I have been at the knighting ceremonies held by the British Embassy (Swaziland) and by the Grand Prior of St John on behalf of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, for St John. They are formal, protocol driven pieces of pageantry. Thus it was that I was somewhat surprised to see how informal the ceremony was when Sylvia Glasser (South African) and Maria Kint (Dutch) were honoured by Ambassador Andre Haspel of His Majesty, King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands for their respective roles in furthering South African/Dutch relations.
Sylvia and Maria have both been awarded a knighthood in the Order of Oranje-Nassau for their contribution to democracy (during and after apartheid), cultural cooperation between South Africa and the Netherlands, education and the arts (especially their commitment to the training of young dancers of all races).
The National Arts Festival in Grahamstown will be hosting an exhibition on the role played by the Dutch artists in the Anti-Apartheid Movement. The production of the Exhibition is supported by the Embassy of the Netherlands in South Africa and the South African Embassy in The Hague.