Thieves plunder historic rockery in Alexandra Park

2013-11-22 00:00

THIEVES are slowly ruining the historic rockery at Alexandra Park as they steal the rocks on an almost daily basis.

For a long time, there has never been a shortage of problems facing the beleaguered curator at Alexandra Park; in 1977, council took a resolution to place two policemen there on Saturdays.

The historic Percy Taylor Rockery Garden in Alexandra Park is being removed, rock by rock, and a concerned pensioner, who refused to be named for personal reasons, said he suspects garden landscapers could be behind the thefts.

The man goes there often to feed stray cats each day. He has retired from the Education Department where he worked as a lecturer at the Indumiso campus.

“A couple of days ago I started noticing that there were rocks out of place but did not think there was anything wrong, until I realised that at the spot where I normally feed the cats, there are rocks missing,” he said.

He said the rockery was built in the 1920s and early 1930s during the depression by unemployed white labour, who were paid at a rate of three shillings per day.

He said the city had a duty to preserve such monuments of historical significance. The Percy Taylor Rockery Garden was named after a senator who was part of the union government.

The man said he had been coming to the park ever since he was young.

“Even today we see a lot of people frequenting the park, so it is important for the municipality to restore the park to its former glory days,” he said.

Msunduzi municipal spokesperson Brian Zuma said council valued the history of the park and its use by the people of this city, and the visitors who frequent the park.

“It is for that reason that an amount of about R23 million has been approved to revamp the park,” said Zuma.

He said this would include the upgrade of lighting as well as improved security to make the park a safe place to relax with friends and family.

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