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Church of St John the Evangelist

TODAY IN KIMBERLEY’S HISTORY 13 SEPTEMBER

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UPDATED: 13/09/2017

13 September 1905, Church of St John the Evangelist, Woodley Street, opened.
13 September 1988, 20 Elsmere Road historic wall damaged in an accident.

DID YOU KNOW

The Evangelies Gereformeerde Kerk on Woodley Street was originally the Church of St John the Evangelist (pictured) and was opened on 13 September 1905 by the Right Reverend Dr Arthur Chandler, DD, Bishop of Bloemfontein. The nave was 66’ long and 36’ 6” wide and the building could seat 350 congregants. DW Greatbatch was the architect, the builder was C van der Watt and Church and McLauchlin best burnt bricks were used. Electric lighting was supplied by T Reunert.

The minister in residence was the Reverend W Brailsford, the two warders being Moses Cornwall and TL Jones. Members of the congregation included EW Mowbray, George Tapscott, AW Weatherby, Bertram Dyer, George Green (Editor of the DFA), James Lawrence and CE Nind.

The adjacent church hall was built in 1911 in memory of Moses Cornwall, a former Mayor of Kimberley as well as warder, the foundation stone being laid by Councillor William Gasson, Mayor of Kimberley, on 15 March 1911.

Moses Cornwall arrived at the river diggings in 1870 and lived in Kimberley when it was known as the New Rush. He was Mayor of Kimberley on three occasions – 1881, 1882 and 1898 – and represented the city in the Cape Colonial parliament from 1884 until 1888. He was a Chairman of the Hospital Board as well as the Public Library and was for over 20 years the Deputy Sheriff for Kimberley, Barkly West and Herbert. He was also an insurance agent for several companies. To his fellow citizens he was known as a kind and genial personality.

In 1935 the church building was purchased by the Evangeliese Gereformeerde Kerk.

13 September 1905, Church of St John the Evangelist, Woodley Street, opened.
13 September 1988, 20 Elsmere Road historic wall damaged in an accident.

DID YOU KNOW

Building work started on the Griqualand West Supreme Court (pictured) on the Market Square in 1882 and took two years to complete, opening in February 1884. This was short-lived as the building was declared unsafe in 1886, partially demolished and rebuilt. The clock tower (with clock) was added on in 1889. The building remained the Supreme Court of Griqualand West until 1968 when it moved to its present position in the Civic Centre (Malay Camp), but was retained as the Magistrate’s Court until May 1990 when the staff moved into their new premises on Knight Street – opened officially by Kobie Coetsee on 22 February 1991. The South African Police Services used the building as offices until 1994 when it was returned to the Dept of Public Works. The building itself, a National Monument (declared 2 November 1990), is built of blue ironstone that came from a kopje overlooking Dutoitspan Mine. Convicts built the entire structure, and most of the fittings and the furniture were made in Kimberley. Restored at a cost of R6.3 million in 2001 by MDH Joint Venture, the building is used by the Public Works.

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