Celebrating 60 years of the Infantry School: Bestowing the freedom of the city

Oudtshoorn, 10 October 2023 – The Greater Oudtshoorn Municipality honors the milestone of the Infantry School in Oudtshoorn as they celebrate its 60th anniversary. In honor of this achievement, the Executive Mayor of the Greater Oudtshoorn, Alderman Chris Macpherson had the privilege to bestow the Freedom of the City upon this institution.

The Freedom of the City is a time-honored tradition, dating back to ancient times when martial organizations were granted the privilege to march into the city “with drums beating and colours flying.” Its roots trace back to ancient Rome, where generals required special permission to enter the city. During Medieval times, soldiers camped outside city walls to protect citizens, and this honor was reserved for troops who had earned the trust of the community through valiant actions or a familiar, reassuring presence.

The Executive Mayor of the Greater Oudtshoorn Municipality stated during his address at the Freedom of the City event that the Infantry School holds a special place in our town’s heart, having not only been an integral part of our community for decades but also a steadfast supporter in times of need as well as contributing significantly to both the economic vitality and wellbeing of our town. “The school’s presence is deeply woven into the fabric of Oudtshoorn, and numerous instances stand testament to their unwavering commitment to our community.”

Mayor Macpherson expressed that in the upcoming year, Oudtshoorn will welcome more than 2,000 recruits to the town for training, a momentous occasion that will see Oudtshoorn’s influence extend across the entire nation as these recruits serve. “Our profound appreciation extends to Colonel Mbi, the distinguished Officer Commanding of the Infantry School, and his dedicated senior staff for their exceptional collaborative efforts, which have significantly contributed to enhancing the well-being of our beloved town.”

“In gatherings like this one, I am consistently reminded of the remarkable discipline, pride, and unwavering commitment that each soldier embodies,” Mayor Macpherson remarked, “and it is a true honor to stand here today and bear witness to this splendid parade. It is with the deepest and most heartfelt appreciation that we bestow upon the Infantry School the esteemed Freedom of the City, recognizing the immeasurable value they bring to our cherished community.”

The commemoration took place following an impressive military parade, where the Infantry School showcased their array of vehicles, displaying the pride and dedication that defines their remarkable service to the community and the nation.  After the event, Mayor Macpherson handed over a gift to Colonel Mbi as a token of appreciation.

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