Experienced conservationist, Paddy Gordon has been appointed Manager of Table Mountain National Park, (TMNP) SanParks has announced.
Prior to his appointment, effective from April 1 this year, Gordon was the Northern Area Manager (North) of the park, responsible for the area from Constantia Neck to Table Mountain.
He has also acted as interim manager of the park from time-to-time.
Gordon also developed TMNPs Visitor Safety Program in response to the growing challenge of securing visitor safety. SANParks subsequently adopted his principles towards the formulation of a Corporate Visitor Safety Strategy.
“We are very pleased to announce the appointment of a person of Paddy’s caliber to manage this iconic national park.” said Cape Cluster Regional Manager Gary de Kock.
“Paddy was appointed after a lengthy process aimed at identifying the right manager for the park. He has a difficult task, particularly as the park is so integrated into the City of Cape Town where everyone watches every move you make and has a public opinion about what you do or do not do. We are confident that Paddy will acquit himself well ”.
“I am honoured to have been appointed”, said Gordon. “Table Mountain National Park is a national asset as well as being a World Heritage site. The fact that close to 4 million people visit the park every year attests to its popularity with local and international visitors.
“I take my appointment very seriously and I will do all in my power to preserve this spectacular park for today’s visitors as well as those who want to enjoy what the park has to offer in future. I see role as a custodian of a national treasure,” he said.
Born in Somerset West, Gordon has always had a love for nature and the outdoors. “It was instilled by his father, Peter an educator, who frequently used the local Helderberg to extend the development of his learners beyond the confines of the classroom.”
Unable, because of apartheid, to attend an institution that provided specialized training in conservation, Gordon did a Bachelors of Science Degree, and furthered his studies with postgraduate qualifications in Science, Education and Business Management. Gordon joined SanParks in 1989. He was the first black appointee to professional conservation. He has subsequently worked in a total of five national parks with stints as Park Manager, of the Mountain Zebra National Park, near Cradock and Park Manager of the Richtersveld National Park in Northern Namaqualand.
“I see one of my major challenges in this new post is to strive to meet the requirements of a divergent population whose enjoyment of this asset has to be accommodated within the mandate of protecting a world renowned biodiversity heritage. “ he said.
Gordon is married to Emelda and they have three children Robyn, Chelsea-Lee and David.
Issued on behalf of SANParks (Table Mountain Nation Park)
By HWB Communications Pty Ltd