Centenary Park, Bulawayo

I recently received an email from a follower of my blog who doesn’t come from Bulawayo. She suggested I give more background about the places I photograph. So here goes. Please let me know what you think and if any of you have memories of the Centenary exhibition, Id love to hear about them.

The Centenary Park is close enough to our home in Suburbs, to walk but I went in the car cos I took Lizzy – and she is just a little puppy, with little legs!

That is my story, and I’m sticking to it.)

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Until 1953 (The Rhodes Centenary Exhibition) this park was called the “Central Park,” close to the first suburb in Bulawayo, called “Suburbs!” How original! I’m told the south side is officially still Central Park, but no one calls it that, everyone calls it the Centenary Park. Central Park is best known for the fountain where lots of newly weds have their photos taken. I took this photo with the light behind it, shining through the jacaranda tree behind.

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I took another pic later – an unusual view – but actually I was after that lovely ‘avenue’ through the trees in the distance.

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One of Bulawayo’s main roads runs right through the park – it used to be called “Selborne Avenue” named after the British High Commissioner to South Africa, (back in 1905) but now has been changed to Leopold Takawira a war hero of the Zimbabwe Liberation Struggle.

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Below is also looking west down L Takawira.

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In this pic (above) I’m standing with my back to the fountain looking towards Bulawayo. If you drive 1000 km in the other direction, you will get to Johannesburg, South Africa!

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The trees are huge and shady and I LOVE the palms!

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I’m guessing they have grown rather, since the Rhodes Centenary Exhibition, which was a pretty big affair, by all accounts, with royalty attending and all! Rhodes, born in 1853 came to Africa and made heaps of money! A commemoration of the one-hundredth anniversary of his birth was opened by the Queen Mother, in July 1953. (This country was still a British colony then.) Several of the events were held in this park. Rhodes, who founded the country we now know as Zimbabwe, is buried in the Matopos, about 50km from Bulawayo. I have previously posted photos on my blog here.

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The municipal caravan park is  just behind those trees.

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I want one of these in my garden!!! Its SO cute, so colonial!

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Her bright yellow jacket goes well in a park!

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The paths are plenty wide enough for both Lizzy and I, and park workers.

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I timed my visit to catch the evening light, and I think it worked OK.

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The smell under this tree is divine! That’s the park office behind the tree.

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This last photo is of the Museum, on the North side of the road in the Centenary Park. I do like the candle-light!

 

 

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13 thoughts on “Centenary Park, Bulawayo

  1. I spent many happy hours in this park as I was growing up. We lived out at Worringham and I went to Eveline High School so it was an easy venue to meet my parents after school and work. I loved just walking through the gardens. Even in those days they used reclaimed water to look after the gardens. They were always beautiful. I remember when the fountain was opened. Many people were against it. At the official opening someone put laundry soap in the system. It had to be closed down and cleaned out!

    • I wonder why they were against it – fun practical joke, though! Unfortunately, the reclaimed water system has broken down. I’m told that it was the first water system in Bulawayo and then when those pipes began to get old a completely new system was laid down, leaving the old one intact, and later used for the reclaimed water. I guess the system got too old to continually fix. A while ago some boreholes were sunk in the Central Park and they feed the gardens around the fountain. With very low levels in the supply dams, the council couldn’t water the entire park. It was sad to see all the hedges die, but the council gardeners have tried to replant with more hardy plants! Thank you for adding your memories here – at the Convent, we had an ex Eveline Biology teacher called Mrs Sherlaw – perhaps she was there when you were?

  2. A band played music on Sundays under the gazebo in the park, there was also a kids train and an old locomotive near the museum.
    Super pictures of bygone days.

    • The kids train is long gone, but there is talk of reviving it. Im told there has been an upgrade to the play area, but Ill have to go there to check.I love the museum, but unfortunately, Im not allowed to take pics in there. Its still very good. The old printing presses are outside the front of the museum and a huge snake park is also new. With real live snakes. We have a couple of enthusiasts in Bulawayo, who have done great things to raise awareness of our snakes and come and fetch them and re-home them if they are considered dangerous. Its incredible what a couple of dedicated people can do in a town even the size of Bulawayo.

    • Its still very popular – kids run up and down the paths or just lie about on the lawns. I took these photos in the very late evening (and its cold!) and most children were returning home from school

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