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Friday, July 28, 2017

History Society


The next talk of the History Society of Zimbabwe will be held at the Beit Hall, St George’s College on Sunday, 30th July 2017, at 1100h



This talk by Marie de Bruijn is a fabulous, well illustrated presentation and should not be missed by anyone with an interest in the early days of this country.



Please note that members are invited to picnic after the talk at the concrete tables under the trees near the Beit Hall on condition that they do not leave any litter behind.

The History Society is very indebted to the St. Georges headmaster, Kevin Atkinson, for permission to use this location.



SPEAKER: MARIE DE BRUIJN



Marie de Bruijn is a third generation Zimbabwean and has been a teacher for many years. Born in Mutare and trained as an infants’ teacher at the Teachers Training College, Bulawayo, she later obtained a BA Honours degree at UZ.

Ten of her forebears were Pioneers in their own right arriving in Zimbabwe between 1893 and 1895.  Her maternal grandmother, Maria Moolman, arrived in this country as a 15 year old girl with the Henry Steyn trek of 1895. Her many tales, as well as the diary her father Thomas Ferreira kept during the trek, inspired, in Marie, a love for the history of her forebears.

Marie has been involved in the Zimbabwe Pioneer Society for many years and is currently Chairperson of this organisation.



SUBJECT: LIFE ON THE TREK (The Trials and Tribulations of Life on the Steyn Trek from Cradock to Melsetter).



Throughout the ages people have decided to relocate to a new country because of political or economic reasons.  Many discover, even today, that the grass is not necessarily greener on the other side but once having made the move, they have to embrace their new life fully. The arrival of the Europeans in Zimbabwe in the latter part of the 19th Century had all the same challenges.  LIFE ON THE TREK is the title of a talk based on the entries Marie de Bruijn's great grandfather made in his diary of 1895.  These notes are supplemented by the tales her grandmother told of life on the trek. A brief look will be taken at the motivation for the trek, the supplies needed, the hardships encountered and how people dealt with these. There are many lessons we can learn as we face different challenges in our own lives today.  In addition it is hoped to trace the route taken from Cradock in the Cape Province to Chimanimani, Zimbabwe, looking at the physical hardships that faced travellers and how that impacted on them.

Excerpts from the diary will be shared with members of the HSZ as Marie has translated it from the original pre-Afrikaans Dutch into Afrikaans and then into English.



Please note that the start of the presentation will be 1100h (Not at 1130h).



Charles Castelin

Chairman,  History Society of Zimbabwe, Mashonaland Branch

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