RSA (Pre-1994): Centenary of the Recognition of the Dutch Language

RSA (Pre-1994): Centenary of the Recognition of the Dutch LanguageRSA (Pre-1994): Centenary of the Recognition of the Dutch Language
Form: Circular
By: Trevor Wood / South African Historical Mint
Date: 1982
Ref:  Laidlaw: 0645;
32.7 mmSilver31.0 gm$25

Edge: Plain. Stamped: "STG S925".

Obverse: Three quarter figure of a young woman in a maternity dress, head turned to the left. With her right hand she points to a tablet cradled in her left arm. On the tablet: “VRIJHEID / VOOR DE / HOLLANDSCHE / TAAL (freedom for the Dutch language)". Signed: “TW” to the lower left. Legend below: “VOOR MOEDERTAAL EN VADERLAND(for mother tongue and father land)".

Reverse: Within an oak wreath across: “EEUFEES VAN / DIE ERKENNING / VAN HOLLANDS AS / AMPTELIFE / PARLEMENTSTAAL / IN DIE / KAAPKOLONIE / (line) / BURGERSDORP / 9 JUNE / 1882” (centenary of the recognition of Dutch as an an official language of Parliament in the Cape Colony)

Notes: Issued in a blue case lines with white silk and blue velvet inscribed on the outside of the lid in gilt: " (coat of arms) / SOUTH AFRICAN / HISTORICAL MINT".

The town Burgersdorp is in the Eastern Cape Province close the Free State border. The Afrikaner Bond political party was founded there in 1881 and they succeeded in 1882 in having Dutch recognised as an official South African language, as well as English. To commemorate their victory, the Taalmonument (language monument) was erected and unveiled in 1893. The monument is depicted on the obverse of this medal.

The Taalmonument was badly damaged during the Anglo-Boer War and Lord Milner had it removed. A replica was made and erected in 1907, but the original, missing its head and one arm, turned up in a King William's Town workyard in 1939. Now the two statues stand side by side in Burger Square.