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Born in Bulawayo
Memories of Bulawayo
Where is Bulawayo? Well, when I was born the country of my birth was called Southern Rhodesia and was part of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. These days the country is known as Zimbawe. What has not changed is the name of my hometown...Bulawayo.
I chose this picture even though it is a scan of an old calendar and by no stretch of the imagination is it a perfect quality. It represents the jacaranda trees I so loved and if you notice the tall building that seems to appear at the end of the road, that was the flat my Mother and Grandmother lived in after they sold their property. This was Kennilworth Towers which overlooked the Ascot Racecourse. They lived on the eighth floor. The trees you see lining the street is part of Centenary Park which is on either side of the road.
The wide open streets are a feature of Bulawayo. These are my memories...and a bit about me.
Photo from 1984 calendar and taken by the Zimbabwe Tourist Board
This glorious tree is a blaze of lilac / mauve during September and October. The jacaranda tree was first introduced into the county from South America in 1897. Its flowers are bell shaped and it signifies the start of the warmer weather. I used to love the jacaranda display.
In Rhodesia / Zimbabwe we never referred to Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. We had the wet and dry seasons. It definitely did get cold, especially at night but usually the sun shone during the day. Yes, we also had frost...black frost which burnt the plants.
Reading About Bulawayo
This photo was sent to me some time ago and I am unable to credit the source. It has been scanned from a publication
Please note that unless noted otherwise photos are my personal photos or from friends.
Have you ever visited or lived in Bulawayo?
Wide Streets of Bulawayo
Bulawayo is the second largest city in Zimbabwe and is is in the province of Matabeleland.
The streets of Bulawayo are very wide as you will see in this picture taken from a 1982 calendar. This was so that a span of 16 oxen could turn in the street. The streets were designed in the grid system by Rhodesia's founder Cecil John Rhodes.
Photo by Sue Romily
Have you ever seen such wide streets?
World's View at Matopos - or Matobo
The Matopos National Park is about 35 Ks south of Bulawayo. We used to see the New Year in and then head to World's View to watch the sun rise. The stunning rock formations and balancing rocks are a sight to see!
Matopos Hills were a favorite of ours to visit in the weekends. World's View is where Cecil John Rhodes is buried.
Gosh I miss this.
The top photo was from a 1981 Calendar and taken by Alan Allen. However, I have been informed this is not the Matopos World's View at all. The following photo was taken by tfengreen on Flickr. This is at the Matopos!
Lyn at Matopos in the 70s
A local radio station in Bulawayo in the 1970s.
Balancing Rocks at Matopos
The Shangani Patrol Memorial
Situated at World's View anlongside the grave of Cecil John Rhodes.
Nothing beats an African sunset in my books. When I was growing up I used to refer to the beautiful colours of a sunset as prune juice and custard! Can you see it in this photo? Perhaps not a romantic description really...
My most vivid memory of a sunset was one that made my heart ache with its beauty. It was many years ago while visiting a friend who worked at a mine. The antelope that was silhouetted against the lovely colours of the sky added to this great feeling of aching beauty. I only wish I had a camera at the time...imagine the sunset viewed against the red earth of Africa with a beautiful animal silhouetted at very close quarters. Stunning!
Down Memory Lane
If you lived in Bulawayo watch out for Eskimo Hut...a favorite meeting place when I was living in Bulawayo! And watch out for the ice cream vendors on their bikes.
Couldn't see any pictures of my old school St Peters (SPUDS we called it). Come to think of it I didn't see Hillside and Leander Schools either - - perhaps because they were junior schools. My brother's school Hamilton is there. The Mater Dei Hospital is there too...that's where I was born. Yes, born in Bulawayo!
- Welcome to Bulawayo!
An overview of Bulawayo by Bulawayo Publicity Association.
- Matopo or Matobo Hills
Learn about the Park and the history of the hills.
- St Peter's Diocesan School
This web has pictures of my old school SPUDS. Opened in 1911 and closed 1977.
- The birth of Bulawayo
This site gives a background to the meaning of Bulawayo and the history surrounding King Mzilikazi
Bulawayo's Forgotten School: St Peter's Diocesan School - Known as SPUDS to those in the know!
Firstly I have to admit to not having read this book...so why review? Well, I just came across it and thought there may be others interested in reading about their old school, after all there is very little out there about the school that has a place in many hearts.
A reviewer on Amazon indicated that she enjoyed the read and the memories it evoked. However her criticism is that most of the period that she attended St Peters (1950-63) did not appear to be covered. I'm not sure what was missed but can see this as a disappointment. If you can overlook this fact you may still enjoy the read.
Do you remember Sister Ethel Mary and Miss Swart? They're there!
Did you notice that it's written by a man? I seem to remember boys allowed in the junior years ( I think) but it was really a girls school. Maybe this accounts for lost information.
If you attended St Peter's please share a little memory with us...
The years I left St Peters our end of year dance was cancelled because of food poisoning!
Did you go to St Peter's in Bulawayo?
At Ascot Centre
Ascot Centre is near the Ascot Racecourse. It is alongside Kennilworth Towers...the one noted in the introduction.
At my Ascot Flat (1970s)
At Hillside DamsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Khami Ruins is 22 ks from Bulawayo and after the Great Zimbabwe Ruins is the most important historical ruin. It overlooks the Khami River and is believed to date back to the 17th century. Artefacts found at the site indicate a Portuguese missionary presence exited in by-gone years. Who built the ruins is not known but there is some thought that the Rozwi part of the Karanga Tribe were responsible.
The name Khami means slow running.
Photo Bulawayo Publicity
Map used with kind permission of the Nations Online Project
You will see from the map that Zimbabwe is a separate country to South Africa. It seems that many people assume it to be part of South Africa but it has never been South African!
Zambia used to be Northern Rhodesia and Malawi (not shown here but to the North of Mozambique) was Nyasaland.
Please be respectful when commenting here. I know this can be a 'hot potato' to some. But whatever you think Rhodesia did exist and was loved by many, both black and white.