The Killie Campbell Bursary Award Evening recently attracted 90 members and invited guests to Muckleneuk, the home of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) Campbell Collections. The event celebrated two bursaries presented again this year and the unveiling of a plaque donated many years ago by the Returned Sailor's, Soldier's and Airmen's League in memory of Ethel Campbell who was fondly known as the Angel of Durban.
A welcome address by SA National Society (SANS) Chairman Hardy Wilson highlighted the objectives of SANS in preserving objects of historic interest and natural beauty.
Prof Donal McCracken painted an entertaining yet fascinating picture of the Campbell Family that arrived in Natal in 1850. The family and its descendants soon made an important mark on the Colony of Natal, in the sugar industry, the legislature and education.
Delia Francis shared anecdotes about her distant cousin Ethel Campbell MBE before unveiling the beautifully refurbished gift from Australia: "The placement of this plaque here at Muckleneuk brings together two great Campbell women, Ethel and Killie, who were first cousins born only six years apart. It is a great privilege for me, as a cousin of Ethel Campbell, to be here this evening at the unveiling of this plaque in memory of her. While I never met Ethel as she died in the year I was born, I have fond memories of tearing around the garden here at Muckleneuk as a seven-year-old, and then coming up to the house for one of Killie's famous morning teas."
Many people contributed towards seeing the Ethel Campbell project to completion, particularly Arthur Gammage who found 'tanglewood' photo frames to show Ethel and her flags and provided a brief write-up. Especial thanks to Durban Local History Museums for once again holding the heritage flag high.
The Society is grateful to UKZN for their generosity in making the Campbell Collections venue available for the celebratory event and as a mark of their long-term relationship.
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