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UFS unveils Women’s Memorial Garden
2011-08-12

 

The Women’s Memorial Garden, between the Main and Chemistry building, seen from the top.
Photo: Siegwalt Küsel

Our university rewarded the hard work of women at the university by unveiling a Women’s Memorial Garden at our Bloemfontein Campus on National Women’s Day, 9 August 2011. University Staff, students, some members of our Council and other guests gathered at the university for the unveiling of the new memorial garden.

Prof. Driekie Hay, Vice-Rector: Academic, told the somewhat 50 people at the unveiling that it was a historic day for the UFS, as this was a sign of how far the university have come. Prof. Hay told the women at the function to be proud of their achievements. She said the purpose of Women’s Day was to celebrate the historic struggle and sacrifices of all South African women, especially those who fought against racism and sexism.

The Women’s Memorial Garden consists of a botanical garden with more than 80 plant species. In the middle of the garden is a stone statue with a wild fig tree planted within. Prof. Hay told the guests that the tree’s numerous seeds represent unity and is an indication of real understanding, knowledge and faith, characteristics women at our university should pursue to ensure a sustainable and prosperous future for the UFS. The University leadership will now embark on a process to identify and recognise women from the university community who have made significant contributions during its 107 years of existence.

The memorial garden was designed by Habitat Landscape Architects. Mr Siegwalt Küsel, an architect at the firm, said the garden was developed to be a living monument to women. He said they hope that the garden will become an active learning space for visitors.

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