DISTRICT SIX – LEST WE FORGET
Throughout my childhood years I lived a protected life because of my European complexion. At the same time people were evicted from their homes in District Six. A family would leave for work in the morning and as the son or father returned from work they would find that all traces of their home and family would be gone in the afternoon. Many had to search for their loved ones who were removed to other parts of Cape Town.
An entire community was torn apart by the sound and destruction of large bulldozers. A beautiful chapter in history was flattened down to the ground in the name of white supremacy. The voices of the inhabitants of District Six were silenced and memories of days gone by now only exist in the hearts of those who once lived there.
Earnest Worely lived at no 12 Long Market street in District Six. He allowed me to have a small glimpse of his life. Earnest and his mother were destitute and taken into the home of a loving family who made them feel as if they belonged. He has fond memories of their dog with an Afrikaans name, called “Nonsens”. He got married at the very young age of 17 and became the hardworking father of seven children. He was one of many who lost his “Home Sweet Home”. Today he is a retired gentleman who loves his family. He is now enjoying a carefree life after his wife passed away.
The English rhyme “Humpty Dumpty” character from “Alice in Wonderland” was at one time printed on the Mazawatee tea tins and reminds one of how those in “high “ places came to a fall with the rise of a new democracy in South Africa. Sadly the walls of District Six can never rise out of the dust of bulldozers again.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.
Thank you Earnest for sharing your story with me.
Keywords: District Six, memories, collage, fabric, dolls, tin,