Chief Petty Officer Dudley Malgas on Saturday fired his final round of the Noon Day gun in Cape Town.
He’s retiring after 22 years of service having set off the cannon on Signal Hill more than 6 500 times.
The firing of the cannon is accurate to the nearest millisecond at exactly 12 O’ Clock. It happens every day except Sundays and public holidays.
A second gun is loaded as a stand-by, just in case the first one misfires.
The Noon Day gun had been used as a time signal for ships anchored in Table Bay from as early as 1806.
Malgas has many fond memories as the city’s most iconic gunner. But he is looking forward to enjoying a quieter life, away from all the gunpowder.
“Today was the highlight of my naval career, to see many people just coming to say good bye to me, thank you very much to each and every body. I’m feeling quiet proud that I left behind the legacy of keeping Cape Town on time. What I’m going to miss the most in this job is between 11 and 12 o’clock that’s the time I get ready for the gun to fire,” says Malgas.
Surrounded by family and friends, Malgas handed over the reins to army chief Warren Sampson at a farewell function.