St. Francis Zavier – Catholic – Bluff
Sunday Service Times:
Mon, Wed 8:00am
Tue, Thu 5:30pm
Sun 8:00am | 5:30pm
Sat 4:30pm to 5:00pm
Physical Address: 21 Sormany Road, Brighton Beach, Durban
Telephone: 031 467 0524
Was it Farewell or Fynn? Gardiner or Cloete? Or was it the tinkers and tailors, the bakers and artisans escaping from the depression and tribulations of Industrialising England in the 1850’s, brave, adaptable and resourceful who prepared the pattern on which Durban has developed to it’s present status?
Chroniclers have awarded the accolade of founder to Lieutenant Francis Farewell, a fortune seeking adventurer who, for all his faults was the first to extol the virtues of the Bay of Natal as a site of a flourishing port and it is with Farewell that the drama of the story of Durban opens.
The story of those very early days is neither pretty no elegant; the characters do not emerge as dedicated empire builders but as uninhibited fortune hunters who saw in the untamed coastlands and the unknown interior of Natal an opportunity to make money.
For 25 years the settlement, remote and unwanted, stagnated, little more than a collection of wattle and daub huts scattered in the scrub with elephants roaming the forests of the Berea behind them, and hippos splashing in the reedy foreshore of the Bay.
Worries in Cape Town and Whitehall over the infiltration of the trekkers from the Cape, and raids by African tribesmen, led to the establishment of a permanent military garrison.
With this established and the short lived Boer Republic dismantled, the arrival of settlers from England, where the prim respectability of the young Queen Victoria had replaced the extravagant permissiveness of her uncles, the tenor of life in Durban began to change.
Buildings replaced huts. Although the licence of a frontier town persisted, it was these honest … and sometimes not so honest … burghers and burgesses who took over.
By trial and error and a great deal of determination in the face of changing fortunes, these men and women, laid the foundations of a city and a port that ranks among the finest and busiest in the world.