The construction of the life-size female Southern Right Whale tail in the school grounds is back on track with Whale Tail unveiling scheduled for Friday 6 May 2011.
The tail is a challenge to the one at Tussing Elementary School in Pickerington, Ohio, USA which was part of the inspiration for the project. It is hoped that it will be a tourist landmark and will encourage marine conservation at Muizenberg Junior.
Both the Tussing and Muizenberg whale tails symbolise conservation. The Muizenberg tail will be “dressed” with plastic bottle caps sending out the message to keep False Bay free of plastic waste which many sea animals ingest causing starvation and /or entanglement.
There is much activity behind the scenes such as the building of the skeleton off-site by the reknowned duo – sculptor Ed De Kock and architect Lars Fischedick; the punching of two holes in the plastic caps with a specially designed machine; a maths project to analyse the type, size, colour and origin of the collected caps and preparation to paint the school’s perimeter wall with a marine theme. Moms and Dads are helping with these latter tasks.
There will also be a short ceremony to bless the foundation stone.
The public, charities and businesses have collected thousands of used plastic bottle tops which will be attached to the frame of the whale tail to form a colourful skin. Ken Budden, a retired engineer, designed a punch to make neat holes in the bottle tops so that tying them to the Whale Tail would be a lot easier – and more fun! In the photo (left) Alan Lindner of `A whale of a Heritage Route’ watches as Ken Budden demonstrates how to use the punch. The project team wishes to thank everyone for sending in their recycled plastic bottle tops and request that they keep collecting them for drop- off at either the school on 56 Main Road Muizenberg or at various businesses between Simon’s Town and Muizenberg who are acting as collection points – see www.awhaleofaheritageroute.co.za/plasticbottlecapcollection.htm for details.
Suggestions for a name for the whale can be smsed to the whale spotting line – 079 391 2105.