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Moses Cornwall

TODAY IN KIMBERLEY’S HISTORY 03 FEBRUARY

UPDATE: 03/02/2021

3 February 1906, Thrice Mayor of Kimberley, Moses Cornwall dies.
3 February 1910, Town Clerk of Beaconsfield, James Stanley, dies.
3 February 1963, Last service in the St Martini Lutheran Church.

MOSES CORNWALL – A KIMBERLEY SUCCESS STORY
Moses Cornwall (pictured) was a man of great public spirit and energy and at a very early age began to take an active part in local public life. His name appears prominently in many of the early records of the growing township of Kimberley and he was connected with practically every phase of local development.

Cornwall was born in 1841 and joined in the search for diamonds arriving at Pniel on the Diamond Fields in 1870. He then went into business in Dutoitspan and later in Kimberley where he became the agent for the Union Steamship Company after which he represented the Union Castle Company in Kimberley. He also carried out business of both a commercial and public nature.

One of the first official positions held by Cornwall was that of Deputy Sheriff, the office to which he was appointed in 1882 shortly after the Annexation of Griqualand West to the Cape Colony. He served in this position until his death. In addition, he served both as Messenger of the Special Court under the Diamond Trade Act until legislation dissolved this tribunal and Field Cornet for the Kimberley District.

In 1884 Cornwall was returned to the House of Assembly as one of the members for Kimberley and served his constituents in Parliament until 1888.

He was heavily involved in municipal affairs and served on the Borough Council and as Mayor of Kimberley for three terms. It was during this time that improvement schemes of lasting benefit to the town were carried out. These included the provision of a public water supply and electric lighting in the town, the first town in the British Colony to be lit by electricity. During his second term as mayor, Cornwall initiated the amalgamation of the two existing hospitals – one a government institution and the other a private hospital for paying patients – added to which Government agreed to make a substantial grant in order to increase the accommodation available.

That he was committed to matters educational is borne out by the fact that Cornwall was the first person to make an attempt to establish an interdenominational public school in Kimberley. Cornwall was at the forefront of the drive to establish a Public Library in Kimberley and was one of the original members of the Committee when the Library was established in 1882.

As an indication of the esteem in which he was held he was presented on his 50th birthday on 6 July 1891 with an address in which reference was made to the fact that for the past 20 years he had laboured zealously and conscientiously for the public good and as a representative of the division of the Legislative Assembly; as a representative of the Municipal Council, Divisional Council, Hospital Board, Library Committee and as Mayor had shown constant and enduring integrity, honesty of purpose and solicitude for the welfare of these fields and had earned the genuine esteem and regard of the community.

Originally from County Meath in Ireland, Cornwall died in Kimberley on 3 February 1906.

(Condensed from Rosemary Holloway’s thesis: THE HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE KIMBERLEY AFRICANA LIBRARY AND ITS RELATIONSHIP WITH THE KIMBERLEY PUBLIC LIBRARY).

UPDATE: 03/02/2017

3 February 1963, Last service in the St Martini Lutheran Church.

DID YOU KNOW

The German Lutheran Church of St Martini is the oldest existing church building in Kimberley and was erected in 1875 in Thompson Street, having been brought to the diamond fields from Port Elizabeth by ox wagon. The last service in this building was on 3 February 1963. The first minister was the Reverend Carl Meyer. Thereafter it was donated to the Mine Museum in 1964. It contains all its original fittings, and is available for weddings. The workbench and tools used by August Müller in the church’s construction are at the rear of the church.

PT-St_Martini_Lutheran_Church-1963

St Martini Lutheran Church

In the early diamond rush days of the 1860s and 1870s many of the thousands of adventurers that poured in were from Germany. Lutheran missionaries in the diamond fields region took pity on the German immigrants and served them with both Word and Sacrament, the Berlin missionaries taking care of the congregation in Kimberley until 1962.

Reverend Meyer first held services in a tent, his primary aim being to serve the many African workers who had also poured into the region in search of diamonds and subsequent wealth. Under his leadership the Deutsche Evangelisch-Lutherische St.Martini-Gemeinde was founded in 1874. From January 1875 services were held in the Kimberley Court Room, and on Reformation Day (31 October) that same year, the new corrugated iron church of St Martini was dedicated.

A parsonage was completed in 1879, and Reverend Meyer and his young wife Hanna, married at Amalienstein in the Cape by his father Carl senior in 1878, moved to Kimberley. Reverend Meyer continued his ministry through the horrific times of the Anglo-Boer War (about which he wrote a book on the Siege of Kimberley).

PT-St_Martini_Lutheran_Church-1963-INSIDE

St Martini Lutheran Church (inside)

In his diary, Reverend Meyer wrote that Christmas Day was taken up with services in the compound and in Brother Windisch’s church in Beaconsfield.

“In the evening we celebrated the beautiful Christmas liturgy in our German Church. There were the biblical prophecies recited by the children, the reading of the Christmas story and the hymns of Zacharias and Maria in front of the altar (done by three boys and two girls). As I had never had time for a nap this afternoon I got so exhausted by the 12 services that I could not sleep at all that night.”

Meyer’s Location (or officially known as No 3 Location), was basically in the area where the reservoir and Hoffe Park are now situated

3 February 1963, Last service in the St Martini Lutheran Church.

DID YOU KNOW
The German Lutheran Church of St Martini – the oldest existing church in Kimberley – was erected in 1875 in Thompson Street, having been brought to the diamond fields by ox wagon from Port Elizabeth. The first service was on 31 October 1875 and the last on 3 February 1963. The first minister was the Reverend Carl Meyer. Thereafter it was donated to the Mine Museum in 1964. It contains all its original fittings, and is available for weddings. The workbench and tools used by August Müller in the church’s construction are at the rear of the church.

Before the church was erected, the first services were held in a tent by Pastor Carl Meyer who came to Kimberley on horseback from the mission farm Pniel on the Vaal River (established 1845). His primary aim was to serve the multitude of black mine workers descending on Kimberley, hoping to find work and a livelihood.

Pastor Meyer was a versatile pastor and greatly appreciated by everybody who met him. Under his leadership the Deutsche Evangelisch-Lutherische St. Martini-Gemeinde was founded in 1874. From January 1875 services were held in the Kimberley Court Room.

In 1875, on Reformation Day (31 October), the new corrugated iron church of St. Martini was dedicated. Materials imported from overseas had been transported from Port Elizabeth by wagon. A parsonage was completed in 1879, and Pastor Meyer and his young wife Hanna, married at Amalienstein in the Cape by his father Carl senior in 1878, moved to Kimberley. Pastor Meyer continued his ministry through the horrific times of the Anglo-Boer War (about which he wrote a book). He and his family finally returned to Germany in 1902.

From Kimberley Calls and Recalls on Facebook By Steve Lunderstedt

NEWS REPORTS COVERING EVENTS FROM 3 FEBRUARY

Friday 3 February 2017

Police in Warrenton are investigating a case of culpable homicide against a father following a motor vehicle accident where his four-year-old daughter was killed.
The young child died on Friday night in an accident that occurred between Warrenton and Kimberley Police spokesman, Captain Sergio Kock, yesterday confirmed that police were investigating a case of culpable homicide following the incident.  “A Nissan vehicle veered off the road and the driver, who was travelinging with his wife and two children, was injured. The four-year old daughter died on the scene,” Kock said.

Today in Kimberley' history is compiled from news sources and Steve Lunderstedt's Kimberley Calls and Recalls   #KimberleyHistory #KimberleyHistorical #KimberleyDidYouKnow
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