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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
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Edwin Swales gave his life so others could live

By unknown | Apr 25, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

One name the eThekwini municipality must not change is Edwin Swales Drive.

One name the eThekwini municipality must not change is Edwin Swales Drive.

Because of their unseemly haste to change names without much thought, they are reminded that this road was named in honour of a Durban son who gave his life so that his colleagues could live.

Swales was born in Durban and, after the outbreak of World War 2, he joined the South African Air Force and became a pilot.

In February 1945, Swales was at the controls of his plane when it was badly damaged during a mission over enemy territory in Europe.

On return flight to England, he realised that the plane was losing height and would not make it. He ordered the rest of the crew of seven to bail out and by keeping the plane steady, he enabled them to safely do so and survive.

Swales's body was found at the crash sight. Still at the controls and still strapped in.

Because of his heroic action, the then King of England posthumously awarded him the Victoria Cross, the UK's highest award for bravery.

Swales was not a politician. He was young and like many men and women of all races of that greatest generation, he answered the call of duty and paid the ultimate price.

To change that name would be mindless, shameful and downright spiteful.

I will lose any respect I have for the mayor, municipal manager, and all parties.

Frank Hartry, Kingsburgh


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