New name for Sea Point library

MATTHEW HIRSCH

Sea Point library – a place of learning and a quest for knowledge – will from now on be known as the Colin Eglin library.

And it was, in part, Mr Eglin’s thirst for knowledge and quest for equality which saw him represent Sea Point as a member of parliament for more than 30 years.

This was one of the messages at the official renaming of the library which took place last week.

Donald Stewart, the priest at Christ Church Constantia, said he met Mr Eglin while studying at the University of Cape Town. He said he was proud of his associations with Mr Eglin.

“Colin asked if I would officiate his marriage to Raili. Colin was a Christian, although he never, to my knowledge, spoke much about his faith.

“It was more a matter of deeds. His life was marked by championing the cause of equality which he pursued energetically and tirelessly until the end.”

Mr Eglin’s daughter, Susan Martin, said: “Never in his wildest dreams would he think a building would be named after him. The fact that it is a library, a place of learning, could not be more appropriate considering his thirst for knowledge and love of reading.”

Ms Martin said education was always important to him. “Sea Point being his birth place was also the space where he spent many years of frustration and joy. It was at his flat in Clifton where he got inspiration away from the pressures of politics. He always loved the vibrancy of this community.”

Former MP Peter Soal, who submitted the renaming proposal in 2014, said Mr Eglin had served the people of Sea Point with great distinction. He agreed that it was appropriate that it was a library that was named in his honour.

“Colin had a very enquiring mind and he didn’t accept anything at face value. There was always something behind it. I want to thank the City for bestowing this honour upon him.

“Driving here today it occurred to me how the library is at the end of Helen Suzman Boulevard, so they are together again. At the other end is the Nelson Mandela Boulevard, three great South Africans who had vision and courage.”

Ward councillor, Jacques Weber said Mr Eglin had represented the voters of Sea Point for more than 25 years as a Member of Parliament.

“He demonstrated exactly how a public representative should act for the betterment of others.”

In a press release, the City said Mr Eglin fought to ensure human rights were acknowledged in our country and had represented the Sea Point constituency for 33 years.

In recognition of his role in the fight against Apartheid, he had also received a number of awards.

At the official renaming ceremony, Mayor Patricia De Lille, added: “We are indebted to Colin and the men and women, who, like him, worked so tirelessly to attain our democracy. It is my hope that Colin’s legacy will live on and inspire all those who see his name here to0.”