South End Museum LogoThe South End Museum boasts a rather complex and interesting logo. This logo is very important, as the various elements have been carefully selected to represent the lifestyle that was enjoyed by people, as well as their priorities, before the regime. It is, in essence, a summary of the many different elements that played a role in the lives of South Enders before their lives were forcibly changed forever.

At the very top of the South End Museum logo is a structure. This beautiful building was once the Dower Primary School, which played a very significant role in education in South End, and positively affected the lives of many of the South Enders that attended the school. The building was also one of the many grand old structures that were lost during the destruction of South End properties. For this reason, the presence of this building represents the loss of a vast architectural heritage.

The building rests on two fishing hooks, which have been purposefully stylised to look like whales. The hooks depict the very important role that fishing and whaling played in the working life of South Enders. This is the first of many references to the sea and the role it played in the South End community.

Under the fishhooks is a wooden structure. This structure represents, not only the old fishing jetty that was once located in the harbour, but also the bridge that used to cross the Baakens River. The sailing ship below it represents the arrival of the 1820 Settlers as well as the important role that the harbour played in the development of Port Elizabeth as a city and South End as a community.

To the right of the ship is a tram. This early mode of public transport represents the way that many of the South Enders had to commute from home to the city centre and the factories. Both the tram and the ship stand over a giant fig tree. This Wild Fig tree can still be seen standing today, just across the road from the museum. It is over a hundred years old. Though not an official structure, it represented an integral part of the lives of the residents of South End, as it was a favourite gathering place for young and old. Today, it is the sole survivor and witness of the destruction of South End. Its presence on the logo is a symbol of persistent growth and endurance despite extreme hardship.

The fig tree’s roots have been depicted to illustrate the cultural roots of the people of South End. It illustrates how living in a multi-cultural environment before the destruction nourished South Enders with the values of perseverance, tolerance and non-racialism. The shield is bordered by two katonkel – a highly prized game fish that is used here to symbolise the energy and sporting spirit of the community as well as the fighting spirit of the people against the injustices and oppression experienced during Apartheid.

When one considers the various elements of the logo and what they represent, it is easy to see that it, essentially, acts as a brief history of South End and a summary of the museum. The various elements of the museum – education, destruction, fishing, etc... – are present in the logo and provide a quick visual reminder of what once was.