Our Brief History
The history of Allison Homes dates back to 1937, when Albert Thurlow Allison and Ruby Allison executed a Notarial Deed of Trust, which was duly authorised and the King George V Memorial Home for Aged Couples came into being as a Memorial to the life and reign of King George V. In 1940, Queen Mary Place was set up as a Home for single women. Together these entities formed the basis for The Allison Homes Trust registered in 1987.
The first property was donated by the City Council (Lot 100 Burger St) and was valued at 1400 pounds and the first resident moved in to one of the seven homes built at this time. The Homes grew over time, as donations were made by individuals, the council and various organisations (eg: The Scottish Freemasons in Natal) and clubs (eg: Rotary Club). Some donations were in cash, while others offered their services at discounted rates and yet others donated their properties or furnishings!
In an article in The Natal Witness (2nd and 3rd December 1954) it was claimed that Mrs Shepstone (wife of the then Administrator of Natal) said, “Maritzburg had set an example in the provision of homes for the aged which was being followed elsewhere in the Union and in other countries.” Even back then, the waiting list was long as demand for affordable accommodation exceeded what was available.
Mr Allison commented in the same article,”…made possible only through the generous support of the public and the secret of its success was built upon the love and goodwill of generous giving…”
It is interesting to note that it was also recognised that residents involvement, in terms of keeping their homes and gardens in an excellent condition, was good for both the Association and for the wellbeing of the individuals, as it kept them happy and inspired others to take care of themselves.
In 1976, 88 elderly lived at King George V Memorial Home for couples with Queen Mary Place providing accommodation to 130 elderly women. Both residences relied entirely on donations and bequests and were independent of government funding.
In 1981 Albert Allison Haven came into being and an additional 44 homes became available.
There are now five secure and well-maintained separate complexes; four in the CBD area (272 cottages in total) and the fifth is in the suburb of Boughton (46 cottages in total). All are within the city of Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.