FRANSIE PIENAAR MUSEUM
The Fransie Pienaar Museum portrays the cultural and natural history of Prince Albert and the district. It is a house museum and has a large collection of antiques and paintings and there is a display of the gold mining activities in the district during the late 19th century. A cast of the Bradysaurus fossil footprints found in the area evokes images of the Great Karoo millions of years ago. There is also a Stone Age exhibition including a rare, intact Khoekhoe clay pot found on the outskirts of Prince Albert and a moving display of the forced removals of the 60’s.
The entire collection at the Fransie Pienaar Museum is based upon Fransie’s own collection.
Fransie in her eighties
Born on Lammerkraal in 1897, Fransie was educated locally and then went to Cape Town to study at the Sullivan College of Music. She returned to the district to marry Giddy Pienaar and when her father died she and Giddy took over Lammerkraal.
Fransie was a magpie of note and she started collecting antiques and odds and ends to the extent that when she and Giddy retired to Prince Albert in 1956 an entire room of their home was dedicated to her collection.
Being in town gave Fransie more opportunities to acquire “little things” and soon she needed more room! The Dutch Reformed Church lent her a hall in Devenish Street- which gave her more scope, but by 1972 she couldn’t get another thing into the hall. By now one of Fransie’s sons-in-law, Frikkie Allers was the mayor and he persuaded the local council to lend Fransie a house in Kerkstraat to house the collection. On the day of the official opening she gave everything to the people of Prince Albert.
Since then the collection has grown and has moved to its present premises in the Haak family home which served the village as a hospital for some years.
Fransie was the unofficial curator and enjoyed nothing more than showing visitors round the building. She would provide musical entertainment on the harmonium (bought in memory of her brother – who had died on the day Fransie was born) or on her mouth organ. She died at the grand old age of 87 and is gratefully remembered by one and all.
The Prince Albert Cultural Foundation was recognised as the most active and objective conservation body in the Western Cape for 2014 -2015.
Occasionally the foundation offers an outing on the third Saturday of the month.
The topic might be of cultural, historical, pre-historical, geological, musical, culinary, or botanical interest – or a combination of several of the above!
Locals can join the Foundation for R40 per person per annum, children under 18 free!
Enquiries: Judy Maguire 023 5411 713.
Visitors are most welcome to attend outings, so if you are in Prince Albert join us to learn more about the village and the surrounding district.
A small charge will be made for adults, there is no charge for children.