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Communication & Stakeholder Liaison



Virtual Tour

Bethelsdorp was established in 1805 by Johannes van der Kemp who came from London as a missionary. Apart from the military post at Fort Frederik, it was the first organised settlement in the Algoa Bay Area

Van der Kemp erected the church in 1803, which makes it the first congregational church in Southern Africa. It was then rebuilt twice and extended in 1983. Despite all the building, van der Kemps original bible remained preserved. Today it is thought to be one of the oldest in South Africa.

The Bible: Brought by the missionaries and printed in 1664. In those days they usually never put the bible down, but always had it in their arms. It was how they introduced the bible to the people they were trying to convert.

The original mission bell still hangs in the Market Square outside the church. Back then it was the only form of long distance communication for the 600 Khoi khoi people in the district. It is still used today at weddings, baptisms and funerals.

Bethelsdorp started with only 50 small huts and a hay roof clay church. It now has over 150 000 resident living in the area.

June Udemans

June Udemans

Virtual Tour

June Muller was born into working class family in Cape Town but the family soon after moved to Upington where she and her siblings spent their formative years. The semi-rustic conditions and missionary education gave her the inclination to be studious with a life-long commitment to the world of learning, intellectual pursuits and a love of letters. June matriculated at Carlton van Heerden High School.

She completed her formal education at UCT where she read for the BA degree and the Higher Teachers’ Diploma. Before graduating she joined the Teachers’ League of South Africa as a student-member and with it the Non-European Unity Movement. She belonged to the youth who were harnessed by the intellectual energy of the New Era Fellowship, the deliberate linkages to Langa Township and the Society of Young Africa.

She taught at South Peninsula High School and after relocating to PE she taught at Gelvandale-, South End- and Bethelsdorp High Schools. In 1981 she became a lecturer at Dower College of Education where after being detained under the State of Emergency, she was transferred to Bethelsdorp, ostensibly as “punishment” where she remained until her retirement.

Magda Minguzzi: Horizons

Magda Minguzzi

Virtual Tour

Magda Minguzzi is an Architect, Phd in Architectural Composition at IUAV (University Institute of Architecture of Venice) Italy, and an Artist. She has exhibited her architectural and art work in Italy and South Africa. She is currently a lecturer at the School of Architecture at Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth.

Magda says: "In my work "Horizons" I speak about the waterfront of Port Elizabeth. This is the first place, after my arrival in South Africa, that became part of my mental map of understanding an unknown place and remained the only one for a long time.

I recall through my work the elements found in this coastal strip, which are not land and neither the open sea. It is a three kilometre long stretch of sea that runs parallel to the coast, that includes distinct elements, that when put together, creates a precise sequence: the rocks found of different forms and in different places that mark the beginning and end of the sequence, the pool, the “six pillars”, the new pier. Elements that have a personality, an identity, which are significant, because they have something to tell.

In this special occasion it is possible to see the preliminary study of the series entitled "Horizons".

Exhibition: Historical Landmarks

Landmark Exhibition

Virtual Tour

The exhibition theme, Historical Landmarks and Historical Collections, links with the 100 year celebration of Port Elizabeth being declared a city on July 28, 1913.

University students, staff and alumni were invited to capture the city’s landmarks photographically and to link the landmarks to the six values of the University. These being the respect for the natural environment, respect for diversity, Ubuntu, Excellence, Integrity and taking responsibility. These photographic portrayals were part of the Exhibition and the winner and runners up, announced at the Exhibition.