This month I want to focus on the word “Eureka” and its origin as our building proudly boasts its new name.
Archimedes, historically ran naked through the streets of Syracuse shouting “Eureka!” — or “I have it!” in Greek. The story behind this event was that Archimedes had been charged with proving that a new crown made for Hieron, the king of Syracuse, was not pure gold as the goldsmith had claimed.
Archimedes was pondering how to prove that the crown was not solid gold while filling his bathtub. When he climbed in, he noticed that water spilled over the edge as the water displaced by his body was equal to the volume of his body. Using this method, he could determine the volume of the crown and thus measure of a similar size of gold to test whether the weights matched. Forgetting that he was undressed, he went running naked down the streets from his home to the king shouting “Eureka!”
One wonders what Archimedes, standing at the northern tip of Africa would think of a similar cry of satisfaction coming from the inhabitants from the of a retirement home on the other side of the continent as they exclaim: “Eureka, this is what I found in life.”
As many of our residents are aware, our annual newsletter is named Eureka. However, everyone may not be aware of it’s origin. While planning the first newsletter in January 1993, the question arose to what it would be called. Residents were given the opportunity to participate in choosing the name by entering into a competition. Approximately 150 different suggestions were received. The winner was Mrs Petra Gresse, who still resides with us after moving in on 1 December 1987, making her our longest-standing resident. Her suggestion of “Eureka” meaning “I have found” as well as a joyful cry of inspiration of the milestone reached by Archimedes was chosen to reflect the milestone of us publishing our newspaper. In appreciation of this we can now also exclaim “Eureka”, we have achieved with the renaming of our building!
Special thanks to Mrs Petra Gresse for contributing to this month’s G&T!