The Foundation Team
The Foundation Team, who were instrumental in the vision, research, design and establishment of the Camissa Museum, have handed over the baton to a new Governance Board to take the project forward to completion and on to a new growth path. All titles and service-provider positions used by the Foundation Team will now fall away, but the these foundation members will still act as support advisers to the new Board.
Calvyn Gilfellan is the Chief Executive of the Castle Control Board, the body that manages the Castle of Good Hope which is the home of the Camissa Museum, and the oldest colonial building in South Africa. Calvyn is one of the country’s foremost experts in the tourism and heritage sector with over 31 years of experience in cultural tourism, training, tourism research, marketing, consulting, public administration, strategic planning and governance.
Under his leadership, the image of the Castle of Good Hope is being transformed from a bastion of armed colonial conquest and Apartheid oppression, into a symbol of inclusion, education, healing and nation-building. After completion of his BA Honours degree in Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) in 1984 he joined UWC as a junior lecturer/researcher in February 1985. While lecturing, he completed his master’s degree in Geography and Environmental Studies at UWC in 1991. His full-research thesis is titled ‘The Socioeconomic, Cultural and Morphological Impact of Tourism on Historic Mission Stations in the Western Cape: Genadendal, Elim Wuppertal.’
In 2000, he left UWC to take up a challenging but rewarding post as Director: Tourism Development, in Mpumalanga Province. After that, he joined the Western Cape’s Destination Marketing Organisation (CTRU) as Executive Manager (2004–2007) and then as Chief Executive (2007–2012). Gilfellan is very active in the social movement in his hometown of Paarl and has served in various capacities on an array of community-based and civic organizations. Besides Gilfellan’s many public opinion pieces on contemporary heritage debates, he also regularly shares his expertise and experience on formal national and international platforms.
Patric Tariq Mellet was born and raised in the Salt River, Woodstock, and District Six in Cape Town. Starting working life at age 16 as an apprentice mechanical engineer, he later also qualified as a lithographic printer. Patric started two anti-Apartheid newspapers which were banned by the Apartheid Regime – ‘Young Voice’ and ‘New Voice’. Forced to leave South Africa into exile in 1978, he served under arms and worked for the ANC as a printer, journalist, designer, and broadcaster in the resistance media department, also serving on the editorial boards of liberation movement periodicals. Mellet graduated with a diploma from the London University of the Arts – College of Communication, and with an MSc degree from the Buckinghamshire New University. His dissertation focussed on the Enslaved of the Cape and Cape Indigenous Peoples as a heritage tourism niche.
Mellet was the first Director of Public Relations & Protocol in the post-Apartheid Parliament of SA, and before retiring, he served as Special Advisor to Minister Naledi Pandor, as well as Commanding Officer DHA Inspectorate – Director Aviation and Maritime Ports Control for South Africa’s international airports and harbours, specializing in the combat of human trafficking. In 2005 he was commissioned by IZIKO Museums to produce a business plan for the transformation of the old Cultural History Museum into the Slave Lodge Museum. This was a progression on heritage exhibitions and a tableau that he produced for UCT and Parliament respectively. In 2009 his work on the intangible heritage of the Cape received a Provincial Honours award. He has published two books – “Lenses on Cape Identities” and “The lie of 1652 – A decolonised history of land”. A frequent commentator on Camissa African identity in the news, he has also made TV-documentaries on the subject.
Twenty years ago, he developed a unique tool – the Camissa Seven-Tributary Matrix for exploring 195 ancestral-cultural roots of origin of people who had been classified by the colonial term ‘Coloured’ and argued for the embrace of a non-racial and non-colourist dignified terminology – Camissa African. His own family tree includes twenty-eight slaves from ten global locations; five ||Ammaqua and Cochoqua Khoe ancestors; and nineteen Europeans who married across the colour line. In 2019 the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture appointed Mellet to the Governance Council of the South African Heritage Resources Agency. The Camissa Museum is a culmination of a 28-year process of broad consultations initiated by the late Reg September, Patric Tariq Mellet and others, through the Roots & Visions Forum established by Reg September who had envisioned the establishment of a museum of this type at the Castle of Good Hope.
Angus Leendertz was born and raised in Cape Town and left South Africa in 1974 to complete his studies in Interior Architecture at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, having completed a course in Graphic Design at the Michaelis School of Fine Art at UCT. He moved to Australia in 1980 where he started his career in Sydney working on many high-profile projects in the field of architecture and design. In 1997, Angus responded to Mandela’s general call for South African professionals to return and relocated to Cape Town until 2010.
Landmark projects of Angus in South Africa include the Permanent Exhibition on Slavery at the Slave Lodge Cape Town, and the conversion of the Robben Island Medium B Prison to a Resource Centre with accommodation, which included a Seta approved product design learner-ship. Flagship design projects for the Parliament of South Africa, the Arabella Sheraton Hotels and Kirstenbosch restaurant attest to a diverse portfolio. At various times in his career he has worked as a Livelihood Consultant for UNESCO and the Ford Foundation, conceptualizing and piloting courses in product design development as a means of income generation for historically disadvantaged and marginalised individuals and communities in South Africa and other locations in Africa.
Angus is the curator of the international multimedia exhibition ‘Memories of the Struggle – Australians against Apartheid’ which has shown at Customs House Sydney, the Museum of Australian Democracy in Canberra, Constitution Hill in Johannesburg and The Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town. Angus is currently working with historian Patric Tariq Mellet on the establishment of the Camissa Museum at The Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town. He is a PhD candidate at Canberra University and will complete the doctorate in August 2020 and resides in Sydney.
Colin Jones is the former chairman of Iziko Museums Cape Town, South Africa. He served as its acting director during the search for a full-time director for the establishment of the institution in the post-Apartheid era. He was appointed by the Ministry of Arts and Culture to lead the restructuring and transformation process of national museums in South Africa. This involved the amalgamation of thirteen independent national museums into one national museum system and the redressing of the Apartheid narrative which had previously excluded the diversity of populations in South Africa.
Colin advises internationally to museum leadership on the development of strategic thinking in addressing the role of museums in the formation of national identity, inclusive diversity and addressing sensitive historic issues in museums. He has been engaged as advisor to the Museum of London’s former director and to the Royal British Columbia Museum. He currently serves as a non-executive director of Barker Langham, a UK based museum consultancy. He has contributed essays and articles on the role of museums in the formation of national identity, the return of cultural property, and diversity in museums. During the Apartheid years, Colin Jones was also the Dean of St George’s Anglican Cathedral and a leading opponent of Apartheid.