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Mossie Rodwell in his Moth blazer with medals

TODAY IN KIMBERLEY’S HISTORY 07 MAY

UPDATED: 07/05/2019

7 May 1962, The Grand Old Man of the Kimberley regiment, Mossie Rodwell, dies.
7 May 1994, The first Premier of the Northern Cape, Manne Dipico, inducted.

DID YOU KNOW

Walter John “Mossie” Rodwell was born on 21 December 1890 in Kimberley. (Pictured is Mossie in his Moth blazer with medals and as Father Christmas at the De Beers Christmas Tree in December 1959).

His father had worked on Colesberg Kopje as a digger and then for Barney Barnato’s Kimberley Central Diamond Mining Company before amalgamation and the formation of the De Beers Consolidated Mines company. Apart from his father, Mossie’s two brothers, Alex and Victor, also worked for the De Beers Company.

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Mossie Rodwell as Father Christmas at the De Beers Christmas Tree in December 1959.

At the age of nearly 15 years Mossie started working for Jobson’s Outfitters and Grocers in Old De Beers Road but soon joined the De Beers Company as a Tally Boy on 27 September 1905. He then became a Pump Lad and Ground Runner before becoming a miner at Wesselton Mine on 24 February 1910. While working as a Pump lad he recalled working in the Victoria Shaft of the De Beers Mine, the pump being named “Cousin Jack”. “Cousin Jack” could be heard from the Market Square.

On two occasions between 1910 and 1913, he was twice “blasted” – one of the blasts having a tunnel collapse on top of him. He survived unscathed.

He served with the Kimberley Regiment in German SWA in 1914. On his return he joined the Durban Garrison Artillery and went back to SWA as part of the Ambulance Corps where he was at the time of the surrender in 1915. On demobilisation in 1915 he joined the 1st SAI Brigade, served with it in Egypt and went with it to France. Participated in Delville Wood, Arras and other actions. He was wounded in action in Egypt in March 1916, and again wounded in France with the Kimberley Company at Delville Wood on 18 July 1916. Recovering from his Delville Wood experience he returned to active service and was again wounded, this time quite severely from gas in April of 1917.

He was demobbed in 1918, disembarking at Durban on Armistice Day, 11 November. Coming back to Kimberley he rejoined the Wesselton Mine as a miner on 10 January 1919 where he remained until transferred to Dutoitspan Mine in March 1921. After a brief sojourn as an overseer on the Bultfontein Floors in 1924 he continued as a miner until April 1932. From 1932 until February 1936 he was a conductor on the Kimberley and Alexandersfontein Railway before rejoining Dutoitspan Mine as a miner on 27 February 1936.

He rejoined the Kimberley regiment at the outbreak of war in 1939 and served with it and the ILH/KR throughout in RSA, Egypt and Italy as a Pioneer Sergeant. Served with the regiment after war and when he retired, continued as the Canteen Sergeant for many years, being promoted to Sergeant Major. Awarded the John Chard Medal.

After the war he returned to employment with the De Beers Company and eventually retired from service in December 1958, his final job being Head Office Commissionaire. 
His Campaign medals include:

World War I: 1914-15 Star, General Service Medal and Victory Medal

World War II: 1939-45 Star, Africa Star, Italy Star, British Defence Medal, War Medal 1939-45, Africa Service Medal.

He was a Life Member of the BCESL (now the SA Legion), the MOTH (Hellfire Corner), the 1st SA Infantry Brigade Association and the Kimberley Regiment Association. During his time with these associations he helped rebuild the old Kimberley Golf Club house into the Moth Centre, and helped in building the “Hole-in-the-Wall”, the home of the KR Association.

He was a blood donor, having donated more than 50 pints.
Mossie Rodwell died at his residence, 129 Dutoitspan Road, Kimberley, on 7 May 1962, leaving behind to mourn his passing his widow Elsie (nee Condon), daughter Audrey Kumm and son Lawrie (Pop). Elsie and Mossie married in 1920.

The military funeral was at the Methodist church and at the West End cemetery where he was interred.

Sources: Diamond Fields Advertiser (various), News from the Mines (DBCM Archives), DBCM Archive records, The History of the Kimberley Regiment, MOTH Minute books.

UPDATED: 07/05/2018

7 May 1962, The Grand Old Man of the Kimberley regiment, Mossie Rodwell, dies.
7 May 1994, The first Premier of the Northern Cape, Manne Dipico, inducted.

DID YOU KNOW

Manne Emsley Dipico (pictured) was born in Greenpoint Kimberley on 21 April 1959, matriculating from St Boniface High School in 1979 and then studying for a Bachelor of Arts in Personnel Management at Fort Hare University. (In 1996 he obtained a Leadership Diploma at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in the United States of America.)

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Manne Dipico

Manne began his working life at De Beer’s Finsch Mine, and as a member was later employed by the National Union of Mineworkers as Regional Organiser from 1985 to 1987 and in 1990 as Education co-ordinator.

It was at Fort Hare he became an executive member of the Azanian Students Organisation (Azaso), joining underground structures of the African National Congress (ANC) in the Eastern Cape in 1982. In the Northern Cape he was Regional Executive member of the United Democratic Front in 1985-6, and executive member of the Galeshewe Youth Organisation (Gayo) from 1982 to 1984.

Dipico was detained in Ciskei in 1984 during the State of Emergency; and in Kimberley was detained in 1986 and again in 1987, charged with terrorism, subversion and promoting and furthering the aims of a banned organization. He was sentenced to five years imprisonment and jailed from 1987 to 1990.

He became Regional Secretary of the African National Congress in the Northern Cape in 1991, following the un-banning of the organization in South Africa, becoming its Provincial Chairman in 1992. He was on the Central Committee of the South African Communist Party in 1995-8.

With the creation of the Northern Cape Province in 1994, Manne Dipico, as local Chairman of the ANC, became its first Premier, serving in this capacity until 2004. He travelled to Canada in 1994 to gain insight into the role of premiers, and was the Elections Co-ordinator of the ANC for the 1994 Elections in the Northern Cape. Elected to the National Executive Committee in 1997.

In 2001 ANC delegates unanimously voted in Manne Dipico as the ANC Provincial Chairperson for the fourth time in succession.

He was succeeded by Elizabeth Dipuo Peters as Premier in 2004, the same year becoming Parliamentary Councillor to the then President Thabo Mbeki.

He was appointed Chairman of the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (Necsa) in 2006. He is Chairman of Ponahalo Holdings (De Beers Group) and Deputy Chairman of De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd. He is the first President of SA-China People’s Friendship Association.

Married to Guthrie Moelo, the couple have two children.

7 May 1962, The Grand Old Man of the Kimberley regiment, Mossie Rodwell, dies.
7 May 1994, The first Premier of the Northern Cape, Manne Dipico, inducted.

Pictured is Manne Dipico.

DID YOU KNOW

Born in Greenpoint Location, Kimberley in 1959, Manne Emsley Dipico matriculated at St Boniface High, and studied towards a BA (Personnel Management) at Fort Hare. Manne began his working life at De Beer’s Finsch Mine, and was later employed by the National Union of Mineworkers as Organiser and later as Education co-ordinator.

He rose through the ranks of the ANC, first joining the Eastern Cape underground structures of the movement in the 1980s. An executive member of the Azanian Students’ Organisation while at Fort Hare, Manne became a regional executive member of the UDF in the Northern Cape. As part of the general repression of the leadership of the UDF, he was detained under the State of Emergency and sentenced to five years imprisonment for Terrorism in 1987.

Manne was elected Regional Secretary for the Northern Cape ANC in 1991, becoming chairperson of the province in 1994 and thereby serving ex-officio on the National Executive Committee. He was the Elections Co-ordinator of the ANC for the 1994 Elections in the Northern Cape.

With the election victory of the ANC in 1994, Manne became the Premier of the Northern Cape. In the five succeeding years successfully united the new province, building up an effective administration and executive council.

Elected to the National Executive Committee in 1997. (From the 1999 Profile for Candidate Premiers).

From Kimberley Calls and Recalls on Facebook By Steve Lunderstedt

Aeon Computer Kimberley

About Steve Lunderstedt

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