School Programmes

The South End Museum offers a wide range of school programs that encourage students to pursue a deeper understanding of the people, places and events that have shaped Port Elizabeth. The Museum features a number of exhibitions and is home of the definitive South End story. Our wide range of world-class attractions enables us to offer a broad selection of programmes tailored to the needs of our students.

Colonialism and Apartheid brought on a Master-Servant situation in South Africa, a situation that endured for a long time. Forced Removals was part of the subjugation and oppression of the indigenous, and “people of colour” of this country.

The National Party, serving Apartheid, in enforcing the removal of communities, brought on much misery to thousands of families. In trying to have this evil act remembered the Trustees opened the South End Museum with the aim to commemorate the events and educate the youth. 

Therefore, the museum’s mission statement says: “The mission of the Museum of South End is to ensure that the historical memory of forced population removals in South Africa endures. Central to its mission, is the documentation and imaginative reconstruction and preservation of the proud socio-economic lifestyle and rich material heritage of the then South End community”.

This prompted the Trustees to focus onto an educational programme to be run at the museum.

Many schools existed in South End, most of them linked to schools, for example St Monica’s Primary School, St Thomas High School, St Peters School, Weis Memorial Primary School, etc.

With this background the late Dr Raymond Uren, together with assistant Ms June Udemans, laid the foundation of a programme of note. This encouragement motivated the Administrator of the museum to formulate a school programme that has existed over the last eighteen years.

This programme consists of school visits, power-point presentations, a tour through the museum and debates on the topic at hand. The content of lessons, in English, Afrikaans and Xhosa, is linked to the curriculum of the Department of Education and provides lessons for Grades R to 12.

Covid-19 has brought in a new dimension of virtual lessons to schools in heritage, the arts and cultural (traditional) aspects of development.

Arts & Culture:

Not much opportunity was given for organized arts and cultural activities in South End. Teachers at schools gave off their best and churches played their part. But, it was left to various individuals who rose above the others in inculcating an artistic forum. One’s thoughts go to Sybil Kopps who founded the Sybil School of Dancing, or La Continental, well known for photographs that still survive today. A fact still remembered was the use of the Lindstrom Hall for ballroom dancing by the Black hotel workers.Sybil Kops, like so many others because of Apartheid, left South Africa and taught dancing in Sydney, Australia, while Rosie Caliste (on the right), who gave so much to learners at schools in cultural competitions in the Eidsteddford, died, practically as an unknown.

The children continued to play their street games, like ‘hopscotch’, ‘skoulouli’ and others. Many of these games have disappeared today.

The 1950, ’60 and 70’s saw the emergence of orchestras (bands) and for much enjoyment by dance lovers in the Lindstrom, Crispin, and later after forced removals had taken place, the Alabama Hotel. Dancing sessions were mainly organized for fund-raising purposes by churches, schools and sport clubs. The waltz, quick-step and ‘quadrille’ were most loved dance moves and much enjoyment was derived therefrom.