Memorial To Pre-Pioneers Of Rhodesia
The Mangwe Pass Memorial to the Pre-Pioneers was unveiled on July 18, 1954, by Sir Robert Tredgold. a great-grandson of Robert Moffat who was one of the first Europeans to enter the pass. The inscription reads:
"One hundred years ago the first of the missionaries, hunters and traders passed slowly and resolutely along this way.
"Honour their memory.
"They revealed to those who followed the bounties of a country they themselves might not enjoy—8/7/1954."
This memorial, made from blocks of granite from the local rocks, stands amid the boulder-strewn hills that overlook the pass.
An interesting feature which many people do not recognise consists of the impressions of an ox-wagon, a dog, a person wearing boots and another with bare feet, which have been made on a concrete platform in front of the monument.
At Marula, 44 miles from Bulawayo on the Plumtree road, the Mangwe Pass side road leads away to the south through 15 miles of grand rock scenery.
This pass was the southern gateway to the heart of Matabeleland through which the first settlers in Southern Rhodesia passed.
Except for John Lee, a trader, and his wife and family, all the first settlers were missionaries.
Robert Moffat, entrusted by the London Missionary Society with establishing a mission, at the age of 62 travelled 700 miles to find Mzilikazi at the Bembesi River near Inyati, and obtained permission to establish a mission.
In August, 1859, he led from Kuruman a party including his son John who, with his wife and other missionaries, established the mission at Inyati.
After a journey of three months the first white settlement in Southern Rhodesia was founded.
Extracted and recompiled by Eddy Norris from the publication:-Know Your Rhodesia and Know Nyasaland
300 Selections from The Rhodesia Herald Edited by N. S. FERRIS Volume I
PUBLISHED BY THE RHODESIAN PRINTING AND PUBLISHING COMPANY LIMITED, SALISBURY. SOUTHERN RHODESIA. 1956
Publication made available by Nick Baalbergen
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