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15 March, Today in Kimberley’s History

15 March 1902, Kimberley Town Bowling Clubhouse opened, 1902.
15 March 1930, Bishop Herman Meysing OMI (pictured) consecrated in St Mary’s Cathedral, 1930.
15 March 1934, Kimberley’s first black (coloured) Mayor, Herbert Rose, born, 1934.


Herman Joseph Meysing was born in Birkungen Germany on 6 September 1886, and died on 21 October 1963 aged 77 years. On 9 July 1911 he was ordained a priest of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and was based in Windhoek South West Africa, working in the vicariate as a missionary and teacher. After some 12 years, in either 1923 or 1924 Meysing was transferred to Kimberley as an administrator and in 1929 was appointed Vicar Apostolic of Kimberley being ordained Bishop in March 1930. In January 1951 he was appointed Archbishop of Bloemfontein, a position he resigned in 1954, becoming Titular Archbishop of Dercos. When he died he was Archbisop Emeritues of Bloemfontein.

[Originally the area of the Free State was part of the Vicariate of Natal, which was established by the Holy See on the October 1850, extending from the Kei river in the South and Quillemane in the North and confided to the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Bishop JE Allard OMI was appointed the first Vicar Apostolic. Consecrated in Marseilles, France, on 13 July 1851.The Zambesi Mission to the North of the Limpopo was confided to the Society of Jesus in 1879.

Then in 1886 the remaining territory under Bishop Jolivet OMI, was subdivided into the Prefecture of the Transvaal and the vicariate of the Free State, comprising the Free State, Basutoland and the Diamond Fields; on the north and on the west, the Vaal River; and on the east Drakensberg Mountains. The new Vicar Apostolic, Bishop Anthony Gaughren OMI, (consecrated in Tower Hill, London on the 10 August 1886) would reside at Bloemfontein. Bishop Q Devereux of Grahamstown had sent Father R Hoenderwangers, O Praem to visit Bloemfontein in 1850 and he took up residence there in 1852, remaining as the pioneer priest of the Free State until his return to Belgium in 1869, when his place was taken by Father Le Bihan Omi, and later by Father V Bompart OMI. When Bishop Gaughren arrived in November 1886 the train terminus from Cape Town was Kimberley and so he took up residence there, travelling regularly by post cart to Bloemfontein and on to Basutoland. Kimberley remained the Episcopal residence for his successors, Bishop Matthew Gaughren OMI (1902-1924) and Bishop HJ Meysing OMI (1924-1951).] From various sources.

From Kimberley Calls and Recalls on Facebook

By Steve Lunderstedt

Aeon Computer Kimberley

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