Rare find of city’s history on display at Hayfields cafe

2017-07-10 14:46
Pietermaritzburg local Deena Padayachee holds up a 116-year-old opera programme printed on silk for Pietermaritzburg’s second mayor, Daniel Burton Scott, who was the owner of the Scott Theatre Building in Theatre Lane at that time, now a derelict block of flats.

Pietermaritzburg local Deena Padayachee holds up a 116-year-old opera programme printed on silk for Pietermaritzburg’s second mayor, Daniel Burton Scott, who was the owner of the Scott Theatre Building in Theatre Lane at that time, now a derelict block of flats. (Ian Carbutt)

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A Pietermaritzburg local is in possession of a 116-year-old opera programme printed on silk, commissioned by the city’s second mayor, Daniel Burton Scott.

Retired businessman Deena Padayachee said he had bought the Scott Theatre Building in Theatre Lane in the CBD in 1987, where he started a cafe.

Padayachee said when he bought the building, it came with all sorts of documents, including the opera programme printed on pure silk.

He said the Scott Theatre building was owned by Scott and operas were often held there for the enjoyment of Scott and other invited guests.

Padayachee said if one looks closely at the document, one would see it was dedicated to Sir Henry Edward McCallum, the governor of Natal at the time.

He said after some in-depth research, he found that the suburb Scottsville was named after Scott, who had owned around 27 000 hectares of land around Pietermaritzburg.

“St Nicholas [school] was originally his home. The beautiful garden the children roam and play in was his and some of the trees there are trees that Scott planted when he lived there,” he said.

Padayachee said Scott died a pauper in 1902 after a few of his businesses folded.

Padayachee said through his research, he had found that two of Scott’s sons had died at the battle of Rorke’s Drift, while his wife, daughter and other son later moved to Greytown.

Padayachee said this is where his research had ended, but he would be interested in finding out more about what happened to the family after they moved to Greytown.

He said the silk opera programme would be displayed in Cafe Sharne in Hayfields for all members of the public to enjoy.


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