Covid victims remembered

An event was hosted to instil a sense of hope amongst residents during the pandemic.

22 October 2021 | Local News

Bret Southworth; Owner, The Tug; I also lost family members due to Covid-19…”

Swakopmund • [email protected]

The Ciske Task Force organised and presented the Swakop Unite event on Thursday.

On the occasion, historic buildings were illuminated in different colours in remembrance of all the lives lost due to Covid. Owners and managers of the respective buildings were interviewed by Ciske Howard of the Ciske Task Force, with the aim of bringing hope to residents, and eventually revive business as well as tourism.

One of the buildings that was illuminated, was The Tug Restaurant. According to owner Bret Southworth, the Covid-19 pandemic brought many challenges and the restaurant was forced to reduce the workforce from 92 to 31 staff members. “There was no way that we could afford to keep everyone on especially during the months that we were closed. Our model was not designed to focus on a take away basis,” Southworth said. On a personal level, he was also affected by the pandemic. “I also lost family members due to Covid-19. We are still going to feel the pinch of the pandemic for years to come,” he said. However, the restaurant did its best to implement preventative measures, including vaccination of the staff. “We provided staff members with information on Covid-19 and how to deal with it. We also encouraged them to get vaccinated and today all 31 are fully vaccinated,” he said.

Another building that was lit up in colourful lights, was the Swakopmund municipal building. The municipality’s manager of economic development, Michelle Uwites, said that although the municipality was established in 1909, it was only in 2011 that it moved into its own building having rented different buildings in the past. “The building has a mixture of historic and modern architectural styles, and is environmentally friendly,” she said. Uwites thanked the essential workers for their dedication, despite being hampered by the Covid-19 pandemic. “I salute all those who stood together through difficult times.”

The other buildings that were illuminated were The Dome, The Woermannhaus, Fachwerk Biergarten, the Lighthouse and the Strand Hotel.