Editor’s Note: The Chronicle has been trying to open a relationship with our namesake city in South Africa for some time. Thanks to the efforts of Jim and Merle Cram during their recent visit we have started sharing some content with the Ladysmith Herald. Below is the Herald’s story on the Crams’ visit to a council meeting.
Ladysmith Herald, RSA
Ladysmith recently welcomed Ladysmith, Canadian Jim and his wife Merle Cram, during their visit to South Africa. Jim and his wife Cram are from Ladysmith, which is situated along the west coast of Canada.
During a meeting with the Emnambithi/ Ladysmith Mayor Vincent Madlala, Deputy Mayor Sindiswa Mfusi and Speaker Cllr Zehra Rassool, Jim had given gifts and a message from the Mayor of Ladysmith, Canada. The towns of Ladysmith would like to twin and work together building a better future for both towns.
Located on the 49th parallel, Ladysmith is a picturesque town built on the hillside overlooking the glistening waters of Ladysmith Harbour. One of the oldest settlements on Vancouver Island, the community known as Oyster Harbour was established in 1899 by James Dunsmuir, son of Vancouver Island’s prosperous coal-mining family.
The community was designed as a recreation and dormitory complex for miners, serving as a shipping port for coal from Nanaimo, and Dunsmuir moved many buildings by rail to this peaceful spot he had chosen.
When Dunsmuir received word on March 1, 1900 that the British forces had finally relieved their besieged countrymen in Ladysmith, in the Natal Province of South Africa, he named the new town Ladysmith and many local streets were named after British Generals who served in the Anglo Boer War.
Today, the delightful little town of Ladysmith has a charming Edwardian setting; a spirited, picturesque community with many of its original buildings under restoration. Take a leisurely stroll along First Avenue and see the results of the revitalization program, this has restored a number of these historic heritage buildings.
The buildings and sites evoke memories of a frontier past built on coal mining and forestry.
With a population of a little over 8,000 people, Canada Ladysmith is preparing to twin with Ladysmith to exchanges projects.
“I’m truly looking forward to making this twin project work and hope that our town, even thousands miles apart become great friends,” said Jim Cram.