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 Jasper House

About Oranjemund


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 Namibia.

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 her contributions.

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.




Wild Gemsboks wander the streets.

Fun in the Dumps behind Town Garage.

"Pigsville" in the late 60's"


The Front of the Shopping Centre in the early 70's

Inside the Shopping Centre in the 60's

Customers in the shop in 1972

The original Bowling Club