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Light of the Century Monument
Aliwal North, Eastern Cape



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30°41'09.47" S 26°42'38.16" E Alt: 1315m

After many requests that the British rule must be extended across the Stormberg Spruit, Sir Harry Smith promulgated the area around Aliwal North in 1848 to serve as protection for the North Eastern border. In the same year he ordered J.C.Chase, Chief Magistrate and Civil Commissioner at Burgersdorp, to plan a town at the junction of the Orange and Kraai Rivers. On 12th May 1849 Chase laid the corner stone of Aliwal North on the rise above Voortrekker Drift and baptised the town Aliwal North by breaking a bottle of sherry against the stone. The name was chosen in honour of Sir Harry Smith's renowned victory at Aliwal in India and to distinguish it from Mossel Bay which was already known as Aliwal South.

During the centenary of Aliwal North on 12 May 1949 the Mayor, D.S.P Ackermann, laid the corner stone of the monument at the same place where Chase had laid his stone a century before. The monument is known as "The Light of the Century".

[de Wet, May & Joubert, Madeleine, 2007. Aliwal North - Discover Aliwal's yesterdays. Aliwal North: Aliwal Museum. p, 5.]

All truncated references not fully cited below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.