Norman and Rosemary Levin
(click here for separate biography of father
here for separate biography of Rosemary Levin)
(source: Chronicle Newspaper Report
Levin initiator and managing director of Norman Levin Gold Mines
founded in 1964 will be leaving the mining world after more than fifty years. As
a young boy in the 1930's Norman Levin watched his late father Solly Levin
active in his mining career.
his mining training at Bulawayo Tec. In 1942 Norman Levin would go on to further
apprenticeship on the Bushstick Mine. At this time his mining career was
interrupted by active service in the airforce from 1943 -1945.
manager of the Red Boy Mine in the Turk Mine area from 1949-1954.
followed by a tribute of Morven Mine on the Bembezi River in Matabeleland until
1959 and at the same time re opening his late fathers mine the Ding Dong.
this time Levin opened up the Elumba Mine at Inyati and also the Immigrant Mine
a few miles away in the early sixties. Now Norman Levin established in 1964
'Norman Levin Gold Mines' when he began operating the Horn Mine in the Gwanda
region. After several successful years on Horn viability came to an end in 1970.
now to the Beatrice district where he opened up the Joyce Mine producing a
copper-gold concentrate. Unfortunately Joyce was intercepted by a dolorite sill
on the twelfth level effectively cutting off the reef.
to look further a field he opened up the Roma Mine some four miles away bringing
the ore over by tractor to the Joyce plant. This in turn was cut off by the same
dolorite sill on the twentieth level closing the mine in 1996.
the same time saw Levin opened up the old Indarama at Kwe Kwe
in 1973. This required the re opening of the Government Roasting Plant at Kwe
Kwe to treat the arsenical concentrates which together with the antimonial
concentrates and some free gold constituted the mines production.
again Levin was forced to bring ore over from the nearby B.D. mine where a main
shaft was sunk to the twelfth level to make a further four years of viability. During
this time the Broomstock Mine in the same area was established and a
three-compartment shaft was sunk down to the fifth level.
this time ill health forced Norman Levin to give up Kwe Kwe and concentrate on
the Joyce-Roma district. Here a few reasonably satisfactory mining years
continued until Roma's end.
Levin was to make a further attempt to re open the Joyce Mine.
an intensive drilling programme no further ore was found. During this period a
last attempt to resuscitate the mines in this area the Peccary Mine was opened
up. After sinking two main shafts the ore petered out on the fifth level. Two
years dump retreatment on the Joyce Mine followed.
mining industry of Zimbabwe will not again see his equal in
dogged perseverance in this very difficult profession of gold mining".
[ Harare Chronicle write up 1999 ]
wife Rosemary Levin born 1930 was a young ballet dancer Rosemary
Driman daughter of well known Johannesburg chess champion Sam Driman
would leave her childhood home in Johannesburg to get married and follow
her husband Norman Levin into the Rhodesian bush in 1953.
They lived in a primitive mud brick house and begin their mining career as
'small workers,' a rare breed of unusual men who chance their lives and
perhaps their family's in this most precarious of professions - working a
small mine, independently, with a handful of inexperienced workers their
wives and dependents. High risk, under capitalised, dangerous physically
yet with a sense of going it alone.
They were cut off from almost all other pursuits
fending for themselves
and battling the elements. How they handled their lives in this lonely
quest, the rearing of their children out in the remote countryside, the
vagaries of the unknown and unpredictable all would test them but the
greatest test of all would come to try them almost beyond endurance in
the untimely incident of a motor car accident when Rosemary was just
seven months pregnant with her third child. Barely five years had passed
since their marriage when they were struck with a challenge that
threatened to unhinge their entire and their family's lives as they had to
deal daily and through the years to come with the repercussions.
Rosemary was to sustain a high spinal injury - a complete lesion -
[a broken neck] and now they perhaps became even more removed, in
their unusual profession and cicumstances.
After sixteen months hospitalisation in Bulawayo,
Johannesburg and Britain, they returned against peoples advice to the bush and
their mining career to rear their
three young daughters Marsha, Sally and Sandra and to cope with the
constant [about every five years] uprooting, leaving one mine, now no
longer viable for another in a different part of the country. New schools
for the children, new friends, new garden to develop along side the far
more difficult re-establishment of a new mine camp, houses, schools for
workers children, plant structure, and opening up underground the biggest
challenge of all. This was the pattern of their lives.
Still it was full and though hard won full of reward. Their ability to assist
disabled Zimbabweans with wheelchairs and support was constant. Savyon
Lodge the wonderful Jewish residential home for the aged parents in
Bulawayo was for many years the Levins special and enduring interest -
Norman mined for fifty-five active years almost always gold. He took
more than fifteen tons of the precious metal from the bowels of the
earth over those years. A rewarding and full life together bringing wealth
and employment to the country .
Picture below taken at the Indarama Mine in
the early 1980s (the Gold Belt Area of KweKwe). Picture shows l-r mine manager,
Norman Levin, mine manager, Sally (nee Levin) and husband Yossi.