Noteworthy events during the lifetime of this tree, planted in about 1850 in the Botanic Gardens, now the Public Gardens, Cape Town. The tree was struck by lightning, felled and removed in 1939.
Image: Cross-section through the Norfolk Island Pine.
Convict ship dispatched from Cape to Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) as a result of local anti-convict agitation.
Heerengracht renamed Adderley Street, after British MP Charles Adderley, who championed agitation against the importation of convicts to the Cape Colony.
First oranges exported to England; made possible by a steamship service.
No. 1 Reservoir built below Camp Street.
First Cape Parliament sat in the Lodge de Goede Hoop, Cape Town, on 30 June.
Gold discovered in the Transvaal.
Cape Commercial Bank opened.
South African Museum reconstituted.
Open canal in Adderley Street covered.
Wooden street paving introduced.
Earthquake in Cape Town on 14 August.
Vlei on Green Point Common used for boating and model boat races.
Monthly mail service to England undertaken by Union Steamship Company; the voyage took 42 days.
St Mary’s Cathedral in Roeland Street completed.
Strand Street macadamised.
Construction commenced of the Library and Museum Building – now the National Library of South Africa – in the Company’s Gardens.
Construction on first railway, from Cape Town to Wellington, started.
Visit of Prince Alfred to the Cape. This was the first royal visit to the Colony.
First barrow of soil tipped by Prince Alfred for the construction of Table Bay Docks on 17 July.
No. 2 Reservoir built below Camp Street.
Penny postage introduced for letters within the City.
First telegraph service, a privately owned line, introduced from Cape Town to Simon’s Town.
First horse-drawn tram service introduced between Cape Town and Sea Point.
First sod turned for the railway between Cape Town and Wynberg.
Visit of the privateer the CSS Alabama to Cape Town.
Old Synagogue built on St John’s Street, Gardens.
Railway between Cape Town and Wynberg opened.
Noon Gun first fired by electricity.
60 people died and 18 ships lost in Table Bay in the great gale on the night of 17 May.
Lighthouse on Robben Island lit for the first time.
Statue of Sir George Grey – the first statue in Cape Town – erected in the Botanic Gardens.
First diamond discovered at Hopetown.
Second visit of Prince Alfred to the Cape.
First Mayor of Cape Town installed.
Severe drought in Cape Town; it did not affect the growth of this tree.
The steamship the Great Eastern arrived in Table Bay. A token penny was issued by local firm Marsh & Sons to mark the event.
Public executions abolished.
Streets lit by gas during winter.
Tinned meats exported experimentally from the Cape.
Alfred Docks opened on 17 May.
Responsible government granted to the Cape Colony.
University of Cape of Good Hope, the forerunner of University of South Africa, founded.
Visit of the HMS Challenger to Cape Town during its marine research expedition around the world.
Foundation stone laid of present Houses of Parliament.
Construction of Molteno Reservoir commenced.
First South African International Exhibition held in Cape Town.
Arrival of the first telephones.
Metropolitan Church built on Greenmarket Square.
Pillar boxes introduced in Cape Town.
The bursting of the newly completed Molteno Reservoir floods Cape Town.
Robinson Graving Dock constructed.
Standard Bank Building in Adderley Street opened.
First exhibition of South African products and manufactured goods held in Cape Town.
Telephone exchange opened in Cape Town.
Simon’s Town docks taken over by British Admiralty.
First masonry building, the Colonial Mutual Building – with the first lift – erected in Cape Town.
Present Houses of Parliament opened.
Malay cemeteries closed on Signal Hill, under protest.
Jubilee of Queen Victoria celebrated, and her statue erected in the garden of the Houses of Parliament.
First submarine cable to England laid.
Railway station (on the present Golden Acre site) rebuilt and extended.
Botanic Gardens ceded to Cape Town Municipality as Public Gardens.
Municipal electricity scheme inaugurated.
Commercial Exchange, on the site of the present OK Furniture/Shoprite Building in Adderley Street, demolished.
Opening of Opera House on 31 August.
Earthquake in Cape Town on 7 September.
De Waal Park, formerly Jubilee Park, laid out.
Streets lit by electricity.
SS Pieter Faure, a Cape Government marine survey vessel, commissioned.
First electric tram service introduced.
South African Museum Building opened on present site.
Old General Post Office – the biggest building in South Africa at the time – opened on Adderley Street, on the site of the present OK Building.
First motor car arrived in Cape Town; driven by JP Hess and known as ‘Coffeepot’.
Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee celebrated.
New Street, formerly Thuyn Street, renamed Queen Victoria Street.
Coat of arms, granted to Cape Town by Commissioner-General Jacob Abraham de Mist in 1804, confirmed by letters patent.
Fresh produce market opened on Sir Lowry Road.
Mount Nelson Hotel opened.
Outbreak of the Second Boer War.
City Hall foundation stone laid.
Balloon ascent from Rosebank showgrounds. Aeronaut dropped in Molteno Reservoir, and was drowned.
Visit of Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York (later King George V and Queen Mary).
Foundation stone of new St George’s Cathedral laid by Duke of Cornwall and York.
General mourning of Queen Victoria’s death.
Last toll gate, in Woodstock, abolished.
Scenic tram service to Camps Bay, via Clifton and Kloof Neck, introduced.
Death of Cecil John Rhodes.
Memorial tablet erected by the South African Philosophical Society on the site of De la Caille’s Observatory on Strand Street.
New Synagogue built on St John’s Street, Gardens.
City Hall completed.
First service held in the crypt of the new St George’s Cathedral.
First aeroplane demonstrated at the Cape.
First silent cinematography film shown in the Good Hope Hall.
Act of Union of South Africa.
Historical Pageant staged at Cape Town.
Death of King Edward VII.
Pageant, depicting South Africa’s history, staged in Cape Town.
Construction of a 300-metre-long pier commenced at the foot of Adderley Street.
Aerial record established by Evelyn ‘Bok’ Driver, by flying over Table Mountain in a monoplane with a Gnome engine and wing membrane of silk.
Captain Robert Scott died in the Antarctic. Cape Town had been the refit station for his expedition’s ships. (Argosy monument at lower end of Adderley Street.)
Koopmans-de Wet House opened as a cultural history annexe of the South African Museum.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens opened.
Pier opened by Sir Nicolaas Frederic de Waal, Administrator of the Cape Province.
Greater Cape Town formed by the amalgamation of the suburban municipalities, with the exception of Wynberg, with Cape Town Municipality.
Municipal Orchestra (later the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra) founded.
The Slave Tree, an old fir-tree on Church Square, removed.
The Michaelis Collection in the Old Town House officially opened.
The government’s fisheries survey vessel, SS Pickle, commissioned.
Death of Olive Schreiner in Cape Town.
First wireless broadcast in Cape Town by John Streeter.
Carillon installed in City Hall.
First Union coinage in Cape Town.
First official broadcast by Cape Town Broadcasting Company, from the Argus Building.
Visit of Prince of Wales to South Africa; he laid the foundation stone for the new buildings of the University of Cape Town in Rondebosch.
Afrikaans declared an official language.
The late Captain Scott’s ship the Discovery, reconditioned for research on whales and Antarctic marine biology, visited the Cape.
African Broadcasting Company founded.
First ‘talkie’ film shown at the Astoria in Woodstock.
Wynberg Municipality amalgamated with Greater Cape Town.
Table Mountain Cableway opened.
The Great Depression begins.
Camps Bay scenic tram route closed.
RRS Discovery II, a whaling and Antarctic research ship, refitted in Cape Town.
South African National Gallery opened.
Delville Wood memorial and garden in Company’s Garden opened.
The government’s fisheries vessel, RV Africana, commissioned.
New wing of South African Museum, housing the ethnology and mammal galleries, opened.
Cape Archives transferred to the former university building in Queen Victoria Street.
Death of King George V.
Present South African Broadcasting Corporation founded.
Opera House closed on 7 January and demolished to make way for the present General Post Office.
Coronation of King George VI.
Pier demolished for the reclamation of Rogge Bay and construction of Duncan Docks.
Tramcars replaced by trackless trams.
The Mutual Building in Darling Street and the General Post Office, Cape Town’s tallest buildings for the next 20 years, neared completion.
Outbreak of World War II.
Tree struck by lightning, felled and removed.