House ready to provide hope

Construction under way on arts and culture centre.

In February next year, a long life dream will unfold at the Hout Bay Museum when the Denis Goldberg House of Hope plans to open their doors.

Debbie Budlender, manager for the Denis Goldberg Legacy Foundation, said despite the Covid-19 restrictions on building work and a few hiccups in between, the building is well on its way to being completed by February.

“This is Denis’s dream and this will be one of his legacies for the community that was his home for the last many years,” she said.

The iconic struggle veteran sadly passed away at his Hout Bay home earlier this year after battling with lung cancer, sending shockwaves through the country, (“Farewell Denis Goldberg”, Sentinel News, May 8).

Ms Budlender confirmed that the roofing of the new arts and culture education centre recently went up and they were on track for the handover.

“There was a delay in being able to obtain roofing sheeting, but we now have it and the roof is on,” she said excitingly.

They plan to officially host the opening celebrations in April next year and it will also serve as the one year anniversary of Mr Goldberg’s death.

“It would also have been his 88th birthday. We are hoping that his son and family will be able to travel here from the UK for the opening,” Ms Budlender said.

The new centre will also feature an exhibition gallery, illustrating Mr Goldberg’s life and contributions he has made.

“Because of the size of the latter, we have divided it into themes, which will be shown two to three at a time. The exhibition will also feature Mr Goldberg’s colourful art collection,” Ms Budlender said.

They have also developed a special handbook for the exhibition to give ideas to teachers and other facilitators on how to guide classes or groups of children engaging them in a fun and interesting way.

“The gallery will also have an open space in the middle so that these and other group sessions will happen in the same space as the exhibitions,” she said.

Ms Budlender said excitement is mounting at the foundation as the building nears completion.

“We have a building that is beautiful and will benefit the young people of Hout Bay and take Denis’s work forward. The building team are also pleased and proud to be part of creating Denis’s building,” she said.

But the moment is also bittersweet. “We are all very excited and impatient to have the building up and running. The only sadness is that Denis is not here to see his project ’achieved’ in concrete. But he did, fortunately, live long enough to see the site handed over to the builders,” Ms Budlender said.