Once again, the Western Cape Commandery of the Grand Bailiwick of South Africa used the symbolism of NELSON MANDELA DAY to show a different kind of caring.

The idea of Mandela International Day was inspired by Nelson Mandela at his 90th birthday celebrations in London’s Hyde Park in 2008, when he said, "It is time for new hands to lift the burdens. It is in your hands now." A unanimous decision by the UN General Assembly launched this event on his birthday on 18 July, 2009, to recognise Mandela’s ‘…values and his dedication to the service of humanity’ and acknowledged his contribution ‘….to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world’.

Prior to the current, terrible Covid-19 pandemic, this concept was traditionally embraced in South Africa by people in many communities and from all walks of life devoting 67 minutes of their time – one minute for every year of Mandela's public service – by making a small gesture of solidarity with humanity and a step towards a global movement for good.

Due to National Restrictions, members of the Western Cape Commandery this year took a different route by matching Commandery funds with partnership funding from Rotary Club Kirstenbosch and  giving substantial food parcels to ten families in the Parish of St Michaels and all Angels as nominated by our Assistant Chaplain. 

In this spirit, a family who are members of the Commandery also gave blankets, a large food parcel and backpacks to a homeless couple living rough in their neighbourhood.

“If we want to stay relevant as an organisation, it is through just this sort of small initiative in these uncertain times that we will achieve something worthwhile and remain in the public consciousness,” said Grand Bailiff, Dame Tamra Capstick-Dale.

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