The new exhibition for the different communities of the old suburb of South End is situated on what used to be the sunny upstairs porch of this stately old building. Flooded by light, it introduces visitors to the different communities who once called this neighbourhood home. Although Indians, Chinese and Malays originally came from other areas of the world, they, together with the indigenous communities, all shared the characteristic of being described as “non-whites”, which automatically meant that they had to live together in an area isolated from other white communities. They did not get to choose where they would live, and were not allowed the freedom to live wherever they chose.
South End was the vibrant home of many different communities, languages and colours. This exhibition introduces the visitor to some of these.
While small, the Communities exhibition introduces visitors to some of the influential personalities that contributed to the sports, religious and educational wealth of the area. It also examines the different cultural and religious ideals of such communities as the Cape Malay, since these were quite different to the largely Christian communities of Port Elizabeth at that time.
It is imperative that visitors have an understanding of the diverse complexity of South End if they are to appreciate the sheer value that each one of these religions, colour groups and language groups contributed.