If, during the week, one walks into the forecourt of the Lodge de Goede Hoop, the area is taken over by the many cars that are parked there. Over the weekend, however, the picture changes. Then the two dominating features are the huge tree, which is under a preservation order, and the fountain and basin
As yet, our knowledge on the history of the fountain is limited. Alan Cooper suggests that the fountain was erected to commemorate the Centenary of Lodge de Goede Hoop, but there is no mention of this in the Cape Argus for either June or October / November 1872 when the fountain would have been likely to have started. There is, however, a photograph from the Cape Archives showing the forecourt in the 1870s. In those days it was a garden with what looks like aloes and roses growing in it. The tree was then but a mere sapling.
For a long period, the right forearm of the figure surmounting the fountain was missing but a late 1870s photograph shows it uplifted with the figure much resembling the statue of Good Hope in the Temple itself. Considering its location it would not be out of place to suggest that the statue is of Good Hope.
In 1892, at the time of the Great Fire, the courtyard was still a garden, though the line drawings of the fire do not include the fountain area.
In 1998, the Property Committee of Lodge de Goede Hoop, under the driving force of R W Bro Andy vanNiekerk, decided that the time had come for the fountain to be restored to its former glory. As a result, tons of rubble was removed from the old basin, it was reproofed, a slasto surround laid down and floodlights installed.
In the clearing of the rubbish and restoration work, neither the missing right forearm of the statue, nor perhaps more surprisingly, anything of particular interest which may have given some clues as to the missing history, was found. While we still have, at this stage, much to find out about the de Goede Hoop fountain, it does seem likely to be one of the oldest in the country and, in its restored state, is a glorious enhancement to the splendour of our premier Lodge building
Wor Bro Mike Darwin
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