Introduction to the Barrow 125 Anniversary

May 2022 | Barrow's 125

2022 marks the 125th Anniversary of the Barrow Group of companies. As descendants of the original Barrows that started this journey in 1897, my brothers, cousins and I (the fifth generation of Barrows) recognize the significance of this event. Not many companies have the opportunity to celebrate 125 years of existence.

We know there is a responsibility to reflect properly on this journey. Those whose shoulders we stand on, generations of Barrows and countless other people who have contributed to our story, deserve our acknowledgement and respect. Aside from this wonderful opportunity to say thank you to so many, we know that reflecting on our journey with a critical eye will help us as we move into the future.

The last notable milestone we marked was 25 years ago, when we celebrated our 100th anniversary. In 1997 we commissioned Ivor Sander, a noted researcher and writer of company histories, to produce a Centenary History of Barrow Construction (Pty) Ltd. The end product, an excellent and detailed record of the history of our family and the company, has served as the historical record of our company to the present day.

But as we know, the world has moved on since 1997. Many of the avenues currently available to communicate or to tell a story were not available 25 years ago. Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, blogs, websites and many other forms of digital communication proliferate. To be honest, as a reasonably conservative family and company we have found it all a bit overwhelming. We initially thought that we would just update Ivor’s book. Very quickly we realised that the richness of our history and the eloquence of so many of the various stakeholders we have started interacting with, in the early stages of this project, have pointed towards publication and expression beyond the written word.

As a consequence we have decided on an approach markedly different to our original intentions. We have engaged with Mike Roy, historian and storyteller who, together with LUX & MODE, our digital partner, will facilitate the telling of our 125-year story. Over the next few months, and perhaps beyond, we intend to publish regular soundbites, articles and videos about the many themes of interest surrounding the history, and the future, of the Barrow Group.

We will use the media channels that lend themselves to best sharing our history. We already have some fabulous video footage of interviews, with a cross section of people who have made an impact on or have been impacted by the Barrow Group. Through this process we hope to do justice to this wonderful event in our history. Although we have a responsibility to preserve the history of the rich heritage of the physical buildings that we have built, we also wish to record and preserve the memory and thoughts of those who have helped get us to where we are today.

We’d love to invite you to join along with us as we unpack and share this remarkable story over the next few months.


John Barrow

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1 Comment

  1. Ted and Liz Goodyer

    Congratulations at all the family for their dedication, commitment and integrity over all the years. Upholding Tge ethics of John Barrow.


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