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Tourist Route – Station 12

Stations
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

Tour Guide Tips and Information: Station 12

Read the Harry Giddey Park Story on the pedestal or below.

Station 12 is located at the gates into Harry Giddey Park. The park has a long history of exceptional commitment by individuals to make the park a reality. The park is the main open space which serve the Mossel Bay Town area. The park’s purpose is to serve the local community by providing a space where residents and tourists can relax within a natural landscaped setting. Enjoy the park by strolling through the park, relaxing on the lawns, picnicking with friends and family. The park also house several sport clubs and a small animal farm at the back of the park.

HARRY GIDDEY PARK – THE MAKING OF A PARK FOR THE COMMUNITY

Harry Giddey Park is a lush oasis in the centre of town where the community can get together, relax, partake in sporting activities, host and attend events – or just enjoy a simple daily walk.

The original water stream that provided water to the first explorers flows through barren land with a few trees west of the central town. As the water supply was limited, early residents had no gardens and expressed the need for a central park for the town. In 1886 the first water scheme was built by Delbridge with a 26- mile-long waterline from Kleinbosch to the Schermbrucker reservoir. With this the development of a park became possible and on 21 June 1887, the Jubilee Day of the Queen, Victoria Park was opened.

In 1903 the enterprise Bruns & Mutare donated ornamental cast iron gates which were erected across the western end of Marsh Street (the street behind you). Beyond this point the hill became too steep for animal-drawn transport. However, when the first motorised vehicles appeared, Marsh Street was extended up the hill and the gates were relocated to their present position.

In 1940 two extraordinary people come to the fore who improved the park – Harry Giddey, a benefactor, for whom the development of the park was a labour of love, and Jan Kriek, a superintendent with his whistle – who took care of the park from 1940 to 1958. In 1969 the park was renamed the Harry Giddey Park. With help from well-known stonemason Dial Vallentyn, Mr Giddey developed paved walkways, fountains, benches and a larger play park – paid for mostly out of his own pocket. He also introduced a small zoo with monkeys, various bird species and buck.

Great excitement was generated when, in 1951, a treasure was discovered in the park! While digging a trench, Mr Vallentyn discovered 13 gold and other coins and notes – all of British, Prussian, Dutch and Belgian origin and dated between 1700 and 1877. Over the years the size of the park was reduced to accommodate housing developments and sport fields.

To the next station

Proceed down Marsh Street in an easterly direction (in the direction of the Point). Cross Marsh Street at the intersection of marsh and Church street and follow Church Street sown the hill in a northern direction to Station 1 (440m). You will pass several tourism related businesses and historic buildings: The Second Dutch Reformed Church (1878), the Vincent building (1820), Prince Vincent & Co building (1901), The old standard Bank (1902), Mayer & Co (1857) and Urk House (1904). Station 1 is located next to the Mossel Bay Tourism Office on the corner of Church and Market Streets.