Paarl’s most iconic landmark is hosting a series of exciting activities, including a book repair workshop and a creative writing competition.

Introductory Book Repair Course

4 July – 6 July


Give your old books a new lease on life and book a date now for the Language Monument’s book repair and binding courses.

You love your old, neglected hardcover books, but just wish you could master the art of properly repairing them? Then book repair specialist Peter Packery’s courses at the Afrikaans Language Museum and Monument (ATM) in Paarl are the answer to your dreams. Packery, who has more than four decades of experience in book repair and binding, including the restoration of highly valuable books, offers an introductory course on the repair of old hardcover books from 4 to 6 July 2018. He previously worked in the South African Library’s restoration department and ran his own book binding and restoration company for 26 years. In October this year he will offer an advanced course.

No prior knowledge is required for the three day, bilingual course. Included are working procedures, binding styles, Japanese and Western papers, grain direction, parts of the book and its construction, page repair and tipping in of loose pages, spine repairs and endpapers.

The course fee is R1 500 per person and the workshop takes place daily from 09:00 to 16:30 in the Conference Room in the Visitor Centre at the Taalmonument. Participants may bring their own tools (including a bone folder) or a set of tools can be ordered for an additional R200. Tea and coffee are included. Participants can bring their own lunch or make use of the Volksmond Coffee Shop.

An advanced course in book repair, focusing on advanced techniques such as leather bindings and gold-foiling, will be presented from 1 to 3 October 2018. The advanced course is suitable for participants who have already acquired the basics of book and paper conservation.

The ATM annually presents a whole series of courses and workshops focusing on the development of basic professional skills. This year’s programme includes subjects such as archiving, language tourism and star trails photography. Anyone interested in related subjects are welcome to make suggestions for additional workshops

For more information and bookings, contact Jeffrey Pietersen on 021 872 3441 or send an e-mail to See for more and follow us on Facebook.


“Skerpskryf” Writing Competition

28 July 2018


Look sharp and win with a creative writing competition! Many cash prizes are at stake for learners in Drakenstein.


Can you weave magic with words, conjure up sentences and hammer original thoughts together? Then the eighth ‘Skerpskryf in Afrikaans’, a creative writing competition for Drakenstein learners in grade 7, 10, 11 and 12, is the perfect plan for easy cash in hand. Participating is free, so learners can only win.

The competition is held by the Hugenote Gedenkskool in Dal Josafat in collaboration with the Afrikaans Language Museum and Monument in Paarl. In 1883 this memorial school was the first school in South Africa to officially use Afrikaans as a medium of instruction.

Participation is easy and to the benefit of every learner who writes in Afrikaans. It will also help to identify promising young writers. The finalists and their teachers will be invited to an award ceremony at the Hugenote Gedenkskool where they will also participate in a workshop with famous writers, journalists and bloggers regarding the many aspects of writing in Afrikaans.

There are two categories: grade 10, 11 and 12 learners must write an essay of between 250 and 300 words on the following topic: Wil jy graag in Afrikaans of Engels, of in een van die ander landstale, skoolgaan en hoekom? (Would you like to be taught in Afrikaans or English, or in one of the country’s other languages, and why?) Grade 7 learners must write an essay of 200 words on the same issue.

Both learners and schools can win quite a few prizes. The overall high school winner gets R1 000 cash as well as a R1 000 voucher for Afrikaans books. The two winners in the creative and linguistic categories each win R500 in cash as well as a R500 voucher for Afrikaans books. The overall primary school winner will receive R500 and the first two runner-ups R300 and R200 each. All three will also win a book as a prize. The six winners’ schools also receive a R500 voucher each for Afrikaans books. The person who encouraged the winning entry, as well as the teacher who submits the most entries, each receives R500.

Learners can find out how to enrol by speaking to their Afrikaans teachers. Winners of previous years may re-enrol, but will not be eligible for prizes. Entries must be submitted to Verinque Hendriks at the Language Museum at 11 Pastorie Avenue, Paarl, by 28 July 2018. For inquiries and electronic entries, contact her on 021 872 3441 or