New: The Trust is very pleased to announce its latest publication

The National Trust of Zimbabwe (NTZ) is very pleased to announce its latest publication:

La Rochelle

Visitors 1954-1970

After arriving in Zimbabwe (then Southern Rhodesia) in the early 1950s, British couple Sir Stephen and Lady Virginia Courtauld decided to make it their home. Fabulously wealthy and with diverse artistic and humanitarian interests, the Courtaulds built a striking home and gardens which they called La Rochelle. They bequeathed the property to the NTZ in 1970.

At La Rochelle the Courtaulds hosted an extraordinary range of visitors from all over the world and from many walks of life. Visitors were invited to sign their names with a diamond stylus on several glass window panels, and the hundreds of inscribed signatures have intrigued more recent visitors to La Rochelle.

Over the past seven years three volunteers have documented 898 signatures, aiming to learn a little about each individual – not an easy task given the problems of deciphering the signatures and the passage of time. The resulting publication provides a fascinating glimpse of signatories ranging from African nationalist activists, political figures from various parties, prominent musicians, dancers, actors and artists, historians, British aristocracy, local residents and more.

The project was initiated by a former guest and friend of the Courtaulds (and well known local botanist) Darrel Plowes and an Australian visitor to La Rochelle, Heather White. As Darrel’s health limited his involvement, his companion Nina Bauer, took on the research with Heather. The memories of local residents, along with extensive internet searching, have allowed the compilation of brief notes about many of the Courtaulds’ visitors, with web links and/or verified sources.

While much has been discovered, some intriguing gaps remain, and it is hoped the readers of the publication may be able to add a few more pieces to this picture of Rhodesian/Zimbabwean social history.

To order your copy now please click on our Publications tab, happy reading!

 

Worlds View hosts its first Wedding: Makorokoto to Mr and Mrs Mutunduwe

The National Trust of Zimbabwe is so proud and happy to have provided such a perfect and beautiful venue for the happy couple, Tendai and his beautiful bride, Trishie, who chose our World’s View site for their wedding ceremony and cake cutting, with 50 guests.

Congratulations and may you share a lifetime of happiness together, Mr and Mrs Mutunduwe!!

       

 

Brand new NTZ On-line Publication for Sale – Historical Signatures Book: La Rochelle Visitors 1954-1970

A very important historical book entitled: ‘La Rochelle Visitors 1954-1970’ has been officially published to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the National Trust of Zimbabwe (2020) and in memory of Mr Darrel Plowes (04/04/1925 – 19/10/2016).

Book Outline

After arriving in Zimbabwe (then Southern Rhodesia) in the early 1950s, British couple Sir Stephen and Lady Virginia Courtauld decided to make it their home. Fabulously wealthy and with diverse artistic and humanitarian interests, the Courtaulds built a striking home and gardens which they called La Rochelle. They bequeathed the property to the National Trust of Zimbabwe in 1960.

At La Rochelle the Courtaulds hosted an extraordinary range of visitors from all over the world and from many walks of life. Visitors were invited to sign their names with a diamond tipped stylus on several glass window panels, and the hundreds of inscribed signatures have intrigued more recent visitors to La Rochelle.

Over the past 7 years 3 volunteers have documented 898 signatures, aiming to learn a little about each individual – not an easy task given the problems of deciphering the signatures and the passage of time. The resulting publication provides a fascinating glimpse of signatories ranging from African nationalist activities, political figures from various parties, prominent musicians, dancers actors and artists, historians, British aristocracy, local residents and more.

The project was initiated by a former guest and friend of the Courtaulds (and well known local botanist) Mr Darrel Plowes and an Australian visitor to La Rochelle, Mrs Heather White. As Darrel’s health limited his involvement, his companion Ms Nina Bauer, took on the research with Heather. The memories of local residents, along with extensive internet searching, have allowed the compilation of brief notes about many of the Courtauld’s visitors, with web links and/or verified sources.

While much has been discovered, some intriguing gaps remain, and it is hoped the readers of the publication may be able to add a few more pieces to this picture of Rhodesian/Zimbabwean social history.

The Trust would like to acknowledge the passionate voluntary work undertaken by Mrs Nina Bauer and Mrs Heather White over a period of 8 dedicated years. Together they have compiled a fascinating and highly interesting document.  The Trust is extremely grateful for all their hard work and time and for choosing the Trust to be the sole financial beneficiary of their work.

The Trust would also like to say a huge thank to Ms Catherine Leonard and Mr Bill Turner of the International  National Trust Organisation for all their technical help and support in bringing the on-line sale of the book to fruition.

Book Cost

The cost of the on-line book is USD 20.00 each.

A printed soft, colour book is available in Zimbabwe only.

Processing of International orders

If you would like to purchase a copy of the book your order will be processed through our website provider: Change Canada Consultants Ltd., who will process your order on a secure site. Once payment is received your copy of the book will be available immediately for download from their server. Please click on this link and you be redirected to their site.

Processing of Zimbabwe orders

If you live in Zimbabwe and would like to purchase a copy we can take payment in local ZWLs/USD/Ecocash/Bank transfer/PayNow. In this case your order will be processed through the NTZ .  Please email ntzimbabwe@gmail.com.

We do hope that you enjoy reading all about the people that signed the lounge windows at La Rochelle.

We would love to hear about any comments that you have.

Historic Property and Novel Crops

The NTZ (the Trust) would like to congratulate Organic Africa, in conjunction with La Rochelle Centre, on the recent official opening of their organic herbal tea factory at La Rochelle which is a Trust site in Penhalonga (the Shona word Panoronga meaning “the place that shines) situated in the Imbeza valley.

Mr D.Collenburg  of Organic Africa watching, Mr D.Karoro Hon. Deputy Minister of Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement cutting the green ribbon of the opening of the tea factory

On their way to the tea factory representatives from the Trusts Executive Council stopped to admire the bright orange Calendula flowers at one of the trial herb plots.

Left to right: Mrs Fira Bache NTZ, Mr Kevin Martin Organic Africa, Mr D.Karoro Hon. Deputy Minister of Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement and Ms Gill Honeyman (NTZ Chair of Worlds View).  Mr G Cary (NTZ Chair of the Nyanga Museum) also attended

At the tea factory guests were welcomed and given a tour of the facility which began at the drying area where the tea leaves are delivered after picking. The dried leaves are then processed by brand new, state of the art leaf processing equipment imported from Serbia.

Leaf processing equipment

The processing machine is fast and efficient: the leaves are threshed and then partly separated from the stems. The leaves are fed into the vibration separator where they are sieved by vibrating screens and separated based on their size.

The equipment has environmental ‘green’ advantages as it uses left over unwanted exotic timber, from managed plantations in the area, to provide the energy source. Any particulate dust from the procedure is collected and re-used in the process.

The finished premium tea leaves are packaged in bulk, certified organic and exported. They are blended by clients in Europe where there is a high demand for herbal teas and a percentage is kept for the local market.

La Rochelle Organics Herbal Tea

Delegates joined together for a celebratory photograph.

Left to right:Mr D.Collenburg Organic Africa, Mrs S Waterworth NTZ, Mr U.Volz German Ambassador, Mr D.Karoro Hon. Deputy Minister of Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement, Mr N.Jager Swiss Ambassador, Mr I.Craig ARDA Board Chairman,   Mrs B. Mtetwa International Trade Foreign Ministry, Mr Machocho  The National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Department of Research and Specialist Services within the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanization and Irrigation  Development

Guests were then taken into the packing area and treated to a tea tasting event where they could sample some of the delicious herbal teas made at La Rochelle including rosella, a species of hibiscus, and Melissa, a member of the mint family, also known as lemon balm.  Afterwards everyone took a seat and warmly welcomed by Domink Collenburg Organic Africa CEO opening speech followed by speeches from Mr Volz, the German Ambassdor, Mr Jaeger the Swiss Ambassador and Mr Douglas Karoro the Hon. Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.  All the speakers agreed that the commissioning of the tea factory offered so much for the county and they all welcomed the innovative project and gave it their support.  The project provides an opportunity for over 5,000 small-scale organic out growers and wild collectors not only to contribute to the Zimbabwean economy but also uplift themselves and their communities in the process.

The successful project was achieved through a Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) that acted as a mechanism to use the Trusts resources (the property) and investment and expertise of the private sector to manage it. The private partnership is with La Rochelle Centre (Pvt) Ltd who refurbished La Rochelle hotel to a high standard and Organic Africa who is making good use of an area of the estate grounds to build infrastructure and establish new services: growing herbal teas, to bring in finance: a new solution to an old problem. Organic plants are a much higher value crop than the traditional crops being grown in Zimbabwe.

The event was covered by ZBCTV and featured in various local newspapers including:

Biggest herbal tea factory commissioned

Mega herbal tea plant launched in Penhalonga

https://www.zbcnews.co.zw/germany-and-switzerland-endorse-zimbabwe-as-an-investment-destination-of-choice/

After the speeches guests were served an excellent lunch on the west verandah of La Rochelle overlooking the manicured formal gardens and arbour with the magnificent mountains providing a majestic  backdrop on the horizon.  The hotel is a link to the past: full of history and stories and an oasis of tranquility and charm.  A few of the guests then went for an afternoon stroll around the Dell and woodland.  The grounds are looking particularly beautiful at this time of year with many orchids, aloes and succulents in flower and a stunning collection of colourful Azaleas in full bloom nestled in-between old, magnificent looking trees.  Then it was back to the hotel for afternoon tea.

The arbour, a popular wedding venue

The lake in the dell

 

 

Azaleas in the dell                               

 

 

 

 

Contact the La Rochelle Centre

You can contact the La Rochelle Centre for any queries or bookings:

 

The National Trust of Zimbabwe turns 61 years young today!

“Heritage is precious: treasure it”

We are proud of what we have achieved over the past 61 years and we are still working hard to protect and improve the beautiful sites that we are privileged to manage.

We would like to thank all our members for their continued support and to all our colleagues and friends world -wide, we could not do it without you. Thank you for all that you’ve done for us!

 

Much more than great coffee!

If you are visiting Nyanga this long holiday weekend we invite you to try our new pop up coffee experience at World View: Our brand new Froggy Farm Coffee Box offering Good Coffee, Good Food and Good Vibes!

Enjoy a delicious bacon and cheese croissant whilst admiring the view from 2,000 metres. Coffee has never tasted this good.

We are planning to offer this treat every weekend and as soon as summer has settled in and on public holidays as well.

We look forward to serving you soon.

New: The Hide at World’s View

We are super pleased to say that our latest development to be completed is our new bird viewing platform, affectionately known as The Hide.

An enclosed, wind and rain proof little building, sunk into the cliff side. The most spectacular place to sit in comfort and wait and watch for the birds of prey to fly past below. The Hide has already become a favourite for people, even non-birders, to meet for sundowners to watch the changing colours of the evening sky.

Construction was slow but steady, using funds as they became available. Our grateful thanks to Mike Hoggard for his generous donation which allowed us to complete the project earlier than expected.

 

Southern elevation                  

The Hide, nestled into the cliff face – top left

Looking towards Nyamutoro from inside    

                                    

Facing west, overlooking Mt Ziwa, the highest mountain in the valley below

Comfortabley furnished and ready to welcome visitors

We look forward to seeing you soon at the Hide!

 

Tributes to Mr Aubrey Logan

Aubrey Logan Tributes from the National Trust Executive Council

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Aubrey Hamish Logan on February 26th, 2021, in Zambia.

Aubrey was born in Bulawayo in 1934. His father, Hamish, was farming in Nyamandhlovu but moved to the Shamva area in Mashonaland in 1938.  Aubrey was educated at Bindura School and St. George‘s College, and then joined his father on Golden Star Farm in a mixed farming operation.  In 1962 Aubrey married Edone Ann Petheram and built a home on The Range, an extension to Golden Star. Later Aubrey’s son Rory, and son-in-law Lawrie Brown, joined him, and with the support of the girls, Caren, Lynn and Zanne, expanded the farming enterprise, adding a considerable acreage of irrigated horticultural crops.

Aubrey was a member of the Porte Valley Farmers’ Association, serving as Chairman for a number of years, and represented Shamva on the Cattle Producers’ Assn. He was a member of the Lower Mazowe/Pote River Board, and was involved in the construction of Masembura and Arcadia dams, and the Lower Mazowe Sugar Project.

Aubrey served as an Elder in St. John’s Church, Shamva. His faith was strong.

A keen horseman, Aubrey played polo for Bindura, and in the early ‘80s established the Shamva Polocrosse Club, providing many of the beginners with mounts.

Being a great believer in the importance of recording history, Aubrey assisted the family in compiling a social history of Shamva entitled “Glimpses of the Past”. Later, when the couple moved to a plot in Juliasdale, he became involved in the Rhodes Museum (Rhodes Nyanga Historical Exhibition), and served on the Committee for eight years, before moving to Harare in 2020 to live closer to the family.

Aubrey is survived by his three children, Caren, Rory and Rosanne and their families, including seven grandchildren and one great grandson. He led an eventful and rewarding life, inspiring others to move on after loss and sadness, and appreciate family and friends, the blessings which are most important in life.

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Under the veil of a happy and welcoming friend, Aubrey was a very knowledgeable gentleman who had exceptional gifts and a sincere compassion towards helping those in need.

Although he suffered longstanding leg disabilities that restricted his movements, he waived these aside in order to conquer incredible achievements in a cool and collected manner.

He always remained totally supportive of his wife’s (Edone Ann) passion for all things Museum related and showed admirable spirit as a teamworker, being a most helpful and steadfast Committee Member.  Aubrey’s enormous contribution to the establishment and development of Rhodes Nyanga Historical Exhibition is indeed praiseworthy.  He will be sorely missed.

Merle Moore

Aubrey- An amazing man whose wit and ever unique laughter I will fondly miss. Had grown to like his presence at RNHE meetings, his love for Heritage, and his exceptional support for Edone.  May his soul rest in eternal peace.

Willie Dhlandhlara

I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Aubrey. My thoughts and condolences go to Edone and the all the family.

I had the privilege of meeting Aubrey at the Rhodes Nyanga Historical Museum some 10 years ago. He was a very active member of the Museum Committee. The museum was very close to his heart and his many contributions to the Museum will not be forgotten such as the extension of the museum up into the loft, establishing the Don Grainger room, and wagon shed.  He also donated many items to the exhibition, including farm equipment from his farming life.

Aubrey was never happier than when he was restoring equipment and machines back to their former glory.    I know that his favourite area at the museum was the wagon shed. At the end of 2019 he generously donated a Portable Steam Engine. It was moved, with great difficulty, from Juliasdale to the museum. The sheer thought of doing such a thing is inspirational, it had to be pulled by a tractor on some of its journey. Aubrey renovated and painted the engine, which was exported from the UK to South Africa in 1903 and pulled by oxen up to the Bindura district of Rhodesia in 1904. The engine proudly sits in the Wagon Shed, next to the Ox Wagon.

I remember fondly one evening when I stayed with Edone and Aubrey, such welcoming hosts at their home in Juliasdale. Aubrey and I sat around a lovely warm log fire drinking red wine and talking so easily on many subjects.

I shall miss Aubrey and his kindness, humour, quiet strength, his positiveness and twinkling blue eyes. May you rest in peace Aubrey, you will be greatly missed by a great deal of people.

Sharon Waterworth

Aubrey was always a delight to spend time with and I always came away from the Logan’s with a smile from the wonderful tales he told me of his farming days.  He loved his horses and polo crosse days and we spent many a happy hour recounting things and equine events in our lives.  I shall miss his wonderful sense of humor.

Pixie Hallowes

A very sad loss to the Nyanga and surrounding community, Aubrey will be sadly missed by the National Trust of Zimbabwe and we will always remember his steadfast contribution and support to the Rhodes Nyanga Historical Exhibition through his commitment alongside his wife, Edone, to whom my most heartfelt sympathies go.

Lin Goncalves

We are all at a loss after the passing of Aubrey recently, personally and at The National Trust of Zimbabwe.

Aubrey was an absolute gentleman in every sense of the word, he befriended all who he met and he worked tirelessly with Edone on NTZ affairs, helping shape the Rhodes Nyanga National Trust Historical Exhibition into the wonderful museum facility that exists today. The exhibits include the small bed he slept in as a youngster up to some of his large refurbished farm machinery on display today.

We experienced the Logan family hospitality at their lovely home near Montclair on more than one occasion. Aubrey was always happy to host friends at their home and he made you feel completely at home there.

Unfortunately, we only knew Aubrey for too few years, but we are all the richer for knowing him and privileged to have worked with him on NTZ affairs.

We shall cherish the memories of Aubrey and all that he achieved in his lifetime and sincerely appreciate his passion, commitment and services to his wider community.

David Scott

Of all the remarkable people I have met and got to know over ten years of living in Juliasdale, there is no one person I came to admire and respect more than Aubrey Logan.

Ever the welcoming and generous host, Aubrey displayed a selfless and unpretentious wisdom and encyclopedic knowledge of so many things – in particular, elderly machines, from a simple Cape cart to a swanky 1970s’ Chevrolet coupé, along with bygone farming days in this country – and so we clicked, as we did with a laughing love of old-school hymns in church.

There was always a whiff of the workshop under Aubrey’s fingernails: he was truly a never-defeated mechanical magician. While others wandered off to admire Edone Ann’s lovely garden, I would sit disciple-like, mesmerised by Aubrey’s accounts of rebuilding an ancient Galion grader engine, or trying to find the missing part of a cream separator. To me, he was a humbling, bottomless well whose waters he so willingly shared – embarrassingly often diluting our brandies beside a log fire. What a man!

But it is in a National-Trust-of-Zimbabwe context that we most devoutly salute this wonderful man right now. As we know, it was Edone Ann’s vision and drive to fulfill her own father’s determination to see the long dreamed-of Rhodes Museum through to a vibrant, lasting existence. Yet behind that astonishing throne of accomplishment was a silent, rarely-noticed, essential forceAubrey.

Today and forever, as we run our eyes over a hand-painted steam-engine, an ox-wagon, a now obsolete horse-drawn harrow, a paraffin fridge or simply the replaced rungs of a memorial bench, we are – knowingly or not – recognising Aubrey’s love for, and patient devotion to, the Rhodes Nyanga Historical Exhibition: the only dedicated museum of its kind in Zimbabwe.

Neither the National Trust of Zimbabwe, nor any of us, will fail to remember Aubrey Logan’ legacy.

Guy Cary                                                                                                                                                                                   

A much valued friend to us and indeed to the Trust. His sense of proportion was an inspiration, not to mention an unbounded source of anecdotes of yesteryear. Withal, a great sense of humour as well.

A gentleman whom we shall not forget.  Our sincerest condolences to Edone and the Family.

John and Charles Hyslop

Aubrey certainly did lead a full and wonderful life. He was such a warm man. I will always be grateful for his and Edone’s hospitality at their cottage in Nyanga and will cherish the memories. I felt so at ease around Aubrey. He made one feel so naturally at ease and I fondly remember his affectionate and easy going manner and how he supported Edone in her work. Most especially I’ll remember having breakfast with them and the laughter and tea on the porch. I didn’t know Aubrey well but it felt somehow that I’d known him for a long time.

Dr Jonathan Zilberg

 

New: INTO ‘Passport to Places’ Scheme

The National Trust of Zimbabwe (NTZ) has been a member of the International National Trusts Organisation, (INTO) for a number of years now. INTO is the umbrella body for the worldwide family of heritage organisations, which come together to share experience, ideas and resources; to grow the capacity of existing trusts and establish new trusts in countries where they do not currently exist; and to be a global voice for matters of common concern. One of the ways, identified by the Board of Trustees, of strengthening what it means to be part of the INTO family, is reciprocal visiting.

Reciprocal visiting

INTO has been working with the world’s heritage trusts to make membership of the NTZ go much further!

The NTZ is proud to say that it is member of the recently launched ‘INTO Passport to Places’ scheme. We are super pleased to announce that you now have access to enter sites cared for by INTO members who have all agreed to extend reciprocal visiting privileges Your NTZ membership card is your ‘passport’ to free entry to some of the most amazing places around the world.

This map shows the many places where NTZ membership is currently welcomed:

You can check the local visiting arrangements and information by visiting the INTO website https://www.into.org/places/ where you can access an interactive map that links you directly you to all the Trust sites involved.

So, if you are an existing member of the NTZ  you can enjoy this wonderful and highly advantageous new member benefit  as soon as international travel opens once again.

Or if you live in Zimbabwe and would like to join the NTZ in order to enjoy this new benefit (along with any others) please complete the membership form under the Membership tab.

We look forward to welcoming you at one of sites soon: they are open. Thank you very much.

 

 

 

 

The Beauty of Worlds View

We invite to you watch a few videos taken of the beautiful Worlds View site which is set high on a hill that affords stunning views of the surrounding landscape. From an altitude of 2000m the escarpment drops 600m to the plain below. Enjoy seeing the sweeping panoramic views, the majestic Mount Nyamatoro and the “Protea and Wild Flower Conservancy” established through a relationship with Kirstenbosch, the world famous botanical gardens in South Africa.

On top of the hill you will see that there is the large circular Astra Toposcope with numerous plaques of black granite around the perimeter with radiating lines indicating the direction and direct distance to thirty cities, towns and places of interest. Not far from the toposcope is the Art Gallery and the sculpture garden.

Come and visit the art gallery, climb Mount Nyamtoro, bird watch, bring a picnic and relax in front of on the best views in Zimbabwe, explore the unique Toposcope, wander around the protea and wild flower conservancy and investigate the built cultural heritage of the site. Check out the art and stone sculpture and take home special plants from the plants sales.

We look forward to welcoming you soon.