Granite replicas this week replaced the brass plaques stolen last year from the Bible Monument. Three of four brass plaques depicting the historic hand-over of a Bible to Pieter Uys’s party of Voortrekkers outside Grahamstown in 1837 were stolen from the monument near the industrial area west of Grahamstown in October last year – distressingly, Rapportryers member Strauss de Jager said at the time, given the small change the thieves may have received for this commemoration of this gesture of friendship between two groups often in conflict with each other. Stan Pohlman, owner of Crankshaw Marble and Granite from Queenstown helped decide materials, did the design ‘and offered a very affordable quotation for the work,’ De Jager said of the replacement plaques. The Rapportryers will cover the cost of the work, but welcome contributions were also made by Pat Irwin and the Grahamstown Historical Society, De Jager said.
Rapportryers chairperson Joubert Retief said, “We are extremely grateful that it was possible to replace the plaques and hope that the whole community will come together to celebrate its reinstatement. In doing so they support this symbolism of a unified Makana. Special thanks to Dominee Strauss de Jager who headed up the project.”