Armoria civica
Province/state: Cape Province/Cape Colony (since 1994, Eastern Cape).
Divisional Council: Port Elizabeth.
Additions: –
Incorporated: into Port Elizabeth, 1967 (now part of Nelson Mandela Metropole).


The arms may be blazoned:

Or, an aloe (Aloe ferox) proper, resting upon a torse.

Motto: Festina lente.

The Aloe ferox is a striking example of the indigenous flora in Walmer and in many other parts of the Eastern Cape. Its fleshy, spike-edged leaves can grow downwards and inwardly curled (as shown above) or outwards (as shown below); sometimes the two growth habits appear on the same plant.

The Latin motto, Festina lente, translates as “Hasten slowly.”

Background to arms:
The Walmer Town Council used a coat of arms comprising a shield and motto only, without a crest. However, the device on the shield is clearly a crest, since it stands on a crest-wreath or torse. In the one illustration the torse is gold and red, in the other argent (silver or white) and red.

A further irregularity is the shape of the shield, which has a triangular projection centrally placed on the top line.

These anomalies are an indication that, despite the admirable simplicity of the design, it can at no time have been granted by or registered with any heraldic authority. It could, however, have been registered with the Department of National Education, which was not fussy about the “badges” it put on its books.

The photograph above was taken at the formal entrance to the Walmer Town Hall; there are two such sections of wall, one on either side of the Town Hall, which is still in use.

The photograph below was taken inside the Town Hall.



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  • Photographs by Ivor Markman. Scans courtesy of the Evening Post.

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    Comments, queries: Mike Oettle

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