Tarnishing the historic Cato Manor Temple
IT IS with deep dismay and distress that I write about developments around the 100-year-old Cato Manor Hindu Temple in Bellair Road, Durban.
The temple is situated within Cato Manor, which is a Provincial Heritage Landmark and is governed by Amafa Heritage KwaZulu-Natal, the heritage conservation agency.
I have been shocked to see that almost the entire original structure of the historic temple has been torn down and replaced by a modern building that will be mostly glazed.
All that remains of the old building are the domes.
I am aware that the Cato Manor Hindu Temple is a listed building.
This means it is protected and permission must be sought before any alterations can be carried out.
I would like to know whether consent was granted by Amafa for such extensive extensions that have totally altered the look and feel of the original structure, which is hardly discernible.
The Cato Manor Hindu Temple was built by humble, God-fearing community members as a place of worship.
Thus it has strong association with people who contributed to the history of Cato Manor.
This temple stood not only as a place where spiritual refuge was sought, but was also a monumental reminder of all those gallant souls that have kept the temple lamps burning through tremendously trying times.
To erase all this history with a demolisher’s hammer is sad.
Many aspects of the old temple building were donated or sponsored by well-wishers who would not have expected their benevolence to be reduced to dust.
This is an outrageous state of affairs at a temple which earned great respect and admiration over a whole century.
In my opinion, the temple will never be the same.
It is paramount going forward that our elders and religious leaders should never allow such a situation to prevail not only in this, but in any other temple that has such a rich history. DHAYALAN MOODLEY Mobeni Heights