Birthday Celebrations at 2,100 metres

The National Trust of Zimbabwe (NTZ) celebrated its 60th birthday on 26th August 2020 in a very special place called ‘Worlds View ‘(a NTZ site) located on the western edge of the Nyanga escarpment right next to the magnificent Mount Nyamatoro. It is one of the most spectacular destinations for domestic and international tourists in Zimbabwe.

Guests assembled, mid-morning, in the spring sunlight at a height of 2,100m and gazed down from one of the highest points in the country with panoramic views across the central plateau spread out almost a km below them.

The view from Worlds View

Mr Guy Cary, Chair of Rhodes Nyanga Historical Exhibition (RNHE) Master of Ceremony (MC) officially opened the event by greeting and thanking guests for attending such an auspicious occasion.   Guy gave apologies from Mr David Scott, NTZ Chairman who was sadly unable to attend.

Mr Guy Cary opening the celebrations 

Sharon Waterworth, Vice Chair NTZ, then extended a very warm welcome to everyone present and said that she felt very privileged to be at the celebration being held at one of the most beautiful landmarks of Zimbabwe.   She said that Worlds View sits in amongst an Afromontane community which only occurs above 1,500–2,000 m and talked about the natural landscape: one covered with open grasslands, heathlands, wetlands and natural springs, rare and unique flora and fauna species with a high level of endemism.

Sharon explained that Worlds View is unique in terms of its ancient cultural heritage with sites on the upper slopes of Mount Nyamatoro that date back to the 14th and 15th centuries. The sites consist of early forts, stone walls, paths and enclosures, central pit structures and terraces: all beautifully crafted and utterly intriguing.  She mentioned that on the lower slopes there are sites that have only recently been discovered in 2018: Matrina’s Ruins, Jacok’s Ruins and Rob’s Folly: as tradition dictates, they were named after the gentlemen who unearthed them.

Guests were thanked for taking the time to celebrate the 60th birthday of the NTZ which was established on the 26th August 1960, promulgated by an Act of Parliament with the aim of protecting and managing properties for future generations to enjoy. Sharon invited Mr W.Dhlandhlara to say a traditional payer to bless the event. 

Mr W.Dhlandhlara saying a prayer

Guests were asked to raise their glasses and Sharon proposed a toast: Makorokoto (congratulations) to the NTZ on its 60th birthday! A remarkable achievement! 

                                                                            Guests toasting the NTZ 60th birthday

Sharon went onto explain that NTZ is part of a much larger family network: INTO, a NGO founded in 2007 established to promote the conservation and enhancement of the natural and cultural heritage of all nations for the benefit of the people of the world. INTO represents over 55 million individual members and have countless millions of visitors to sites and properties across more than 25 counties.

NTZ are proud to be members of INTO and hugely grateful for their continued and unwavering support

In 2015 the INTO Africa Group of which NTZ is a full time member. The Africa Group brings together a vibrant network of African Heritage Organisations sharing their ideas and resources, developing a continent-wide voice and promoting and influencing on African cultural heritage matters.

Sharon gave her deepest appreciation to the Executive Council and Regional Committees who work tirelessly (in a voluntary capacity) to manage 7 properties and acknowledged the presence of those present: Fira Bache, Lin Goncalves, Clare Peech, Edone Anne and Aubrey Logan, Gill Honeyman, Merle Moore, Ray and Clutty, Naboth and Josephine Muchopa, June Weeks, Geoff Hawskley, Pat Hallowes and Guy Cary. She also thanked each and every one of the NTZ members.

Sincere thanks went to Gill Honeyman, Chair of Worlds View for more than 10 years, for hosting the event. Gill is always positive, determined, professional, extremely capable and passionate about the NTZ  and is continually striving to improve the visitor experience at the site. Her energy and dedication is a constant source of inspiration.

Sharon expressed grateful thanks to Matrina, Treasurer and the very able and willing resident caretakers: Luke, Arthur, Itai and Mat all of whom work hard to keep the site looking immaculate and Talent was thanked for serving refreshments.

Buffet table with a view                                      Guests enjoying lunch and refreshments under a shady tree

After a most delicious lunch, expertly prepared by Gill, everyone walked over to the veranda next to ‘Gill’s” Art Gallery.

Gills’ Gallery

Much to her surprise Edone was asked to join Sharon on the verandah who then went on to explain  about all the hard work and dedication that she has given to the NTZ over many years.  She said it had been such a real pleasure to work alongside Edone on the Executive Council and from the time the RNHE committee was formed in 2011 until she retired in 2019.

Sharon announced that Edone had certainly put the RNHE on the map and her achievements included  doubling the exhibition floor space, expanding the collection, showcasing work produced by local artisans, assisting to compile the curriculum for heritage education in Zimbabwe,  exhibiting the work of local artists – the re-discovery of Jonathan Matimba’s work was extraordinary- celebrating the 40th anniversary of the RNHE with singing, dancing and food for all, winning an international prize for the best Cultural Heritage Education project  which involved 130 schoolchildren was presented an the INTO conference in Bali,  co-author, with Archaeologist Mr Robert Burrett, of a publication entitled  “Nyanga’s Rich Heritage” an informative booklet promoting the natural beauty of Nyanga and the ancient and modern history of the area and organised numerous interesting and engaging talks on various subjects at the RNHE.

 Edone Ann Logan (second on the left) being presented with a UK National Trust book and a video set by Sharon, Lin Goncalves and Fira Bache

Deepest thanks were also given to Aubrey Logan for all his advice, encouragement, time, knowledge and invaluable assistance and continued good humour. And judging by the many wonderful comments written by visitors to the RHNE Edone and Aubrey have left a legacy and greater knowledge to all, especially to schoolchildren.  The NTZ hopes that you enjoy your retirement to the full!

After the presentation of gifts to Edone Ann, Sharon highlighted that we all having to change and adapt to a new landscape in which we find ourselves living in. Looking ahead she said that the NTZ pledges to keep being just as dynamic and relevant as ever. The challenge is to connect even more people to NTZ priceless historical sites, to their timeless natural wild areas and beauty, built structures and local communities.

She added that NTZ pledges to continue to catalogue scientific information, publish educational and historical material, work with local communities, scale up our cultural heritage, historical and environmental education programmes and through a successful Public, Private Partnership at La Rochelle, build a first class regional Agricultural College.  The vision for Worlds View is to continue with the biological monitoring and recording changes in the flora species and abundance flora and carry on with archaeological research and possibly unearth and protect more archaeological sites.

Guy Cary stepped up and gave a lovely speech in dedication of the late Mr Michael Kimberly (2 May 1934 – 3 January 2020) who was one of the Stalwarts of the NTZ in the early 70’s (see  He said that Mike was a wonderful and dedicated supporter of NTZ and he made a great contribution to the success of the organisation.

Tribute to Mr M Kimberley by Guy Cary

Guy explained that Mike graduated at Witwatersrand University in Arts and Law and started practicing Law in Zimbabwe in 1960 and continued working until his retirement in September 2013. He was one of the founding members of the Aloes Cactus and Succulent Society of Zimbabwe in 1969. Guy added that Mike was an extremely determined, professional and thorough legal mind who was also heavily involved in the History Society of Zimbabwe, the Aloe Society among other community and environmental areas.

Afterwards guests gathered inside the gallery and the memorial plaque was unveiled and the formal naming of the ‘Mike Kimberley Room’ (adjacent the gallery) was declared official to much applause.

 The unveiling of the Mike Kimberley memorial plaque by Guy Cary, Sharon Waterworth and Gill Honeyman

Next, guests were invited to the first global screening of the first NTZ video made possible by generous funding by Mr H Leared, produced by Mr N Kuhn, to whom the NTZ is extremely grateful. The video is packed with interesting information about the NTZ and its sites (see

Sharon then shared two very special birthday greetings:

I write as Chair of INTO to send much love and warm congratulations on the 60th anniversary of the foundation of the National Trust of Zimbabwe. I have to confess that having passed my own 60th birthday, I know from experience that there is a mixture of a pleasant feeling of experience, friendship and knowledge, alongside a sense that one had better finally grow up!

The NT Zimbabwe has achieved so much to be proud of in its 60 years, including a remarkable and beautiful property portfolio, and a range of activities and campaigns through which you stand up for the natural, built and cultural heritage of Zimbabwe.  I was also enormously impressed to learn, at the Bermuda ICNT, of the way in which you are striving to engage diverse communities in your work.

I hope you have a wonderful celebration later this week, and look forward to hearing all about it.  With love and very best wishes from all your friends all around the world.

Dame Fiona Reynolds, Chair, INTO

A video from Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General INTO entitled “Reminisces on the working partnership between INTO and the NTZ” was also shared (see ) in which Catherine spoke of the friendship between the two organisations that evolved from an INTO conference held in Dublin in 2009.  A year later Oliver Maurice visited Zimbabwe to advise on the NTZ. During his stay he visited Worlds View, La Rochelle and RNHE and as he was so impressed INTO organised for Karen Dicken, People Project Manager at The National Trust, Plymouth, United Kingdom to go to Zimbabwe during which time she compiled a Management Plan for La Rochelle. Catherine went on to say that over the years the partnership had grown and facilitated projects such as assisting a Youth Programme in association with like-minded organisations in Sierra Leone and Uganda, and establishing the NTZ website. She ended by wishing the NTZ another 60 successful years.

The finale of a wonderful day of events was the cutting of a scrumptious 60th cake iced with the signature colours of the NTZ.

 Mr Willie Dhlandhlara cutting the cake with Sharon Waterworth, Gill Honeyman and Guy Cary

It was a memorable occasion!

A video capturing the highlights of the event has been posted on the NTZ facebook page: If you enjoy it, please like and share the page. Thank you very much.

Birthday wishes from INTO Members.

Catherine Leonard has very kindly posted birthday wishes and cards received from the global INTO family that we would like to share with you, please see:

Thank you for reading this article.

The NTZ celebrates its 60th birthday today!

The NTZ is super proud to announce that it celebrates its 60th birthday today! The NTZ was established on the 26th August 1960, promulgated by an Act of Parliament, with the aim of protecting and managing properties for future generations to enjoy.

We invite you to watch the first global screening of our very first video made possible by the generous funding by Mr H Leared to whom we are extremely grateful. The video production work was carried out by Mr N Kuhn.

We do hope that you enjoy it and that it gives you a sense of what we are achieving and planning for in the future here in beautiful Zimbabwe.

60th Celebrations: “Trust Memories” Birthday Competition: Be Part of History

60th birthday Celebrations

We are very proud to announce that the National Trust of Zimbabwe will be celebrating its 60th birthday this year! This is of course an amazing milestone.  The Trust was established in 26th August 1960 and ever since that date we have been working hard to carry out the  important job of protecting and managing properties that we are privileged to be the custodians of, for future generations to enjoy.

Trust Memories Birthday Competition: Be Part of History

We are going to launch a “Trust Memories” Birthday Competition: Be Part of History on Friday 17th July.

We are delighted to invite you to join us in celebrating 60 successful years by sharing your earliest memories of a visit to one of our sites. It could be an old photograph/newspaper cutting or a short statement/story of how you felt/experienced whilst you were there.

We will be awarding one year’s free subscription to the best entry. Please visit or membership page to see the list of membership benefits worldwide.

The closing date is 12th August 2020.

Please kindly email your memories to:

Please note:

In taking part you agree for your article to be published across our social media platforms.

The competition is only open to Zimbabwean residents.

Thank you very much.

We look forward to reading your entries.

“Heritage is precious: treasure it”




High above the Lakes and Plains

This stunning photograph was recently taken by a Ms Gemma Flower a visitor to one of the Trusts sites aptly called ‘Worlds View’.

It was taken on the summit of Mt. Nyamatoro.

The view overlooks the three Connemara Lakes (on the left hand side) and the plains of Nyanga below through the mist cloud (on the right).

Many thanks go to Gemma for sharing her visitor experience!

New Plaque for La Rochelle

The Trust is deeply indebted to Mr H Leared of the La Rochelle Centre for replacing the timeworn National Trust plaque.

The new plaque, set on a copper plate, reflects the re-branded National Trust logo and colours (from green to blue).

It looks perfectly placed on the court yard wall of La Rochelle Country House and Spa!

The iconic metal sculpture in the fore ground was created by Cedric Green in 1961 who was a man of many talents. In addition to being an architect, he designed Lady Courtauld’s private pavilion known as the “Fantasy Room”, he was also a sculptor.

Originally entitled “Survivor” the sculpture is now affectionately known as “Don Quixote”.


Mrs. L. Goncalves, Council member of the Trust, and Mr. W. Dhlandhlara of the Solon Foundation (whom we are proud to collaborate with) were both pleased and privileged to represent the Trust at the Nairobi Symposium held in February 2020.

Mrs. L. Goncalves,   Prof. Kilmani Njogu and Mr. W. Dhlandhlara

The event was organised by the British Council and Twaweza Communications in Nairobi, Kenya and held in the stunning grounds of the Botanical Gardens of the National Museum of Nairobi. The Trust would like to acknowledge and extend its deep appreciation to the INTO who very kindly provided the sponsorship for them both to attend.

Ms Jill Coates,Director British Council Kenya 

The core question leading all the discussions at the British Council part of the Symposium was ‘How do youth involvement, contemporary cultural practices and advances in information technology contribute to the overall potential of cultural heritage and how can they lead to cultural heritage interventions becoming more inclusive and engaging with diverse and non-traditional heritage audiences?’

Speakers from a very widely varied group presented their subjects which included such diverse aspects of cultural experiences such as built heritage (buildings, world heritage sites and indigenous sites), intangible heritage such as performances, language, media, folk art, crafts and oral traditions; natural heritage (caves, eco-villages, landscapes) and museums (visual arts, archives, libraries, cultural objectives); and how technology, youth involvement and community participation can increase access to this heritage – and its benefits. The potential for cultural heritage in order to secure livelihoods to enhance social inclusion was also discussed.

Gender inclusivity was also discussed in the various panels, workshops and presentations.

Presentations included:

  • Audience development strategies – with speakers from the UK’s National Lottery Heritage Fund’s ‘Kick the Dust’ project;
  • A lady from Somalia spoke representing the small Somali community in Kenya, who has been instrumental in creating the Awjama Cultural Centre in order to offer the Somali people, in particular the youth who are vulnerable, a chance to maintain their cultural roots whilst living away from their own country. Her project started when she found that the youth of her own Somali society were playing football in the road and had little else in the way of cultural interest;
  • Emily Drani of the Cross-Cultural Foundation-Uganda gave a very poignant presentation saying that ‘cultural identity is in crisis’ and that with social media and technology as advanced as they are, they should be used as modern strategies to teach culture to the youth, with outreach programmes going towards cultural preservation, without losing everything in the homogenisation of ‘cultural diversity’. Youth today are more wrapped up in modern music and more programmes should be developed to give them access to their history, culture etc;
  • Creative and strategic partnerships between cultural heritage and technology – This included a presentation by a South African speaker, Andiswa Bukula of the South African Centre for Digital Language Resources, who is working on a project to ‘collect’ the ‘click language’ Xhosa, in order to capture it, preserve it and make it available on-line to students, as it is only spoken among a diminishing small group of people in South Africa;
  • Cultural heritage for inclusive growth with speakers from Kenya, Vietnam and Colombia;
  • Contemporary approaches to programming for cultural heritage;
  • Cultural heritage and entrepreneurship;
  • In a presentation by the two invitees from Colombia, who spoke through an interpreter, they mentioned that in their very small, marginalised rural communities in Columbia (under ‘Cultural Heritage for Inclusive Growth’), their MIZAK community (like a small tribe) is one of 107 such small communities being encouraged by tourism to embrace their heritage and keep more young people in the communities through encouragement to return to/remain in, their cultural roots.

What makes a legend? A story. The bigger the story, the bigger the legend!

The statement lead to a discussion:

Contemporary approaches – why should young people be interested or involved? When you ENGAGE with them they become interested. Traditional games and stories for example.

Masai cultural traditions were discussed such as the rites of passage for the young men. How do you reach out to collect information and stories from subtribes? Organisers have to rely on local communities to provide contact and information.

Spotlighting rituals – making them available to be seen/shared by visitors/tourists if possible as a way of bringing income to small communities. Selling sustainable fair trade quality products on the market, feeding the community, providing tourists with souvenirs – coffee, creams, lotions etc using locally produced packaging.

Cultural practices/entrepreneurship – can it work together? Maintaining dignity and honour – an avenue to sustainability.

Alexander Lamont-Bishop, the new Deputy Director General of INTO spoke of the National Trust in the UK and it’s history.

He explained how properties can be donated to the Trust in order to have them protected (ie from developers) according to the owners wishes and as Tax saving moves to protect family inheritances etc. and also a way of maintaining green spaces forever.

                                                                                               Alexander Bishop addressing delegates






Concentrating on success stories Judy Ogana who is the National Officer for Culture, UNESCO, Nairobi Office, gave a presentation on a Government funded exercise to preserve Fort Jesus, a World Heritage Site near the ‘old town’ section of Mombasa.

Mrs Goncalves would like extend her appreciation to the British Council and Twaweza Communications for organaising such a successful event.


Elkanah Ong’esa – famous Kenyan stone sculptor

In her report back to the Executive Council Mrs Goncalves pointed out that Culture is not static, it is dynamic!

She highlighted the following points that are especially relevant for the Trust:

  • Cultural art, traditional medicine, ethnic jewelry and music are important factors to consider in going forward
  • Be more involved ‘on the ground’ with more influence in local indigenous cultural heritage preservation
  • Focus on the preservation of sites and buildings for indigenous education, youth involvement, gender equality and in particular aiding women to become self-sustaining and more valuable in their own communities.
  • Engaging the youth
  • Hold Heritage and Craft and Music Fairs
  • Run Heritage ‘hubs’
  • Themed webinars/Podcasts/Social media

Specifically, as members of the INTO, the Trust should center on:

  • Transactional membership
  • Values membership
  • Legacies
  • Green Spaces
  • Natural and cultural heritage conservation
  • Community outreach
  • Volunteering
  • Commercial

The Trust is now working on implementing the theme of the conference:  Culture Grows: Between Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

We thank you very much for reading this article!



Arms Wide Open: INTO Bermuda – March 2019

Conference Theme: ‘Arms Wide Open’: Strategies for engaging with diverse communities

David Scott, Chair, National Trust Zimbabwe, was very privileged to be able to attend an INTO conference in the exotic location of Bermuda.

Our sincere thanks go to INTO, along with the Bermuda National Trust for the very generous sponsorship without which, NTZ would not have been represented.

Grateful thanks are extended to the following INTO Council members who made this trip possible:

  • Catherine Leonard
  • Oliver Maurice
  • Bill Turner (and his team)

Below are excerpts from David’s report to the Council.

The conference revolved around this theme encouraging all trusts to “look outwards” and “think out of the box about communicating with and providing inclusive services to the wider communities within which trusts operate”.

This forward thinking concept is, in my opinion, of some considerable importance to NTZ which seems to be perceived as “a vestige of a colonial past” and NTZ needs to be attracting the support of the wider community at both NTZ Council and Committee and community heritage/cultural activity levels.

An item of interest to Africans would be the rain water harvesting mandatory requirement by all residences and public buildings. The roofs are all painted white with a special paint and rain water is channelled into reservoirs built under all the houses. There is no fresh water supply (rivers) on the island so all water requirements are from rain water.

Delegates learnt a lot of the history, heritage and culture of Bermuda. The island consists of approximately 65 000 people in an area of approximately 21 sq miles. The Capital is now Hamilton.  We undertook trips to various areas of the island which included the World Heritage town of St Georges (the original capital of Bermuda).

Town Hall UNESCO World Heritage status

The conference was held over a 4 day period during which presentations, and breakout sessions took place in various historical locations. The Opening Ceremony was held in the World Heritage Centre facility. His Excellency the Governor Mr John Rankin, Deputy Bermuda Premier and Minister of Home Affairs the Hon Walter Roban and a video Bermudan welcome from Michael Douglas, a long term resident of Bermuda and various other officials, including the St George’s Mayor and Town Crier.

A typical St George’s street scene

Bermuda is a British Protectorate. We were hosted on the first evening by the Governor at his beautiful residence with spectacular views.

On Day 2 the theme was ‘Open to All – Whose Heritage Counts’. I presented a 5 minute talk on the difficulties experienced by NTZ in the hostile economic and political environment within which NTZ has operated. 3 other delegates gave short presentations on heritage and conservation challenges faced by trusts from Italy, Bermuda and USA. That evening deletes enjoyed dinner at Fourways Restaurant followed by long service awards to Oliver Maurice and Geoff Read for their amazing service to INTO.

Bermuda National Trust manages many sites on the island such as Bridge House and Tucker House.


On Day 3 delegates were given the opportunity to drill down with experts in conservation and to meet with INTO executive leaders on how to make the most of INTO.

The connections of Bermuda are very close from slave trade times and Boer war prisoners:


On the final day there was a round table on the workshop highlights where moderators reflected on the best things they have learned from the conference. Dame Fiona Reynolds closed the conference by giving a very interesting speech and announced the next ICNT host to be: Belgium.

I have included a few extracts from a blog written by Catherine Leonard (CEO of INTO), shortly after the conference which summarises the conference so well:

Three themes

For me, there were three themes running through the conference:

One has been the extraordinary diversity of what the NTs of the world do. We heard stories of biodiversity loss and invasive species, of historic site interpretation and building skills, of managing small islands and climate of heritage inventories and volunteerism; of building membership, fundraising and volunteerism; and of ensuring that the heritage preserved by INTO members fully reflects our communities.  What amazing organisations you all are!

It was a pleasure to share experiences, to listen to committed voices.  To remember that the things that concern us are basically the same.

Stronger together

The second theme is that we are stronger together.  Queen Quet’s song at the beginning “Walk together children, don’t you get weary” set us off on the right path. This was further underlined by Gus Casley-Hayforth who said how important it was to gather as communities and nations to be inspired.  (His speech is also worth a read and can be found here.)

Darren Peacock continued this by saying that no Trust is an island and that everything is connected.  (This was a theme of our 2011 Conference in Victoria where ‘Everything is connected’ is a Coast Salish saying.)

Open arms

And the third part is that we’ve all agreed how important it is to open our arms as wide as possible.

Gus talked about doing the right thing.  I’ve long wanted to quote Professor Dumbledore in a work context as I actually feel this applies quite well to a lot of us: “Do you know why I admire you, Newt? You don’t seek power or popularity. You simply ask, is the thing right in itself? If it is, then I must do it, no matter the cost.

We heard so many words of wisdom from Princess Dana, from being brave enough to say “no” to putting human dignity at the heart of what we do.

Fiona said that this was the most moving and important discussion INTO has ever had and I believe it is.   It hasn’t always been comfortable but why should it be?  We have an important job to do and need to be challenged at times.  Queen Quet talked about the democratisation of heritage “continuation” (rather than preservation, which should be reserved for jarring food!).  Dame Pamela Gordon-Banks was concerned that we don’t reflect the communities we represent.  And Jeremy Harris asked us to think about ‘universal natural rights’ and be more neighbourly with our planet.

The conference was a resounding success in all respects.

Huge thanks go to the community who participated in hosting and guiding conference attendees. The people of Bermuda are very kind and extremely hospitable. For example, the delegates were hosted in private homes one evening for a dinner.

All in all a truly memorable conference thanks to INTO and the Bermuda National Trust.



International Museums Day 2020



Equality : Diversity and Inclusion

As we have been marking International Museum Day today, some may wonder how we can incorporate this year’s theme of “Equality : Diversity and Inclusion” within the thick stone walls of a museum named after Cecil John Rhodes of 130 years ago – whose name this country bore for 90 years following white-settler occupation.

If we try to look at that period of our history objectively, we are bound to acknowledge that there was a philanthropic side to Rhodes’s visionconsider the thousands – of all races and many nationalities – who have benefited directly or indirectly from his legacy of Rhodes Scholarships for many decades; and the fact that the very land and premises of our much-admired little museum were bequeathed to this nation, in perpetuity, by Rhodes from his estate.

So, indeed, with Rhodes’s name attached to our museum, we confidently strive for a balance of what we can now regard as equality: incorporating diversity and the inclusion of all Zimbabweans’ interests in what is displayed within its walls. We aim to represent all facets of the rich human and natural resources, and often troubled history, of our uniquely beautiful country, showing how its people of all colours and cultures have contributed to what Zimbabwe is today – as reflected in our recently constructed Time Line covering centuries of local history.

Rhodes Museum has become noteworthy for its outreach work – particularly with regional rural schoolchildren, whose rich cultural heritage has been explored and revived – which has been rewarded with international recognition. At present the Museum houses a striking exhibition of wood-carvings and stone sculptures by the late Nyanga artist Jonathan Matimba, whose unusual, unique works have attracted the admiration of local and international visitors.

Looking forward, the Trust is working towards expanding the role of the Museum and plan to establish a Nyanga Information Centre and a 50-seat lecture-and- video educational facility at the Rhodes Museum, both facilities are sorely needed in the area.

Despite the challenges we are facing we remain, as all museums should, caring custodians of the past and vital visionaries for the future!

Guy Cary, Chairman

Tribute to Mike Kimberley

Tribute to Michael John Kimberley (2 May – 3 January 2020)

Eulogy for Michael John Kimberly by Hans Wolbert at the memorial service on 10 January 2020

Michael John Kimberly was born in Gweru on the 2nd of May 1934, his father worked on the postal service, his grandfather came to this country in 1895 with the pioneer column.  His childhood years were spent at Milton Junior School in Bulawayo.  The rest of his education was done in South Africa, where he passed his matric.

He graduated at Witwatersrand University in Arts and Law.  In 1960 he started practicing Law in Zimbabwe and continued working until his retirement in September 2013.  In 1961 he married Rose Lighton and had two sons Christopher and Richard, he was a hard working member of the History Society which he joined when he was in University.  He was one of the founding members of the Aloes Cactus and Succulent Society of Zimbabwe in 1969.  His acute knowledge in Law helped to legalise the Society.  He was not like normal gardeners in that he had a passion for the understanding and preservation of local succulents.  A lot of these plants are not really suited for the garden but his love for these plants truly made him a patriot of this country. Many of the existing laws in place to protect these plants owe their existence to Mike Kimberly.  His knowledge, in Plants and his social standing, brought in big names of the Succulent Plant World like Larry Leech, Darel Plowes, Alan Percy Lancaster, Susan Carter and many more.

His ambition and drive brought the society from strength to strength.  In 1975 he helped organise the First World Aloe Congress.  This was a huge undertaking and it put this country on the map.  In 1988 he organised the Aloe 88 Congress. He was the editor of 21 volumes of the internationally acclaimed Excelsa Journals plus four Taxanomic series of books.  The literature of these books passes well over the minds of the layman and there is serious doubt whether there will be any other volumes made without his drive and input.  He was also the editor of the Ingens bulletin the first of which was made in 1989.

I got to meet him and know him a little better about 11 years ago when I joined the Aloe Society.  I found him to be a very pleasant person full of witty comments which usually put a smile on my face.  He was very generous with his knowledge and always eager to further a person’s understanding in plants.  A few plants were named after him including an orchid where he was one of three Mikes mentioned in its name.  When we went on trips in the field he would walk around rather disappointed knowing that the soil in that particular area was not conducive to succulents but would liven up tremendously when he saw what he called “Sand Veld” in which we always found those unusual and interesting succulents dwelling there.  He had a very strong character and often tried to protect the Club personally which sometimes resulted in a few toes getting stood on.

In 2012 his beloved wife Rose passed away and I personally think that Mike started to slowly fade away from that time onwards.  His name will always be remembered at the Aloe Club, the world will remember his name in the Succulent World.  The world will be a lesser place without Mike, I wish him well with his journey, a journey which we will all have to start at some stage.


Tribute from David Scott: Chairman, The National Trust of Zimbabwe and on behalf of the NTZ Council and members

I first met Mike in 1985 in his capacity as the Legal Counsel for the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority. We worked extensively together on a project lasting approximately 12 months. Mike was an extremely determined, professional and thorough legal mind who was managing a very difficult project, in addition to his normal demanding position and amongst trying and extremely sensitive circumstances. That situation did not deter him from the project objectives and plan. It was a thorough learning experience from my perspective and an insight into the person he always was!! He introduced me then to Zimbabwe historical and cultural matters as he was heavily involved in the History Society of Zimbabwe, among other community and environmental areas.

Decades later, we met again when I was asked to join the Council of the NTZ where Mike had been on the Council for many many many years!! Mike took time out of his very busy schedule, then as a practising lawyer, to introduce me to the NTZ structure and its history. He kindly handed me documents giving a lot of background to NTZ.

Mike had an incredible memory recalling past matters that affected NTZ over decades. Mike was very supportive when I was elected as Chairman of the Council. We worked closely together on the NTZ Council, until he was no longer able to give of his time and then he suggested I visit him at home to discuss NTZ matters.

Mike was entirely selfless in his commitment to NTZ and all the honorary positions he held over many decades. I was very privileged to have met and worked with Mike, all be it only for a relatively short period of time.

RIP Mike, a dedicated community minded professional.


Tribute by Robin Taylor, Chairman, History Society of Zimbabwe Mashonaland and on behalf of its Members

I am sorry to have to tell you that Michael (Mike) Kimberley passed away on Friday 3rd January. Mike Kimberley joined the then Rhodesiana Society in 1955 while still a student. He served as secretary of the Society for eleven years and in turn held the positions of Mashonaland Branch Chairman and National Chairman. In 1989 he became honorary editor of Heritage and held this position with great distinction and ability until 2013.

Mike was a wonderful and dedicated supporter of our Society and he made a great contribution to the success of the Society.


Tribute by Edone-Anne Logan, The National Trust of Zimbabwe on behalf of Rhodes Nyanga Historical Exhibition and it’s Committee

Cecil John Rhodes, first came to the Nyanga area and fell in love with the rugged, isolated landscape.  He instructed MacDonald to purchase up to 100 000 acres (40 000 ha) of farmland. Later this became the Rhodes National Park.

The former homestead of G D Fotheringham on “Fruitfield” was selected by Rhodes as his residence (now Rhodes Hotel) and one of the first buildings he erected was a substantial stone barn and stable.

In 1970 a member of the Executive Committee of the National Trust of Rhodesia, and the Director of the National Archives, visited the barn and stable with a view to leasing it from the owners and preserving the historic site and artefacts.

The process was difficult and involved officials in many ministries.   The NTZ was determined however, and eventually, with the persistence of Mike Kimberley and others a lease was signed with National Parks and permission granted to open the renovated buildings to the public.  The Trust in the meantime had begun to collect articles of historic value, and the Archives made copies  – free of charge – of many historic pictures and documents.  This was the birth of the Rhodes Museum, now the Rhodes Nyanga Historical Exhibition – the only museum to be under the jurisdiction of the National Trust of Zimbabwe and the only museum of its kind in the country.


Tribute from close friends Ray and Sybil

Thank you for inviting us to contribute something towards Mike’s past contribution to the NTZ.

What comes to mind is that, in the early eighties, Mike phoned me in Bulawayo enquiring if I knew any of the manufacturers/suppliers of Bathroom suites in Matabeleland. As it happened I personally knew of a manufacturer of Bathroom Suites in Bulawayo and that I could assist.  I ordered the new bathroom hand basins and toilets for La Rochelle, Penhalonga, who were building 9 cottage type units on the Courtauld’s NTZ property for guests. I was able to arrange for an empty vehicle travelling to Harare to collect spares and supplies for Bulawayo Power Station, which I was responsible for,  to collect and deliver the sanitary ware to Harare, where Mike arranged for an empty vehicle travelling to  Mutare, to collect the items from Mutare and drop off the consignment at La Rochelle, thereby saving the NTZ the transport costs.

The other snippet is, when we saw the film ’Legal Eagle’ and then the ’Horse Whisperer’ with Robert Redford, the likeness was so uncanny that Sybil and I bought the DVD of the Horse Whisperer and took it to Harare and presented it to Rose and Mike, and started to call Mike, Robert. He was always referred to as Robert by us in Bulawayo, which he said he felt chuffed to be compared with the famous Film actor and Director.

It was the Kimberley’s, in the early eighties, that recruited us to become members of the NTZ, which influenced us to assist the NTZ wherever we could, which continues to date.


Lin Goncalves – Executive Council Member, The National Trust of Zimbabwe

I first met Mike Kimberley about 15 years ago, in his lawyer’s offices in Throgmorton House having written to him to find out more about the Trust and La Rochelle as I had close family memories of the Courtaulds through my parents and the area.

His dedication and interest were so effective and enthusiastic that I was invited to join the Committee and attended the very next meeting. Mike’s knowledge of the local flora, orchids and aloes/succulents in particular, remained my inspiration.

In Mike’s passing we have lost a great character, and highly knowledgeable authority on his passion of indigenous orchids and aloes.


Rob Burrett – Friend and work colleague – Some memories

It is with great sadness that I have heard of the passing of Mike Kimberley, one of the pillars of many voluntary organisations which have brought delight to many over the years. Mike was a man of diverse interests, dedicated to history and botany, his aloes in particular. He was always much more than an amateur, he was an expert in his own right. Criss-crossing the country in search of interesting plants, Mike and his late wife, Rose, would often go out to recover plants from areas that were to be developed, many of these found haven in his Mount Pleasant property.

I was privileged to know Mike in three of his many roles – the Aloe and Succulent Society; Rhodesiana, now the History Society of Zimbabwe; and the National Trust of Zimbabwe. It was in 1978 that I first met Mike. As a young school boy I was captivated by his historical interests and remember fondly the Rhodesiana Society historical steam-train run from Salisbury [now Harare] to Marandellas [Marondera]. If I recall the Kimberleys wore historical dress. Much later we met again, Mike and/or Rose editing the annual magazine of the History Society – Heritage of Zimbabwe. Under his guidance I was encouraged to write up my many and varied interests in the historical quirks of our country. Mike was always concerned that things should be recorded for prosperity in a published form. He would say that we all lose so much as people die or leave. In this way too, the family was actively involved in Excelsia, the Aloe Society journal. As I write I recall dropping by their home to leave my latest historical manuscript or some plant which I had recovered. We would sit on the veranda chatting about history and plants. My appreciation of aloes probably dates from those times and I am currently surrounded by aloes in my Bulawayo garden. One thing I still look out for is the rumoured WHITE Aloe excelsia from the Lowveld that Mike would often mention, hoping that in my fieldwork I would come across a specimen. Nothing yet Mike, sorry.

In the 1990s I was encouraged to join the NTZ by the late Helen Hyslop, another pillar of our Trust. It was at that time I got to know Mike in a somewhat different role in his efforts to safeguard the vulnerable properties held for all of us in the nation by the Trust. We did not always see eye-to-eye on matters, but all credit to Mike Kimberly and his committee for safeguarding what we have today. It is my sincere hope that the NTZ will see fit to commemorate Mike and Rose Kimberley in some permanent way.

I am sure there are many other sides to Mike and Rose Kimberley that I have not mentioned. I can, but only apologise. Mike and Rose had diverse interests and moved in several different circles. I can only give a personal reflection of where we came together. Zimbabwe, and the many societies which they founded and worked for over many decades, are all the poorer for the passing of this wonderful couple.

Rest in peace Mike and Rose.





Founded 1953


National Trust members are kindly invited to attend the HSZ Annual Luncheon, and for your support at any future.

Our speaker will be Dave Grant, the deputy head of Falcon College, an excellent speaker and fine historian.

I am, of course, fully aware of the current shortage of Zim dollars and the declining income of us all. We do need, however, to maintain the vibrancy, interest and fellowship of the Society, and it is important to keep-up events such as the one planned

Whilst I was hopeful of reflecting the cost of the luncheon in Zimbabwe dollars, with the recent escalation of rates and the likelihood of this continuing, this is no longer possible. The cost will therefore now be the ZW$ equivalent of US$ 23,00 at the RBZ rate of the day. This rate can easily be gleaned by accessing the website “market watch” alternatively you can contact me on my cell on 0772 265 884.

To give you some idea, the date on which I write this letter, 19th September,  the rate is 14.12 so the cost if paid today would be ZW$324,76.

I am sorry to complicate the matter but I know that you know we are all trying as best as we can to deal with the extraordinary challenges this country throws at us!

I do hope that many of you will be able to attend the luncheon, details of which are as follows:

Date:                               Sunday, 13th October, 2019

Time:                                 12 o’clock noon for 12.30pm

Venue:                           Cresta Lodge, Mutare Road, Harare

Cost:                             The ZW$ equivalent of US$ 23,00 per person    

Payable to:                     CABS, Account name: History Society of Zimbabwe

Account number: 1003139523

Booking deadline:           4th October, 2019

Booking and responses to:

There will be a cash bar available.

When payment is effected, would you please also give your name. When you notify me of your booking please indicate the number and names of others in your party.

I very much look forward to hearing from you and am sure we shall have a  very enjoyable and sociable luncheon on the 13th October.

Please kindly reply directly to me. My email address is as follows: Thank you.

With kindest regards

Tim Tanser

(National Chairman, History Society of Zimbabwe)

Best Regards

Charles Castelin

Membership and Communications Member

History Society of Zimbabwe, Mashonaland Branch