Mmegi Blogs :: The Gaborone Freehold Farms
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Tuesday 20 November 2018, 13:46 pm.
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The Gaborone Freehold Farms

Unfortunately, we still have little information about the Gaborone freehold farms in the sixty year period between their establishment in 1905 and 1965. We have no idea about the attempts of those farmers to achieve viability, their successes or their failures, or indeed, about the ways that did or did not relate with each other.
By Sandy Grant Wed 13 Jul 2016, 15:56 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Blogs :: The Gaborone Freehold Farms








Were they ever, perhaps in part, a community of like-minded people who were brought together by social or religious need or were they invariably distant from each other?

 

            The development of modern Gaborone, and the absorption, and subsequent development of some of those farm areas has inevitably created an impression that they must have been within relatively easy reach of each other. In reality, bad roads and significant distances separated them from each other. The assumption must be, therefore, that unless there was some shared interest, each farm owner and his family lived independently of everyone else and in a strangely cocooned existence.

 

            Providing a rare insight into that assumed scenario comes Binks Glover, whose father, Dick and grandfather, Louis Samuel before him, had owned Broadhurst Farm until the former sold it in the early 1950s and the family moved to another farm in the Tuli block. Mr Glover’s recollection of those earlier days helps to fill in the huge vacuum.  When discussing the past with him in 2009, he noted that the growing of cotton and wheat happened sometime in the 1950’s and very early 1960’s after his family had left Broadhurst and moved to the Tuli Block.  He went on, ‘those silos on Bonnington Farm were built by a remarkable man, who was years ahead

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of his time, by name of Dan le Cordeur. Our families were very friendly, and we visited them often, particularly when my parents leased the house on Forest Hill from Kgale Mission (now under the Gaborone Dam) and they lived at Kgale.  The last time I saw him was around 1996 or 1997, when he came up here to visit his old haunts.  At that time he was well into his 80’s.  About the “ahead of his time”: he was ploughing and cultivating his lands (known as the cotton fields in recent years, where the new CBD is located) and then planting winter wheat . He must have had the first feedlot operation in Botswana, and the silos were constructed by him for silage, which he fed to the animals in the feedlot.  The feeding troughs are on either side of the raised walkway between the two sets of silos. My grandfather and father were running an extensive dairy ranching operation, milking Shorthorn cows’, he explained.  ‘They made a type of cream cheese, which was sold in the then Belgian Congo (today’s DRC).  This was sent up by train, in cooler wagons – rail trucks with bodies that were charcoal coolers.  All the other farmers around here, such as George Sim, were strictly ranchers. 

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