Cape Town - They came from far and wide to assist in a project that will salvage an important part of South African and African history so nearly destroyed by a devastating fire.
Since the fire on the slopes of Table Mountain that destroyed several buildings, including parts of the Jagger Library at UCT, volunteers came streaming in to a lend a hand to pack the rescued valuable items into crates to be stored in a safe place.
One of the groups that came to assist were volunteers from the Church of God.
About 23 Church of God volunteers who included alumni, currents students and other church members, went to assist.
In a statement the church said: “Although the volunteers didn’t have any special skills, they were willing to diligently learn anything that they were told to do in order to give a helping hand. The volunteers took the entire day off from their busy schedules and participated in a double shift from 8am till around 5pm.”
Volunteers went out in teams. Human chains were created to move books and archival collections packed in marked crates from the basement of the Jagger Library to a temporary space.
Books that were badly damaged were marked as ’triage’ and moved to a temporary tent were volunteers assisted. Some volunteers were involved with cleaning dirty crates and organising them so that they could be used for packing items.
Dressed in green vests, the volunteers were filled with energy and excitement. Their smiles and cheers brought happiness and cheer to both UCT staff members and other volunteers. Many Church of God volunteers said that it really felt fulfilling to be part of such a big, well organised salvage operation.