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Monuments and Memorials

The Peace and Justice Memorial on the Greenpoint Community Square.

This very modern memorial on the Square in one of Kimberley’s oldest suburbs, Greenpoint, was unveiled in September 1998 by the then Mayor, Alderman Maria Chwarisang. The sculptor, Kimberley resident Wilfred Delport, originally designed it in 1968 as an appeal to the apartheid government to release all political figures including Nelson Mandela. It was then entitled “The Appeal for Peace and Justice”.

The sculpture took three months to complete after the Swedish International Public Service had commissioned Mr Delport.
At the same time the Memorial was unveiled, so was the Square, with the area being paved, 153 trees planted, and generally, a major upliftment for this impoverished community.

Apart from the monument, Greenpoint boasts the most attractive double storeyed shanty in South Africa. This shanty is regularly visited by tourists and has featured on several TV documentaries.

The Cape Police Memorial in Belgravia is one of Kimberley’s most attractive monuments and is in memory of the Cape Colony policemen who died during the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902 – be it killed in action, wounds or disease.

The monument was constructed entirely of red and grey granite and was purchased from Messrs MacDonald, Monumental Works, Aberdeen, Scotland, and that the four round (red) pillars are polished. The remainder of the structure is unpolished, the lions being of grey granite.

The figure of the Cape policeman standing on the pillars faces Carter’s Ridge battlefield where several Cape Police lost their lives during the siege and measures some 6 feet 4 inches, that being the ideal height for a policeman!

Messrs E.W. Tarry & Co manufactured the railings of rifles and fixed bayonets –the bayonets have long been vandalized – in Kimberley at a cost of 30 shillings per rifle.

The charge for the monument at the masons yard came to £650, and the Union Castle shipping line and the railway authorities reduced the transportation costs quite considerably. De Beers paid for the actual erection of the monument in what was known then known as Rendlesham Gardens before becoming Police Park and later Belgrave Park. (If all transport had been paid for the total cost of the memorial would have come to £1400.)

In front of the memorial is a 9 pounder Armstrong gun captured by the British from the Boers on Dronfield Ridge on 16 February 1900. It too has an interesting history having been one of the guns taken from the British after the siege of Potchefstroom during the Anglo-Transvaal War of 1880-1881

The memorial was unveiled on 17 April 1904 by Lt-Colonel HT Tamplin, the Crown Prosecutor, and De Beers Consolidated Mines presented the site in Belgravia to the public of Kimberley.

A fine memorial, it has been whispered that the ‘authorities’, whomever that may be, wish to remove it from its position. A move having been thwarted once before by the Historical Society of Kimberley, assuredly the society will once again come to the fore before this fine memorial is removed.

Kimberley’s bronze monument of Queen Victoria

Kimberley’s bronze monument of Queen Victoria has pride of place outside the William Humphreys Art Gallery on Jan Smuts Boulevard opposite the Oppenheimer Gardens. Resplendent on her State chair, and clad in her state robes, Queen Victoria holds a sceptre in one hand and orb in the other. One of three cast by Mr Raggis from the same mould – the other two are in Hong Kong and Toronto – the height of the statue is nine feet and six inches.It was unveiled on 18 May 1906 by Sir Walter Hely-Hutchinson, after a process lasting just over four years. At a meeting on 28 February 1902 it was decided to erect the Queen’s Statue and a committee was formed. This committee, which included such local dignitaries as D.W. Greatbatch, Charles Nind, John Orr, William Pickering, J.D. Tyson, H.A. Oliver, Gustav Bonas, Colonel Sir David Harris, and Fergus Carstairs-Rogers, decided that the finished product would grace the entrance to the Kimberley Public Gardens, (now Regiment Way), at a point just beyond the Drill Hall opposite the Belgravia tennis courts. The entrance road to the Gardens was widened to allow reasonable access to pedestrians from both sides of approach.

M. Raggis of Regent’s Park, London designed the statue, and the founders were Messrs Singer and Company of Frome, Somersetshire, England. Greatbatch designed the base and the local constructors employed were Church and McLauchlin. The Union Castle line shipped the statue free of charge to Cape Town and the railways did likewise in transporting it to Kimberley. De Beers Company donated the basalt stone for the pedestal, while the cut stone came from Steenpan in the Free State. The entire cost came to £1500, of which £1050 was collected in Kimberley through public subscription

The statue was moved its current position at the William Humphreys Art Gallery in 1959, and shortly thereafter, Regiment Way was constructed as part of the new road to Boshof.

The intricate Regiment Way memorial (on the Rhodes’ Statue embankment) to the fallen of the Kimberley Regiment – now hidden by an advertising monstrosity placed there by the municipality – was placed there in 1959.

Police Memorial

Outside Police station, Transvaal Road
This memorial to the South African Police of the Northern Cape was unveiled by AJ Vlok – a Nationalist MP – on 15 October 1988, as a tribute to 75 years “of excellent service” between 1913 and 1988. The SAP had replaced the Cape Police II that served in this area with much distinction. The Cape Colony was divided into three divisions for the police force. Cape Police I was in the Eastern Cape with the HQ in Kingwilliamstown; Cape Police II was the Northern Cape with the HQ in Kimberley; and Cape Police III was in the Cape proper with the HQ in Cape Town. In 1904 the unit became the Cape Mounted Police, the name remaining until 1913 when it disbanded and was merged into the South African Police.

Don McHardy Memorial Fountain

Mrs McHardy formally opened this memorial fountain in front of the railway station in late 1965, and in the presence of Harry Oppenheimer. The fountain had been jointly erected by the De Beers Company and the Kimberley City Council in memory of Don McHardy, a former General Manager and Director of De Beers who had done so much for the welfare of his fellow citizens. McHardy died in 1963.

1890 Pioneer Memorial

The Pioneer column, under command of Frank Johnson, left Kimberley for Mashonaland via Mafikeng from the Market Square in May 1890. Cecil Rhodes had been responsible for instigating and financing the column, which would colonise the country later named Rhodesia in his honour (now Zimbabwe). The Pioneer Memorial was unveiled on 15 September 1972 by a former Kimberley man, Desmond Lardner-Burke, then Rhodesia’s Minister of Justice, Law and Order. The memorial is constructed of Matopo rocks, the pattern resembling exactly the burial place of Rhodes. A map of Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) is imaged between the rocks.

The Honoured Dead Memorial

The imposing monument known as The Honoured Dead Memorial was erected to perpetuate the memory of the British soldiers who gave their lives in defending Kimberley form the Boers during the siege that lasted 124 days. It was unveiled on 28 November 1904, the fifth anniversary of the second battle of Carter’s Ridge. The prototype was the Nereid monument that was discovered in Xanthos, Asia Minor, in 1840-1842. The Nereid monument, presumed to be a tomb, had been destroyed but had been re-constructed in a model.

The idea for the Memorial came from Rhodes himself after the first action of the siege on 24 October 1899 and a Kimberley committee, which included the colossus himself, chose the Kimberley design. The winning design was submitted by (later Sir) Herbert Baker, a friend of Rhodes. The inscription on the western wall is by Rudyard Kipling, famous for the Jungle Book stories as well as his ballads and verse.

All the stone, according to the history books, comes from the Matopos, although there is a strong belief that it in fact came from Nyamandhlovu as the Matopos does not have sand stone of the type used in the memorial. The monument stands some 52 feet tall and weighs over 2000 tonnes. The cost came to ₤10 000.00, the majority coming from public subscription. John Lockwood Kipling, father of Rudyard, designed the bronze tablets commemorating Long Cecil, George Labram, and the Honoured Dead.

Twenty-seven British soldiers lie buried within the tomb, which was situated on the (then) highest point of Kimberley. The five roads leading to the Memorial were made by the unemployed blacks during the siege to afford employment.



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