Peter Rattray 1924-2022

February 27, 2022
Peter Rattray 1924-2022

Peter Rattray

After a long and illustrious career as an attorney in Johannesburg Peterdecided to retire to his home at The Crags. He became very involved in thelocal community and was elected chairman of the Plettenberg Bay HistoricalSociety. After some years he & Gillian decided to downscale and in 2003 madetheir final move to the tranquility of Swellendam,

it was a decision Peter assured me  he had never regretted.


Together they joined the  localheritage organization, the Swellendam Trust ,and  soon Peter became a committee member.

One of his first tasks he undertook was to revise the constitution andchange the name. of the organization


The term “TRUST” had legal connotations which were not applicable,  A bequest had been received together withsome of the window frames from the original NG Kerk. The organisation wished totransfer these to the Olyfkrans college where a building, a Reading Room, wasto be built to house the windows.

This the Swellendam Heritage Association was able to effect.


Perhaps the contribution. Peter was most proud of was   thecreation of  Merit Awards . He saw thisas a continuation of the National Monuments Council plaques which were nolonger awarded A committee of representatives from the broader community wouldevaluate the nominations to make the awards.


The first of these wasdeservingly awarded to Adriaan Mocke for the creation of the Reading Room withits  special windows. The SwellendamHeritage Association have use of this building to hold their meetings and housetheir archive.


Time passed and by 2013 Peter was ready to retire from the committee, onthe understanding that his door would always be open to discuss and advise onheritage issues.


On a personal level Peter was always there for me, we served on thecommittee together for many years and his calm objectivity and gentle advicesaw us through some turbulent times.


During those final years I visited Peter when I could, I was alwaysgreeted with a smile and promise of tea from the silver tea pot.

He listened attentively to everything that was happening in the dorp

We talked about heritage matters,  we even talked about the bowls club, Peter hadbeen an enthusiastic bowler – but that’s a story for another day.




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