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St Cyprian's Church


UPDATED: 28/03/2022

28 March 1880, Bishop Webb dedicates St Cyprian’s Church in Jones Street.
28 March 1923, The Beaconsfield Club re-opens after being destroyed by fire.
28 March 1939, Eustace Fredrick Raynham DSO, dies.
28 March 1964, Opening of the Dutoitspan Mine athletics track.
28 March 1994, Craig Brown wins bravery medal.


The Beaconsfield Club reopened officially on Wednesday 28 March 1923.

The Diamond Fields Advertiser reported:

“In February 1922, one of the biggest fires which Beaconsfield has experienced broke out unexpectedly in the early hours of a summer morning, and illumined the township with its glaring blaze. With it went the demolition of the historic Beaconsfield Club, a primitive structure, though one which had been the scene of many a memorable gathering of celebrities of the bygone days. And now, about a year later, there has arisen from the ashes, as if by a touch of the magic wand, a pile of buildings which constitute a monument to the endeavours of the members, as well as an ornamental and social acquisition to the township.

Subscriptions by voluntary contributions from the old members of the club, as well as from many prominent citizens of the town, have made the new building possible at a cost of approximately £2000, only half of which, however, has as yet been subscribed. The handsome erection is replete with all modern conveniences, including a comfortable lounge, spacious billiard room, cosy assembly room, card rooms, and bedrooms, while the usual domestic conveniences, such as kitchen, etc, have not been overlooked. It is indeed an ideal building of burnt brick, with its neat tiled verandah. A description of this modern establishment would be incomplete without the fact being recorded that the architect was Mr GMM Robinson (one of the members), whose endeavour at design is to be greatly commended.

Amid the happy auspices of a large concourse of representative citizens drawn from both Kimberley and Beaconsfield, the proceedings were officially opened on Wednesday evening, and the club was fortunate in securing its choice of Sir David Harris KCMG VD MLA, the “Father of Beaconsfield”, and for so many years its Parliamentary representative (who is spending his short Easter respite in the city) to perform the ceremony. A splendid musical programme had been arranged, and with the effective blending of both song and speech, the proceedings passed off with unalloyed enthusiasm. Mr DJ James (chairman of the club) presided, and he was supported by Sir David Harris MLA, and many other well-known townspeople.

It was only a matter of a few minutes before the glasses were “charged”, and the loyal toasts duly honoured.

The Chairman then proceeded to welcome the company, and to explain the import of the occasion. He said he was pleased that Sir David had consented to meet their wishes in officially opening the new building, though he was far from well; in fact, if the request had come from any other source than good old Beaconsfield, he was afraid that he would have had to refuse the invitation. Sir David was an old resident of the “Pan”, and took a very keen interest in their welfare. With those few introductory remarks, Mr James said he had now much pleasure in asking Sir David to officially declare the building open. (Applause).

The Beaconsfield Club today (2022) is the well-known pub and grill “Cheers”.

UPDATED: 28/03/2019

28 March 1880, Bishop Webb dedicates St Cyprian’s Church in Jones Street.
28 March 1923, The Beaconsfield Club re-opens after being destroyed by fire.
28 March 1939, Eustace Fredrick Raynham DSO, dies.
28 March 1964, Opening of the Dutoitspan Mine athletics track.


Construction of the “new” St Cyprian’s Church that was dedicated by Bishop Webb on 28 Mar 1880 began on 28 Aug 1879 when Col Sir Charles Warren laid the foundation stone. It was expected to be dedicated at Christmas that same year but as it neared completion, in Nov 1879, calamity struck, the entire structure being blown to the ground in a storm.PT-St_Cyprians_Parish_Church_Site-1880

Wife of Rector designate C.B. Maude described the disaster: “Our new church which we were all looking forward to moving into for our Christmas services, and that seemed to be getting on so nicely, was blown over by a whirlwind and is lying a pitiable heap of ruins…it happened one Sunday morning. Our people were having services in the Odd Fellows’ Hall stifling under the heat of an unlined iron building when the crash came. Those who saw it say it was lifted three feet from the ground and dropped, utterly shapeless, like a street of cardhouses! And all our money gone, diamonds are down, and times are bad!” There was nothing to be done but to buy fresh material (and that at Kimberley prices), and to build again.

“On Low Sunday 1880 Bishop Webb dedicated the re-erected ‘church-like’ church and then instituted Mr C.B. Maude as Rector of Kimberley.” Archdeacon Croghan commented:. “The structure was imported from England and we had every reason to expect a strong substantial edifice of the kind, but both materials and framing were so defective and unsound that after the roof was put on, the whole building collapsed after a high wind, and had to be erected over again with additional framing at a very great expense. It is now firm and substantial….”

This building suffered a direct hit from Boer bombardment during the Siege, 1899, though damage was limited, and it served the parish until 1908 when what is now the Cathedral was dedicated.

(Photograph per kind permission the McGregor Museum, story supplied by David Morris. Thank you.)

Situated on Lower Jones Street, the attached plan attached comes from the DFA when the Church building and plot was sold by public auction in 1906.

UPDATED: 28/03/2018

28 March 1880, Bishop Webb dedicates St Cyprian’s Church in Jones Street.
28 March 1923, The Beaconsfield Club re-opens after being destroyed by fire.
28 March 1939, Eustace Fredrick Raynham DSO, dies.


Eustace Frederick Raynham DSO was born in Hessett, Suffolk, England on 28 February 1865.

He came to Kimberley in 1896, joining De Beers Consolidated Mines in the secretarial department. By 1907 he was the assistant secretary to William Pickering and was appointed secretary in 1917, a position he held until 1929.

During the siege of Kimberley (14 October 1899 to 15 February 1900) he served with the Kimberley Town Guard, being a Lieutenant, and was assistant to the Intelligence Officer.


Resident Directors of De Beers

In Lt-Colonel RG Kekewich’s despatch of 15 February 1900 he was mentioned: “Lieutenant E F Raynham, assistant to the intelligence officer, rendered me very great assistance in dealing with correspondence of a confidential nature.”

On 29 November 1900 he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order “In recognition of services in connection with the campaign in South Africa, 1899-1902.”

A devout and dedicated member of the Anglican community in Kimberley, there is a plaque to his memory in the St Cyprian’s Cathedral.

Eustace Raynham died in Hermanus on 28 March 1939, his remains being returned to Kimberley for burial.

From Kimberley Calls and Recalls on Facebook By Steve Lunderstedt

Aeon Computer Kimberley

About Steve Lunderstedt


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