On Ascension Day, May 10, the Railway Barracks Senior Citizens Group undertook a historic visit to the site where the Railway Barracks was once located.
This was a nostalgic journey for those who once lived in the close knit community before they were uprooted by the infamous Group Areas Act in the 1960s and dispersed to many parts of Durban.
On this site today stands the New Durban Station and Bus Terminal in Somtseu Road. Arriving at the site brought tears to the eyes of the senior members who recollected fond memories of their joyous childhood and youth.
The next stop on this historic tour was the 1860 Heritage Centre in Derby Street. Here the members were enthralled and jubilant to see artifacts from their childhood carefully stored.
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The museum is a storehouse of traditional Indian culture and way of life. The elderly woman in the group were excited to see items used for traditional games like ‘Five Stones’, ‘Three Tins’, ‘Goolie Danda’ and traditional cooking utensils like the ‘Kadai’ and ‘Morrah’ and an ancient primus stove that was on display.
There were squeals of laughter when the traditional spices and musical instruments were discovered. The men were amazed at the photos of the history of Curries Fountain and the football they played in the days of the Soccer Federation.
After an inspiring tour of the museum, the senior citizens were treated to lunch by the curator of the museum, Selvan Naidoo and his wonderful staff.
Jeff Kannie of the Railway Barracks Remembrance Association said that a visit to the 1860 Heritage Museum is something every citizen must undertake. He encouraged the younger generations especially to make time to visit this museum and experience the life of our forebears.
The Railway Barracks Senior Citizens Group expressed profound gratitude to Selvan Naidoo, curator of the museum, for making this memorable visit a reality.