Monday, May 25, 2009

Pete Smith's Delta: memorial and herbarium launch

Residents of Maun gathered at the site of Pete Smith's former home on the banks of the Thamalakane in Maun on Saturday to take part in unveiling of a new sculpted memorial for the pioneering Okavango researcher who died ten years ago last week. Owned by the Maun Catholic Mission, the site's trees and natural vegetation are kept much as they were when Pete Smith lived there. The ceremony included Tharientsho Storytellers' songs from The Seed Children stage production and Mieke and Helena's Scottish airs for flute and fiddle, and remarks by HOORC's Director Professor Susan Ringrose and the University of Botswana's Director of Public Affairs Mhitshane Reetsang. Father Anton of the Maun Catholic Mission officiated.

After the unveiling ceremony, people moved on to HOORC, where the new Natural Collections building containing the Pete Smith Herbarium was officially launched.

The week of events, that included an exhibition of digitized versions of Pete Smith's annotated maps of the Okavango, was sponsored by HOORC's BIOKAVANGO Project.

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