Throw Back Thursday: Durban’s Town Halls
Durban’s first town hall; the foundation stone was laid in 1883 and it was used as the Town Hall from 1885 to 1910 when the new Durban Town Hall (an almost exact replica of Belfast’s City Hall), just across the road, came into use.
There’s a plaque on the wall stating that “in this building the National Convention which led to the Union of South Africa held its first sittings from the 12th October 1908 to the 5th November 1908.” Another historical event that this building is known for is that “following his escape from Pretoria in December 1899, Winston Churchill delivered a speech from the steps of the Town Hall to the excited citizens of Durban”.
You’ll find the old Durban City Hall, now the Durban Central Post Office on the corner of Dr Pixley Kaseme and Dorothy Nyembe Streets.
Below: Winston Churchill on the steps of Durban’s first town hall in 1900 amidst a cheering crowd
Below: Durban’s first town hall as it stands today, the Durban Central Post Office
Below Left: Belfast City Hall Below Right: Durban Town Hall (almost an exact replica!)