This year Mangaung’s well-known Batho-township is hundred years old. In 1918 the then Municipality of Bloemfontein decided to demolish the old Waaihoek location and move all residents to a new township situated south of the Cape Town-Johannesburg railway track. Batho, which was considered a so-called ‘model location’, had been one of the National Museum’s focal areas during the past ten years mainly because of the Batho Community History Project that was launched there.
To celebrate Batho’s centenary a special commemorative event was held at the National Museum on 21 September. Song and dance items, which focussed on Batho’s history and culture, were presented by pre-schoolers from Susanna Ollemans Créche, learners from Mangaung Primary School and Sehunelo Secondary School, and a choir which consisted of 40 elderly from Batho. The proceedings were concluded with the opening of a new temporary exhibition on Batho’s gardens and gardening culture. The exhibition may be viewed until the end of December 2018.