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University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Knockando Monuments


Knockando Monuments and Mascot

Knockando houses two monuments. The first monument is the preserved mascot, 'Penelope', that resides in the dining hall and the second is' Abandon Hope'

Penelope [House Mascot]

She was a ghost believed to reside under the stage of the hall in the old Knock (Knock (I)). After Knockando had moved to Knock (II), a duck walked into the garden and subsequently became part of Knockando. Penelope, who was now the duck incarnate, was adopted as the House Mascot and Guardian Spirit . The duck survived for an unspecified length of time. When it died it was transformed by a taxidermist and the remains were later kept in a glass case in Knock (III) and still currently in Knock (IV). Several attempts have been made to steal Knockando's pride but in all cases Penelope was rescued from the hands of the jealous invaders! Some of these attempts resulted in serious confrontations between Knockando and the assailants.

Abandon Hope

Many years ago (1951), when Inter-varsity Raids were at their fiercest, a resident of Knockando succumbed to cowardice, retreating down a chimney in the face of a Tukkies attack. This marked a sad day in Knockandian history which led the Chairman, Mr. Terence Ashton, to inscribe the fateful words 'Abandon Hope' on the doorpost of his room. The words 'Abandon Hope' have been engraved on the concrete floor not too far from the gate at Knock (IV). The very same words appear on Knockando's old emblem in the dining hall;, they were also printed on certain Knock' T-shirts of yester years.