Country & Coastal Touring

Captain Allen Francis Gardiner… pt4

Capt. Allen Francis Gardiner
Capt. Allen Francis Gardiner

Not much more is heard from Gardiner during the rest of his stay in Port Natal. Not long after his self-imposed exile into the bush, Dingane attacked a Boer deportation causing an uproar in Durban which in turn lead to a panicked evacuation onto a coasting vessel (the Comet) in the bay, which included Gardiner. Gardiner was never to return to Durban after the vessel sailed away on 11th May 1838, most hands were against him and the Zulu’s had destroyed his mission stations in Berea and Tongaat.

Gardiner continued throughout his life to bring the Word of God to primitive people. He planned a mission in Chile as well as Papua (both failing miserably) and in 1851 made his way with other like-minded missionaries to Tierra Del Fuego. It was here that once again Gardiners impatience and short-sightedness led to his death.

Gardiner and his party sadly starved to death, the final entry in his diary read…

“I neither hunger nor thirst, though five days without food – marvellous loving kindness to me a sinner”

Gardiner's Diary Page
Gardiner's Diary Page

There is much to be found on Gardiners later years, his missionary work in Chile, Papua and Tierra Del Fuego being fairly well documented, but really very little concerning his time in Natal with the exception of his own journal.

So although Gardiner’s visit to Durban’s shores was pretty short, the effects of his visit was widespread. He can certainly be credited with giving the newly formed township of Durban a foundation on which to build.