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Tuesday, July 23, 2013 | 00:00

O.R Tambo International Airport today unveiled the Oliver Reginald Tambo Memorial exhibition, which is aimed at honouring one of South Africa’s national heroes and extraordinary freedom fighters. The permanent exhibition, situated at the airport’s International Viewing Deck, aims to bring to life Oliver Reginald Tambo’s legacy of selfless character and great teachings.

This historic occasion, was celebrated on the day that Airports Company South Africa turns 20. 2013 also marks 20 years since the passing of Oliver Tambo, whose legacy continues to inspire South Africans and people across the world.

 “O.R. Tambo International Airport is honoured to have this iconic figure who stood for education and selfless sacrifice, as our namesake. We always need to remind ourselves about the life and legacy of this revered elephant of the struggle for liberation and be able to inspire the nation,” says Unathi Batyashe-Fillis.

The Oliver Reginald Tambo Memorial Exhibition celebrates both the life of OR Tambo and the history of the airport. Legacy is about life and living and it's about learning from the past, living in the present, and building for the future and both Tambo and the airport deserve to be honoured.

In June this year, O.R. Tambo International Airport embarked on a campaign where airport travellers, the public, school children and Airports Company South Africa staff gathered to be part of this experience by personalising models symbolic of the thousands of people who welcomed Oliver Reginald Tambo back from exile. Over the four-day period, participants were guided through this process by 20 artists from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.

“O.R. Tambo International prides itself in its rich history. We have a story to tell, of where the airport has been and of OR Tambo, the selfless icon after whom the airport was named”, said Batyashe-Fillis, Manager: Communications and Brand Management at O.R. Tambo International Airport.

“We also wanted to document the airport’s history from its establishment in 1952 when it was still called Jan Smuts Airport, to Johannesburg Airport in 1994 as part of the new democratic order, and later O.R Tambo International Airport.”

O.R. Tambo International Airport was renamed on 26 October 2006, after OR Tambo, a man who contributed significantly to South Africa’s democracy. Today O.R. Tambo International Airport is Africa’s largest and busiest airport, handling an average of 19 million passengers every year, and growing in passenger and cargo volumes.

“We urge the public to come and see this free exhibition, which contributes to our country’s history lessons, while also providing a unique identity to O.R. Tambo International Airport”, Batyashe-Fillis concluded.

For more information contact:

Unathi Batyashe-Fillis

Manager: Communication and Brand Management

O.R. Tambo International Airport

Airports Company South Africa

Direct: +27 (0) 11 921 6087

Cell: +27 (0) 79 882 7307

Email: unathi.Batyashe-Fillis@airports.co.za

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