1 NOVEMBER 1886, Fire destroys the first Kimberley Club.
1 NOVEMBER 1899, De Beers’ dynamite magazine blown up at Dronfield.
1 NOVEMBER 1902, Two Black miners killed in a mud rush in the De Beers Mine.
1 NOVEMBER 1952, Three municipal police injured in Greenpoint riot.
1 NOVEMBER 1967, PK Botha appointed as Town Clerk.
1 NOVEMBER 1995, Kimberley’s first Black Mayor, David Monyamane, elected.
DID YOU KNOW
It was in August 1882 that the Kimberley Club (pictured) was finally completed and opened. The double storey building had cost some £6 000 to build and was the byword in luxury compared to the rest of the town. Ideally situated on Dutoitspan Road it was in walking distance from both the De Beers and Kimberley mines, and probably more importantly, close to all businesses and the top residential suburb of Belgravia.
Neville Pickering, friend and confidante of Cecil Rhodes and secretary of the De Beers Mining Company, wrote of the Club:
“It beats anything of the kind I was ever in. We have our dinners and dances – one finds oneself in evening dress every night. It’s ruination to health and pocket. And then our club is such perfection. Electric bells wherever you like to touch. Velvet pile and Turkey carpets to walk upon and then one loses oneself in a luxurious lounge.”
The building would last a mere four years as it burnt to the ground on 1 November 1886. The fire originated upstairs in the billiard room while the members were having dinner – an oil lamp chandelier had fallen. The building was constructed mostly of wood and it did not take long for the fire to take hold, and by the time the fire services arrived it was too late. All that was left was two side walls.
It was rebuilt, but was again destroyed by fire in 1895. The current building is the third such and opened in 1896.