8 April 1879, Charles Warren Lodge meets for the first time in Dutoitspan.
8 April 1890, Transvaal beats Kimberley on the Eclectic field to win the first ever Currie Cup cricket game.
8 April 1908, Rail link between Kimberley and Bloemfontein opens.
8 April 1913, Formal opening of Kimberley Girls High School on Elsmere Road.
8 April 1960, ANC and PAC banned.
Transvaal wins first ever Cricket Currie Cup
It was Sir Donald Currie that donated the Currie Cup for cricket, a floating trophy for the team that played best against the touring England team of 1888-9, which just so happened to be Kimberley, later known as Griqualand West.
Being a Challenge Trophy initially, Transvaal believed that they were strong enough to challenge Kimberley for the rights to hold the Currie Cup, and the three-day game began on 6 April 1890 on the Eclectic cricket field in Kimberley. (The Eclectic field is where the Karen Muir swimming pool and the Kimberley Regiment parade ground is today.)
Former England cricket captain CA (Aubrey) Smith captained the Transvaal side which included the ace England wicketkeeper/batsman Monty Bowden, as well as three former Kimberley residents in Charles Finlason, Louis Vincent and his brother Charlie Vincent.
The Kimberley side was captained by AB (Bernard) Tancred, considered at the time to be the South African WG Grace, and in his team, among others, were Bob Snedden, former England soldier E Beech, Irvine Grimmer and George Glover.
Kimberley won the toss and elected to bat on a “fast and true wicket”. Not a good decision as they were soon all bundled out for a paltry 98 runs, top scorer being Tancred with 42. Only two other batsmen made double figures, Snedden with 13 runs and James Coghlan with 12. Bentley Wimble had ripped through the Kimberley side with 4 wickets for 8 runs, Aubrey Smith also capturing four wickets, this for 36 runs.
Transvaal then went in and did little better than the Kimberley side, scoring 117 runs. It was Monty Bowden with his 63 runs that helped Transvaal have a lead of 19 runs from the first innings, with only three other batsmen getting into double figures. George Glover, bowling his right arm off-break, took 6 wickets for 50 runs. He was ably assisted by Bertie Innes who took 3 wickets for 30 runs.
The second innings for Kimberley was much better, and although at one stage they were 3 wickets down for twenty runs, it was Augustus Bernard (AB) Tancred and Bertie Innes who steadied the innings. Tancred scored the first-ever Currie Cup century with his 106 runs and Innes compiled 55 runs before his dismissal. Charles Vincent was the main Transvaal wicket taker with 5 for 70 runs, while wicketkeeper Bowden showed his prowess at bowling, taking two wickets for five runs off 3 overs.
Kimberley totalled 235 runs in their second innings, leaving Transvaal set to score 216 runs for victory.
This was accomplished easily enough despite the early loss of three wickets, but the partnership of Monty Bowden and Charlie Vincent saw Transvaal win quite comfortably by six wickets. Bowden had scored 126 not out, and Vincent 60 not out.
So although Kimberley’s name appears first on the trophy, the very first winner of the Currie Cup (now defunct) is that of Transvaal in 1890.
The 8th of April, a very good day for cricket in Kimberley in 1890.
Pictured is Monty Bowden and AB Tancred.