The Pretoria News exhibition is at the Es’kia Mphahlele Library in the city centre. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)
AS THE Pretoria News celebrates its 120th birthday, it has been honoured with an exhibition of its history, curated by the Tshwane Heritage Research Centre, at the Es’kia Mphahlele Library at Sammy Marks Square.

The centre, formerly Pretoriana, collects information about the capital city such as books, pamphlets, newspaper cuttings and other items, and includes items of interest from the Pretoria News.

Its original collection of 4000 photographs of old Pretoria date from 1855 to 1955.

According to City of Tshwane spokesperson Lindela Mashigo, the metro, through the centre, created the exhibition to congratulate the Pretoria News on its birthday.

“The Pretoria News has always been a source of valuable information for the centre, and we still have the original copies of the Pretoria News of past celebrations that date back to 1978, 1998 and 2008.”

Pretoria News editor Val Boje was delighted to view the display and said there were items she had not seen before, such as tabloid-size front pages from 1926, before the newspaper became a broadsheet.

“The centre is a valuable centre for anyone interested in the history of the city, and we really do appreciate what they have done to honour the Pretoria News in this way,” she said. “It is gratifying to know that the city’s newspaper contributes to our city’s historic records.”

Mashigo said the exhibition showed appreciation for the work done by the Pretoria News, and that newspapers could help teach the new generation about the city’s history.

Among other items on display are old images, such as one indicating how Church Square used to be a gathering place with ox wagons, and how different it was today.

“Since there is a plan of history being compulsory in high schools, the history contained at the library might be very useful to follow up,” said Pretoria News marketing officer Thulani Ntsuntsha, who enjoyed browsing through the old newspapers, marvelled at an ad of a men’s suit in 1978 which cost R69.95, as well as the front page from July 1978 marking the paper’s 80th birthday.