Gerald Kraak, former programme executive at the South African office of The Atlantic Philanthropies, left his mark in so many ways. From his early activism in the war resistance movement and in exile, through his tireless support of the LGBTI sector and his visionary work as a funder, he made an enormous and indelible contribution to South African civil society, as has been evidenced by the outpouring of tributes since his passing on 19 October 2014.
Known affectionately at SAHA as Uncle Gerald, his rare understanding and support of the role archives can play in forwarding justice in South Africa was critical to SAHA's survival. Without his vision, SAHA, like many other NGOs in South Africa, would not be here today, as SAHA trustee, Piers Pigou, explains:
SAHA's genesis as an activist archive is rooted in the steadfast support that Gerald secured from Atlantic Philanthropies. His encouragement of SAHA to shake the traditionalist archiving tree and to engage proactively with South Africa's struggle history in both pre- and post-1994 eras came in a context of avoidance and disengagement from many of these issues. His investment will be increasingly appreciated and recognised in the years to come. SAHA was blessed to have such a supporter. We salute you!
A celebration of the life of Gerald Kraak was attended by over 200 people in Johannesburg on Saturday 1 November at 3 pm at the Wits School of Public Health. For those of you who were unable to attend, an awakening will held in Cape Town this coming Saturday.
An Awakening in Cape Town
In collective celebration of Gerald Kraak, who as friend and grantor - and often both – touched our lives significantly, we want to gather in the spirit of community, and remember and celebrate his life. While he was humble and unassuming, his principles were steadfast and he fought for them with his intellect. We also want to pay homage to the Gerald who loved theatre, art, literature and music. And we want the event to be a happy one, celebrating Gerald’s dry sense of humour. Gerald’s humanity connected him to other human beings, and this is worth celebrating.
Venue: 6 Spin Street Restaurant, Cape Town (old IDASA offices near Church Square, next to the Slave Lodge, opposite the Groote Kerk).
Parking: Street parking; and on the Parade, about a block away
Date: Saturday 8 November 2014
Give / Bring:
- Donations to assist with catering costs are very welcome. Standard Bank Out In Africa 070 514 534 and use GVK as the beneficiary description.
- Hard copies of photographs of Gerald that you may have - annotated with a date, venue and occasion, which you are willing to donate to the GALA archives
If you would like to pay tribute to Gerald at the gathering, please let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday 5 November 2014. Please put GVK in the subject line.
Tribute from the Atlantic Philanthropies - In memory of Gerald Kraak - Champion of Human Rights and Reconciliation
Tribute from the LGBTI sector - Remembering Gerald Kraak: On the vision and legacy of an extraordinary man
Gerald Kraak Memorial Site