. There was a lot of excitement,” confirmed Kobus Volschenk, Manager of the Museum. “The learners showed a keen interest in what we are doing at the museum, especially with regards to the technical side of steam trains and how they work. It was very encouraging to witness the number of questions asked, and the thirst for more information. It is satisfying to have made a difference in the lives of 200 kids in one day, and we are convinced that they will remember this outing.”
The tour entails a one-and-a-half-hour session, comprising a 20-minute introduction and explanation, giving the learners just over an hour to explore the various displays in the museum. With an understanding that the importance of preserving locomotives lies in the major role railways played in the development of the country, and the establishment of the economy, Volschenk cherishes the opportunity to share this with the youth of South Africa. “We preserve each and every locomotive on display because it has made some sort of contribution to the advancement of modern railway technology, the economy of the country, the way forward, and the development of the country”
The tours were configured in small groups, with learners exploring in intervals. This enabled the tour operators to assist all learners adequately, while answering their questions. The teachers were involved to help group the kids for the tours, and also learnt about the country’s railway history. Lunch packs were prepared by the Eden Lions Club.
Encouraging the country’s youth to appreciate all that South Africa’s history has to offer is something Volschenk takes very seriously. “The long term, positive impact of heritage preservation on society cannot be overstated,” he concludes. “Teaching our youth to appreciate this, helping them to understand where they come from gives them immense power for their future.”