Cape Town has lost a legend. Former Chief Petty Officer Dudley Malgas, famously known as Mr Noon Gun, died on Monday morning [November 30].
For 22 years, Malgas was in charge of setting off the famous Signal Hill noon gun at 12pm sharp everyday day, except Sundays and public holidays. During that time, he fired the cannon over 6500 times.
He and his family lived in a small house on Signal Hill where he would oversee the premises and prepare to fire the gun.
He retired in 2019, and fired his last gun on August 31 of that year to much fanfare. He had become as legendary as the noon gun itself, and kept visitors entertained and informed over the years.
A BackaBuddy fundraiser was started in his honour in 2019 to help make his dream of becoming a tour guide come true.
Malgas, originally from Mossel Bay, joined the South African navy when he was 19-years-old, and explains that it taught him many valuable life lessons.
“While being a part of the navy, I learned about discipline, time and the importance of doing things correctly the first time. These lessons I have carried with me throughout my life and also passed it on to others,” he told the Cape Argus back in 2019.
Condolences are pouring in for his family on social media following his passing.
“Even if we didn’t know the man personally, many of us City Bowl/Atlantic Seaboard residents heard – and felt – his work each day at 12pm sharp; a thundering reminder not only of the time, but of our living heritage. Rest well, Mr Malgas. I hope they fire off a few shots in your honour,” wrote one social media user.
“Another legend Gone. Chief Petty Officer Dudley Malgas. Always remembered for his wonderful talks at the Noon Day Gun. RIP,” added another.
Picture: Screenshot from video