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Today in Kimberley's History

TODAY IN KIMBERLEY’S HISTORY 29 JANUARY

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UPDATED: 29/01/2018

29 January 1961, Fatima Shrine in Galeshewe suburb opens for worship.
29 January 1980, Kuruman man wins R35 000 first prize in the Bonus Bonds draw.

DID YOU KNOW

That a month before the Great Fire of July 1888 in the De Beers Mine, on the evening of 5 June, a group of miners protesting at the amalgamation that saw the birth of De Beers Consolidated Mines, the drop in share values, and subsequent unemployment marched from Dutoitspan, gathered in force at the Halfway House, and then continued. The march was lead by blacks, followed by a string band, then white miners carrying banners bearing the word ‘Rhodes’ followed by a Scotch cart in which an effigy of Rhodes reposed. Many other carts followed the effigy. The parade went along Dutoitspan Road, past the Kimberley Club  – with loud calls to those within – and then carried on to the Market Square before halting outside the De Beers offices. The effigy of Rhodes was set alight and burnt to howls of delight from the gathered crowd before the death warrant of Rhodes was read out. The intonation from the crowd as the effigy burned was: “We…now commit to the flames the last mortal remains of Cecil John Rhodes, Amalgamator General, Diamond King and Monarch of De Beers – a traitor to his adopted country, panderer to the selfish greed of a few purse-proud speculators and a public pest. May the Lord perish him. Amen”.

29 January 1961, Fatima Shrine in Galeshewe suburb opens for worship.
29 January 1980, Kuruman man wins R35 000 first prize in the Bonus Bonds draw.

DID YOU KNOW

In the late 1970s and 1980s there was an extraordinary high spend on South Africa’s Defence running a protracted war on the South West Africa/Angola border and an expensive conscription system to support it – the then government needed money.

As with the First and Second World Wars the government turned to the “war bond” concept. The bonds where a derivative of a lottery to win a cash prize with a token, low interest rate of 5%. The bonds could be bought and redeemed from the Post Office,

By 1977 defence spending peaked at 5% of GDP and made up of 18% of government spending in total, the finance minister Owen Horwood needed the money for a massive defence spend, so he launched this savings instrument at the same time. Horwood’s rationale was that the increased military budget could be financed through the bonds without cutting government expenses or raising taxes.

The bonds were extremely popular, they were used by people for gifting, helped make first payments on cars and houses and many held them as a savings option. But most important, they were taken up by the public in the spirit of solidarity with the South African Defence Force and the men and women serving in it.

(This story for the SA Legion compiled by Peter Dickens. From the SA Legion FB group).

From Kimberley Calls and Recalls on Facebook By Steve Lunderstedt

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