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UPDATED: 31/03/2023

31 March 1905, Pioneer cemetery closes officially.
31 March 1932, De Beers closes all their Kimberley mines as a result of the Depression.
31 March 1985, De Beers closes the popular Dog Show, a tourist attraction for over 30 years.
31 March 1999, Griqualand West win the premier One Day Cricket Trophy, the Standard bank Cup.

31 March 1999 – a day to remember with pride in the sporting annals of South Africa and Kimberley as perpetual cricketing minnows Griqualand West won the premier national one day cricket competition for the first time.

It had not been the first cricketing contest the province had won, but the previous victory had been the Currie Cup way back in 1891, some 108 years prior.

A 45 over match, the Standard Bank final was held at Buffalo Park in East London, the Griquas opponents being Border, captained by Pieter Strydom. Other than Strydom the big names in the Border side were bowlers Makhaya Ntini and Tyron Henderson. They also had some good journeymen in Wayne Wiblin and Craig Sugden.

Griqualand West had a team packed with good players including some internationals and were captained by Kepler Wessels. Mickey Arthur and Martyn Gidley would open the batting while Willie Dry, Kepler Wessels, Ottis Gibson and Pat Symcox coming in down the order were no stonewallers in the batting. Bowling would be led by the West Indian Gibson ably assisted by Symcox, Garth Roe and Deon Kruis. Wendell Bossenger would be the wicketkeeper.

Umpires for the day were Rudi Koertzen and Cyril Mitchley, both big names in umpiring international cricket.

Border batted first and amassed a total of 198 for six wickets, a total that did not look big enough given the quality of opposition. Piet Botha scored 45 runs, Wiblin 52, and Sugden 49 runs. Main wicket takers for Griquas were Kruis with 3 wickets for 28 runs, Symcox two for 34 runs, and Roe one wicket for 19 runs.

It took Griquas 41 overs to comfortably overhaul the Border total, opener Mickey Arthur being top scorer with 83 runs ably assisted by Dry with 68 runs. Gidley (0) and Wessels (1) both failed with the bat and it was Gibson with 24 not out and Symcox, 8 not out, that saw the visitors home, winning by four wickets. Dry and Arthur had done very well with a 150 run partnership in 191 balls.

Border bowlers that featured were Ntini with two wickets for 43 runs and Petrus Botha two wickets for 20 runs.

Mickey Arthur was adjudged the Man of the Match.

It was indeed a great victory.

For the record, the Griqualand West team was Kepler Wessels, Mickey Arthur, Martyn Gidley, Willie Dry, Ottis Gibson, Pat Symcox, Finley Brooker, Wendell Bossenger, Deon Kruis, Garth Roe, and Andre Botha.

UPDATED: 31/03/2022

31 March 1905, Pioneer cemetery closes officially.
31 March 1932, De Beers closes all their Kimberley mines as a result of the Depression.
31 March 1985, De Beers closes the popular Dog Show, a tourist attraction for over 30 years.

The Pioneer Cemetery of Kimberley

The Pioneer cemetery was originally known as the Transvaal Road cemetery, although it is on the corner of Maude Street and the aptly named Cemetery Road. It replaced the Old De Beers cemetery in what is now the St Alban’s churchyard, opening on (about) 1 August 1871 and closing on 31 March 1905. Countess Ida Labia donated the entrance gates in memory of her father, Sir Joseph B. Robinson, Bart., and also of her sister Elizabeth who lies buried within. The overgrown and seemingly disused area to the west of the cemetery is the black pioneer cemetery according to old maps. The Jewish section of the pioneer cemetery is the walled in enclosure to the north of the black pioneer cemetery.

(Pictured are the entrance gates of the Pioneer cemetery, but sadly the memorial plaques have been stolen).

UPDATED: 31/03/2020

31 March 1905, Pioneer cemetery closes officially.
31 March 1932, De Beers closes all their Kimberley mines as a result of the Depression.
31 March 1985, De Beers closes the popular Dog Show, a tourist attraction for over 30 years.


(From the Diamond Fields Advertiser of 21 March 1985)

One of Kimberley’s greatest traditions, the regular De Beers dog show, has come to a sudden end.

A spokesman for De Beers, Mr Beau Myburgh, said yesterday that the dog shows would cease from the end of this month. ‘The move is part of a rationalization programme,’ he said.

The move will result in a reduction of about 40 dogs. ‘We intend to place as many of these animals as possible in the Coal and Gold-mining Division of Anglo-America in Johannesburg,’ Mr Myburgh said.


Gerry Hilton

‘If any of the dogs are not placed, they will be advertised and sold towards the end of April,’ he said.

Mr Myburgh said the dogs, which were all German shephers (Alsatians), could not be regarded as pets but rather as guard dogs used by people like members of the police, the Defence Force or security firms.

A limited number of guard dogs would still be trained at the De Beers Dog Training School, Mr Myburgh said. ‘We cannot reveal the number of dogs that will be retained in Kimberley, for security reasons.’

Mr Myburgh said no security personnel would be affected by the move. (DFA 25/03/1985)

The Dog School would eventually close, no date known.
The premises were donated to the SPCA, their current location.

The dog handler in the photograph that came from the newspaper cutting appears to be Gerry Hilton. Naturally, I am open to correction, perhaps from Gerry himself.

31 March 1905, Pioneer cemetery closes officially.
31 March 1932, De Beers closes all their Kimberley mines as a result of the Depression.


The Great worldwide Depression of 1932 arrived in Kimberley in March when all the diamond mines closed and over 50% of employees were deprived of a living. A special meeting of the Chamber of Commerce was called on 21 April 1932 to discuss the closure. The planned diamond cutting factory had opened in 1928 but could not get stones to cut, while there were plans for another cutting factory to open.


Pioneer Cemetery

Kimberley’s first Voortrekker Commando began in 1933 with an initial strength of 120, while the first Afrikaans medium school, Diamantveld High, was established in January 1935. First known as the Afrikaans High School, it was initially housed in the Old Pupil Teachers Hostel in High School Road before moving into the Teachers Training College in 1940 where it is today. Despite the worldwide depression Kimberley was still moving forwards, albeit slowly.

1936 heralded the beginning of the end of the four year-long depression in Kimberley when Dutoitspan Mine was re-opened, with De Beers at this stage employing only 800 whites and 2000 black workers. At the re-opening of the mine Sir Ernest Oppenheimer advised the people of Kimberley to not live in a Fool’s Paradise in respect to the mines lasting forever. In the light of Sir Ernest’s remark, Chamber of Commerce President John Orr said that Kimberley should fight tooth and nail to get railway workshops, while also urging the Government to look at Kimberley as a munitions centre. The latter would become a reality during the war of 1939 – 1945.

The council too, attempted to play a part in weaning Kimberley away from diamonds, and they put forward a development plan for Kimberley’s future. As a start, they erected a new abattoir and chilling plant, and appointed the town’s very first traffic chief, a Mr David, in 1937. Traffic had really become a problem, what with the winding roads, and the 4000 cars registered in town were proving a handful. The first traffic lights (robots) were also placed, the chosen spot being the Post Office intersection by the Siege buildings.

Kimberley was not designed as other cities. Indeed it was not premeditated at all, with the result obvious to all, that instead of the chequer board layout which lends itself to systematic control, we have a most amazing series of streets which curve, bisect, end, and turn in the most astonishing manner.”

The Duggan-Cronin Gallery opened in 1937. A radio relay station that opened in Kimberley on August 1 1939 was another initiative by the town council.

31 March 1905, Pioneer cemetery closes officially.
31 March 1932, De Beers closes all their Kimberley mines as a result of the Depression.


It has so far been impossible to determine exactly when Green Point suburb was originally established.

The first question that should be asked is why the name Green Point was used?

The most probable explanation thus far is connected with the fact that Green Point was situated close to the first racecourse in Kimberley. Cape Town’s first racecourse was situated in the original Green Point suburb, 2.4 km from Cape Town. People moving from Cape Town to Kimberley and finding themselves living across from the racecourse could easily start calling their new home Green Point.

Green Point is situated on what was originally known as the Bultfontein farm. Diamonds were discovered on the farm in 1869 and by 15 November 1869 the Bultfontein mine was purchased by the partnership of Leopold Lilienfeld, Henry Barlow Webb and Louis Hond. Their partnership, the Hopetown Company, later became the London and South African Exploration Company. It is clear that along with the white diggers, Blacks would have settled in this area in search of work on the mines or for trade purposes. At this stage there was no designated living areas for Blacks and they could settle where ever they desired. These areas were at first known as Native camps but by the late 1870s became known as locations. The London and SA Exploration Company was in control of any locations on their property. In 1883 after the establishment of the Beaconsfield Town Council, day to day running of the locations was transferred to the town council.

In October 1876 a notice appeared in the Diamond News whereby the London and South African Exploration Company allocated burial spots on the farms Alexandersfontein, Du Toitspan and Bultfontein. Applications for the African cemetery at Bultfontein had to be made to Mr John Zuma and Mr James Poote.

In 1879 there were six locations/villages on the Government estate (Vooruitzicht) and two on the Company estate (Bultfontein). The two locations on the Bultfontein estate were near the Racecourse and were known as Poote’s, named after James Poote an Independent Minister, and Zuma’s, named after John Zuma, a Wesleyan evangelist.

The adoption of an official policy of ‘localising natives’ by mid-1879 meant the end of informal segregation by choice. Location regulations were published in September of 1880 whereby a location was defined as: “any number of huts or dwellings exceeding five within an area of one square mile occupied by any of the native races….in case such huts or dwellings shall be situated on land which is private property, not being in the bona fide and continuous employment of the owner of such land either as his domestic servants or in or about the farming operations, or any trade, business or handicraft by him carried upon such land”. By 1888 no location had been proclaimed on Company property.

The 1888 Valuation Report for the Beaconsfield Town Council listed 4 Black settlements in the Beaconsfield area: Magazine Camp off Boshof Road, Pootes and Umbongives in Bultfontein and the Racecourse location.

Mention is specifically made of a location with the name Green Point in the Beaconsfield Town council special meeting held on 25 July 1898.

In 1899 the De Beers Consolidated Mines acquired the property of the London and South Africa Exploration Company that included several locations. De Beers decided to move all the locations to one place, the area between Beaconsfield town and the Racecourse, and to construct proper buildings for the inhabitants.

After Kimberley and Beaconsfield municipalities merged on 02 December 1912 the Kimberley City Council, according to Municipal Regulations, became responsible for the administration of the Green Point location, the site of which was the property of De Beers Consolidated Mines. An arrangement was made between the landlord company and the Kimberley City Council and from the 1 July 1913 the council assumed full control of the administration of the location.

The photograph is Greenpoint under flood in November 2014.


Greenpoint under flood in 2014

(Story supplied by the McGregor Museum). (Picture by kind permission of Kimberley City Portal).

From Kimberley Calls and Recalls on Facebook By Steve Lunderstedt

Aeon Computer Kimberley

About Steve Lunderstedt


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