All posts by Sodurba

Whale Heritage Site Tour 13th December 2020

Thank you Alison from Durban Walking Tours for the feedback and photos.

Today a group of us joined the Sodurba CTO on a very extensive talk and tour led by David Asgeir-Nielsen from Sodurba.

Started in 1907 by the Norwegians. The Bluff whale station was the biggest land based factory in the world. Whaling came to an end in Durban in 1975.

I was interested to hear today that in 1949 Abraham Larsen was the third richest man in South Africa at that time – indicating what a lucrative business whaling was. The Union Whaling Company was formed in 1920 by Jacob Egeland and Abraham Larsen. This company lasted until the end of the era. Premier Whaling Company was the other whaling company in the port at that time.

Harlequins Rugby Team Golf Fundraiser

Sponsor a hole & promote your company. All funds go to the running of the rugby team in the 2021 season.

Date: Friday 6th November 2020. Venue: Bluff National Park. Cost: R500 per hole (18th hole R1000) Contact to book or enquiry: Wesley Slabbert Tel: 083 648 7043 Email: Wesley.slabbert@irco.com or Pierre Smuts: Tel: 076 154 2473 Email: pierresmuts@gmail.com

Heritage Day 2020 with Sodurba and Durban Tourism

Sodurba, with our partners Durban Tourism celebrated Heritage Day this year with a guided tour with Andre the Nature Guide through Kenneth Stainbank in Yellowwood Park.

Our guests were transported by Khubs Tours on a scenic and informative tour past the Cooper Lighthouse situated on Marine Drive. The Cooper Lighthouse was the first lighthouse that came into operation in 1867, at the time it was the only lighthouse on the east coast of Africa. In 1932 power was brought to the Bluff and the beam was increased from 150,000 to 3,000,000 candle power. Later in the 1930’s the badly corroded tower was reinforced by concrete casing and an observation gallery added. Then came WW2 and the lighthouse was demolished in 1941. In 1953 Cooper Lighthouse was built on the Bluff (named after H.C Cooper the lighthouse engineer) and in 1954 the lighthouse in Umhlanga was built.

On route we admired another Heritage Site the Nelson Mandela Stone in Wentworth in commemoration of former president Nelson Mandela’s willingness to engage with the Wentworth community in 1995, a garden representing Mandela’s compassion was established in Quality street, Wentworth. A stone symbolizing community strength was erected by SDCEA in this garden. Mandela’s humility inspired our South Durban community to continue the struggle against polluters and all forms of injustice, be it from government or local business.

This scenic but informative tour ended at Kenneth Stainbank where André Steenkamp did a short 1 hour walk through this hidden gem. Our guests ended with a lovely picnic parcel and fresh brewed coffee from Zebru Coffee Company, we all even attempted the Jeruselma Challenge!

Thank you to everyone that made this iconic day such a huge success!

Sodurba CTO Jeruselma Challenge #jersulemachallenge

Durban Walking Tours

Owner Alison Chadwick and qualified Tour Guide

At the age of 58 I have taken the leap and followed my heart and passion; from 1 April 2020 I will be a full-time tour guide – available 7 days a week to take you exploring in Durban!  After 10 years of working in the tax department of Moore Durban, this is a BIG change that I am so excited about!

The decision came from all the enquiries and bookings I have received for walking tours from Corporates, schools, teachers, photo clubs, friends, family and networking.  Long may this passion of mine continue and I thank you all for being part of this journey!

Walking Tours covering history, new developments, fauna and flora, art, architecture, conservation and protecting the environment. Contact me directly for any further enquiries or bookings.

Destiny island

20th August 2020

Destiny is our 2nd Public Art Piece, from the Welcoming of the Whales Festival. 

The piece is 3m long and was designed by Umcebo Design. 

Her armature was constructed by Fabricon Holdings with additional sponsorship from CMH Kempster Ford South, as our two anchor sponsors.

Educational initiatives and art projects, the creation of Destiny Island are to promote conservation as well as being an attraction along the Whale Heritage Route.

“We built the piece with the students at Eden College using a design by Mike McFadyean and are so pleased to see Sodurba and Fabricon installing it so beautifully. An example of effective creative waste management said Robin Opperman.” 

The piece is very important as it not only showcases public art and recycling, but it educates the public on the importance of whales in our ecosystem and global ecology.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our sponsors and have placed a board acknowledging their assistance, at “her” island, Destiny Island, on the corner of Grays Inn and Marine Drive, Bluff. 

We would also like to mention a thank you to Toyota Boshoku South Africa for the beautiful landscaping that they completed and St. Margaret’s Church Bluff for adopting the spot, which they will maintain and look after Destiny island.

“Destiny Island is a very important part of our Whale Heritage Route which starts at the Maritime Museum and ends at the View Points which have been established along our KZN Whale Coast. 

Said Helga du Preez Chairlady of Sodurba CTO”

The Bluff multicultural History includes a French historical background

Soyez les bien-venus ! Welcome !
The beautiful Bluff’s multicultural history includes a French historical background:

The French Missionary Order of The Oblates of Mary Immaculate” from Aix-en-Provence & Marseilles, France, first camped on the Bluff when they arrived in the early 1852. The catholic parish church in Sarmony Rd is still run by these Fathers

The French Holy Family Sisters from Bordeaux. The Sisters were responsible for the development of St Francis Xavier mission school from 1878. This was the first school for Africans in Natal. The pupilswere not only taught the 3 Rs, but also how to raise vegetables and care for the garden. Unfortunately, the school had to close in the 1960s because of the Group Areas Act. A Convent school still functions on the original site, but it was taken over by the Dominican Sisters. 

The Bluff has ties with Réunion Island, a French Overseas Department, through the horse racing world

The Bluff shares a whaling history with French ports: Bordeaux, Nantes amongst others…. 

The Bluff is home to many Francophones: poor car guards from Francophone Africa, people associated with the “Alliance Française DBN”, retired teachers and tourist guides…..

Credit: Glenn Flanagan
 Alliance Française, PMB Project Leader: French Presence in KwaZulu-Natal: La Route du Prince Impérial, Louis Napoléon

Looking Back at Welcoming of the Whales Festival

What would have been our 4th annual Welcoming of the Whales Festival & we are devastated that we couldn’t have it this year due to COVID-19 epidemic.
HOWEVER we have done a throwback to our last 3 years & thought we would share how much this festival means to Sodurba and the protection of our Humpback Whales past our Whale Heritage Site. Follow us for further updates.