St George's Park History
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
St George's Park - Giant Antique Urns Vanish from Historical St George’s Site
Giant Antique Urns Vanish from Historical St George’s Site Five giant antique urns have been stolen from a national monument in St George’s Park and the innovative skullduggery behind the theft has officials perplexed.
Five giant antique urns have been stolen from a national monument in St George’s Park and the innovative skullduggery behind the theft has officials perplexed.
The urns were made by Joseph King and Co in Sturbridge, England, and purchased and shipped across especially for the unveiling of the Prince Alfred Guard (PAG) Memorial and the St George’s Reservoir, in 1907.
The reservoir takes water piped in from the Churchill Dam above Humansdorp and channels it to businesses in Govan Mbeki Avenue. The memorial is situated on top of the reservoir and the whole site is a national monument.
Made of terracotta and about a metre high, the urns had plants in them and were cemented onto 4m-high pillars set into the balustrade around the memorial’s central pond.
A metro parks department spokesman said yesterday the disappearance of one of the urns was first noticed about four months ago by engineers contracted to renovate the aging reservoir.
“We reported it to the police and to our metro security department, but three more disappeared and then a final one in the following months without us managing to stop it. There is no way that one guy could carry these things. It must have been a gang with a vehicle.
“We just hope they’re standing in a garden somewhere and that somebody will recognise them and call us.”
The training officer of the 150-year-old PAG, Captain Terry Pattison, said the regiment was perplexed and angry about the theft.
“We had to move one of the urns some years ago and it took eight men to do it. They are tremendously heavy. The thieves must have used a truck and a crane – and one really wonders how this was done without the resident authorities noticing anything.”
January 7, 2005