In a nutshell, Oranjemund is
about diamonds and people. Without the diamonds the people would
not have been here.
Oranjemund, meaning mouth of the Orange River is
situated in the far south western corner of a vast country called
Oranjemund is bordered by the Orange river in the
South, The Atlantic ocean on the West and to the North and East,
the dry Namib desert. Click here to see a map
Another unique fact about Oranjemund is the fact
that it is located in one of the richest diamond fields in the
world and thus the area was proclaimed , Sperrgebiedt (forbidden
territory), by the then German Colonial government of the day.
To this extent most of the Sperrgebiedt has remained uninhabited.
It is not uncommon to see wild gemsboks and jackals
wandering the streets of Oranjemund.
As kids, this was a great and safe place to grow
up in. Back in the 60's and 70's it was always the Afrikaaners
in one gang and the Soutie's ( English ) in the other.
Our favourite places to play were the 1st Avenue
Bushes, The Dumps behind Town Garage,The Sand Quarry, The Tank
Park, The Squash Courts, The back of the Rec Club, Down at the
Beach to name a few.
I even remember playing down at what was then called
"Pigsville" in the 70's.It was situated on the east side of town,
but was demolished to make way for housing in the late 70's.
The 1st Avenue bushes, were the coolest place to
play. Just about everybody had a den in the trees. There were traps
and swings, with Owambo toilets every 300m. It was a jungle out
there. Every 6 months or so it would not be uncommon to have the
CDM Fire Dept dousing a fire in those tree's.
For some reason in the 80's ,Keith Ager with the
Parks and Gardens department cut down our jungle. Rumours were
that when the diamond thiefs ran the fence they made for the tree's
and the security helicopter would lose them. I recall one night
when some diamond runners climbed the fence to the north of town.The
whole desert came to life with helicopters and bakkies. Searchlights
and torches lit up the desert like a scene from the movie "Close
Encounters of the 3rd Kind".
The bioscope or matinee would be on Saturday afternoon.
Two rows would form in front of the Cinema, those who's mother
had the forsight to buy their kids tickets in the week, and then
the rest of us who's parents were holed up in the Sportsman's and
just gave us dosh to leave them alone. In the 70's it was 15c for
a ticket. CInema has long gone , with a raging Namibian niteclub
occupying the premises.
Nobody actually watched the matinee, we were all
to busy throwing popcorn around or crawling under the seats. When
the movie was over , we would stream onto the streets to reinact
the parts of the movie we did actually see.
The Shopping Centre back then was basically a big
shell of a building with a lot of mini departments inside.
Who remembers the day when the company opened the
new enterance on 7th ave to their Spar store? That was the day
when there was almost a riot in the street due to the company helicopter
hovering above the crowd and dumping thousands of rands out of
the chopper. Money floated everywhere, onto roofs and in the trees.
if I recollect it was two rand notes.
A different way to shop in the Shopping
Centre of 1972, from left to right, Pam Greenshields, Janet Bester
and Mable Gerrad .
(Thanks to Mavis Padruthfor
See more Shopping Centre Pics of
the 70's under Mavis's folder in "Your Photo's")
The above picture was submitted
by Sandy Buchanan and it is of his mom in the shop.