Author, Sir Percy Fitzpatrick, wrote the book Jock and the Bushveld in Barberton. The sculpture of Jock stands outside the town hall.(Images: Barberton Community Tourism) Barberton was home to the old Transvaal’s first stock exchange. The Barberton daisy was first discovered here by Robert Jameson in 1889.MEDIA CONTACTS • Astrid ChristiansonMarketing ManagerBarberton Community Tourism+27 13 712 7119Romaana NaidooIt might look unassuming, but the quaint Lowveld town of Barberton, in the foothills of the Makhonjwa Mountains, is a winner in the heritage stakes.Founded in the late 1800s, this town in Mpumalanga’s De Kaap Valley can lay claim to some of the country’s firsts: the first stock exchange in the old Transvaal; the first double-storey building in that province; the first swimming pool in the old Transvaal; and the longest and only cable car that crossed into another country (Swaziland).Barberton is a geological, cultural, ecological and botanical treasure trove well known for its gold-mining history. Fringed by the oldest mountains in the world, which date back 3.5 billion years, the town – some 43km south of Nelspruit – is home to some of the oldest exposed rocks on the planet.Barberton Community Tourism marketing manager Astrid Christianson says thousands of scientific papers have been written about the Barberton Greenstone Belt, or the Barberton Mountain Land, which has the best preserved and most easily accessed Archean rocks in the world.Most recently, microscopic fossils of primitive single-cell organisms were found in the area, which indicate the emergence of life occurred a billion years earlier than previously thought.Also known as the “Genesis of Life”, this greenstone belt contains fossils of the earliest life forms on Earth as well as evidence of an ancient meteorite strike.Gold was discovered in the area over 120 years ago, marking the beginning of industrial development in South Africa, and the mines that flourished then are still producing the oldest gold on the planet.Christianson, who describes Barberton as a bowl of crumpled hills dressed in flat-crowned thorn trees and dusted with aloes and daises, says gold laid the foundations of the town.“The valley has scarcely a creek or a cave that has not been panned or peered it into since the Barber brothers made their gold strike back in 1884. Almost every inch has been gone over with a fine tooth comb – or at least a hand shovel – in the hope of instant riches.”Evidence of the early gold rush can be seen at numerous sites, including Bray’s Golden Quarry, which was once a source of a rich ore deposit, and at Rimers Creek, where the Barbers struck gold. Sheba Mine, said to be the oldest operating gold mine in the world, is tucked away in a hillside, while Fairview Mine has the only biox plant in South Africa for the extraction of gold, and still operates a ropeway for conveying ore to the crusher.However, gold is not the town’s only treasure – the area’s botanical riches are a draw card for those seeking green gold. The biodiversity of the Barberton Centre of Endemism is said to be rivalled only by the Cape Floral Kingdom.“Cynics say this is simply because there have been more botanists in this area than elsewhere – and perhaps there is a fragment of truth there – but the botanists came because of the plants. The reason for the rich variety of plants is the area’s exceptional geology,” said Christianson.The Makhonjwa Mountains which surround Barberton – from Jeppe’s Reef to Oshoek and all the hills between, from Shiyalongubo to Queen’s River and Jambila to Songimvelo and Elukwatini – also have important high-rainfall catchments that are protected in terms of several proclaimed nature reserves.“Spend a day exploring the valley on quad bike, mountain bike, horseback or foot, or view it from the air in a microlight or hang-glider, or let it zoom in on you while sky-diving,” says Christianson. “Explore old mine shafts, or hunt for rare butterflies on the bald hill that was once crowned with ephemeral Eureka City, the town that had hardly boomed before it went bust.”The area is also home to an abundance of wildlife, and walking through the town one can catch sight of the elusive Narina trogon, flashes of crimson from the wing of the purple turaco – and even baboons.The cultural history of the region is also significant, encompassing the colonial and apartheid eras, as well as that of the Swazi nation. Today, Barberton is home to many cultural groups that have played a role in shaping the town’s heritage.Christianson says, “On the darker side, Barberton has played a role in three great wars: the Anglo-Boer war and the two World Wars. Barberton Prison, made famous through Bryce Courtenay’s novel The Power of One, housed many a freedom fighter in the apartheid years, among them Helen Hendricks, Dorothy Dlamini, Dorothy Kubheka, Jean Middleton and Esther Barsel.“Esther was later private secretary to Chris Hani and a close friend of Nelson Mandela, who himself was held in the Barberton Prison before being sent to Robben Island.”Heritage walks through the town, which include visits to restored late Victorian residences, offer a peek into life during the 1880s mining boom. The local museum is housed in the renovated Barberton Iron and Steel Foundry building.Adjacent to the museum is the Umjindi Jewellery Project, which trains young people in jewellery design and manufacture. It also has a coffee shop and an interesting collection of arts and crafts.East of the town, on the old wagon road, is world-renowned Outsider artist Nucain Mabuza’s Stone Garden. Author Sir Percy Fitzpatrick and his dog Jock travelled this route and the book Jock of the Bushveld was written in Barberton.A chunky sculpture of Jock, created by Ivan Mitford Barberton – a descendant of the town’s founding brothers – stands outside the town hall.
New Delhi, Jun 27 (PTI) The Indian mens & womens throwball teams scripted history by bagging a gold medal each in the World Games, held at Kathmandu, Nepal. The womens team defeated arch-rivals Pakistan 15-13, 15 -12 in a nail-biting final to clinch the title, while the men posted a 15-13, 15-12 win over Bangladesh in their final match to finish at the top of the podium. This was the first time that the Indian teams had participated in these Games, which took place from June 15 to 18. The World Games, organised by the International Sports Council (Canada), saw participation from 11 countries, competing in 42 different categories. The General Secretary of the Throwball Federation of India, Naresh Mann congratulated both the teams. “These players had worked hard to win a medal in the World Games. I hope the players will continue to illuminate the name of India,” he said. Indian mens team had earlier defeated Malaysia 15-9, 15 -10 in the semifinals and the womens side beat Malaysia 15- 10, 15-11 in the last four stage. PTI CM CM
BALTIMORE, MD — California Chrome won the Preakness Stakes in dramatic fashion on Saturday to keep alive his bid for U.S. horse racing’s first Triple Crown since 1978.As a follow-up to his victory in the Kentucky Derby, trainer Art Sherman’s horse justified his stature as the overwhelming favorite by outrunning Ride On Curlin to the finish.It was the first Preakness victory for the 77-year-old trainer. California Chrome has won six straight races.The chestnut colt covered the 1 3-16th mile (1,900-meter) course in 1:54.84.With Victor Espinoza in the saddle, California Chrome stayed off the pace in third place before kicking into another gear to storm in front.“It’s an awesome feeling,” Espinoza said. “It was just a crazy race. I got more tired mentally than physically. I see another horse go to the front. I was going to sit second. .. I sit back, as soon as the other horse got clear of me, it worked out perfect.”Although Ride On Curlin was strong at the finish, he didn’t have enough to catch the winner.California Chrome paid $3 and $2.40. Ride On Curlin returned $5.60 and $3.80. Social Inclusion, who went off as the second favorite at 5-1, returned $3.40.General a Rod was fourth and Ring Weekend took fifth.California Chrome is the first California-bred horse to win the Preakness since Snow Chief in 1986.With a victory in the Belmont on June 7, California Chrome will become the 12th Triple Crown winner and the first since Affirmed. Since 1978, 11 horses have won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, but failed to win Belmont.TweetPinShare0 Shares
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the heritage experience in Falmouth is being leveraged to enhance the town as a major destination for cruise-ship and stopover visitors. Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the heritage experience in Falmouth is being leveraged to enhance the town as a major destination for cruise-ship and stopover visitors.He noted that the rich history of the town, with the Georgian architecture and various attractions, makes the Falmouth capital “a wonderful tourism asset”.The Minister was speaking at the ceremony to break ground for the new Ocean Coral Spring Hotel in Falmouth on February 6.He noted that the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) has spent some $385.2 million on rehabilitation and beautification projects in Falmouth, inclusive of renovation of the Trelawny Parish Church, the Falmouth Post Office, Falmouth Courthouse and Water Square; streetscape improvements at Market Street, Harbour Lane and Falmouth Street; as well as rehabilitation of heritage buildings and the Jewish Cemetery as part of the Falmouth Heritage District.“In addition, we have another $629.3 million in projects on stream, inclusive of the artisan village at the old Hampden Wharf. We look forward to the completion of Ocean Coral Spring, which will strengthen Falmouth’s appeal as a destination by expanding its hotel offerings and raising the town’s room count,” the Minister said.Ocean Coral Spring Hotel is a 1,000-room property being developed by the Spanish Hotel chain, H10.The developers are investing US$250 million in the project and the first 500 rooms are expected to be completed by the end of the year. H10 operates 50 hotels in 18 destinations. The Minister was speaking at the ceremony to break ground for the new Ocean Coral Spring Hotel in Falmouth on February 6. He noted that the rich history of the town, with the Georgian architecture and various attractions, makes the Falmouth capital “a wonderful tourism asset”. Story Highlights