Proudly Grahamstown until I die

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If I am asked at some time during the few years that I have to live: “Where do you live?” I will proudly reply: “In Grahamstown.”

But if in the future a child or grandchild of mine who is left in this country is asked: “Where on the earth is Makhanda? I would suggest the following reply: “It is where a city was founded some 200 years ago, and developed and administered by some settlers from Britain.

“During that time these settlers started educational institutions called Training College, St Andrew’s, St Aidan’s, DSG, Kingswood, Graeme and Victoria. Some of those have not survived and I have no idea what the others are now called. Out of St Andrew’s grew a university which was once called Rhodes which was once of international standing.

“The settlers also started an Arts Festival. The names of both these institutions were later said to be Eurocentric and inappropriate in the new South Africa, or was it Azania? And now nobody knows what they are called.“

Is it true that you will now throw the power of your mighty journal (which was also started by one of those settlers) behind the protest movement to change the name of London (Londinium)? That name is surely wholly unacceptable. It was given to the capital of the country from which those settlers came, so I am told, by a cruel and ruthless Imperial power called Rome which slaughtered the native Britons by the thousand after the Britons had set fire to it.

Andrew Lang

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