Remembering Salisbury Island 53 Remembering "Salisbury Island" 1

Devarakshanam, Betty Govinden
2011 unpublished
Three distinct vignettes on "Salisbury Island", have been composed for this discussion on the tribal college for Indians inaugurated in 1961 on Salisbury Island, an old naval base at the Durban Harbour. It was prompted by the reunion that took place in 2011 at the Sibaya Complex outside Durban, as part of the 50 th anniversary commemoration of its inauguration. I present diverse aspects of life on Salisbury Island, from different, shifting vantage points and perspectives-combining the banal as
more » ... ining the banal as well as the critical, rhetorical and historical, autobiographical and discursive-in order to recreate a lost world that was experienced during apartheid, the composition "reflects the syntax of memory itself " [Hirson 2004:134]. Remembering the past in South Africa, especially the apartheid past, re-threads both positive and negative experiences, and weaves a varied quilt of personal, institutional and historical memory. For history educators this would provide a creative and critical way of engaging with the past in order to live in the present.