A blue carpet was laid out for Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu at the launch of the Arch for the Arch, on Saturday October 7. It was the Anglican Archbishop’s 86th birthday, and he was greeted by an eager crowd surrounding the arch erected in Government Avenue, near St George’s Cathedral (“Honour for the ‘Arch’” CapeTowner, October 4).
True to form, Archbishop Tutu, accompanied by his wife, Leah, greeted the crowd, grinning from ear to ear.
With mayor Patricia de Lille at his side, Archbishop Tutu cut the purple ribbon to launch the arch.
The Arch for the Arch is made of 14 pieces of bent wood, each representing a chapter in the constitution. Ms De Lille said the Archbishop and his wife were being honoured for being a “beacon of hope and a light that illuminated with compassion through the dark days of our unjust past”.
She said Archbishop Tutu “continues to speak truth to power before and after our liberation” and remained a leading advocate of peace, equality and reconciliation. “We are truly blessed to have the Arch as a son of Cape Town and to honour him and Mama Leah within their lifetime as we did with the father of our nation, Nelson Mandela. “On behalf of the people of Cape Town, I want to thank you and Mama Leah for your contribution to our city and our country,” said Ms De Lille.