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Today in Kimberley's History


UPDATED: 10/06/2019

10 JUNE 1964, Melanie Karam of the Convent awarded the City Council Medal.
10 JUNE 1964, Boys High beat CBC 24-13 at the KAC grounds.
10 JUNE 1975, Fire nearly destroys Mulder’s Shoe Bar.


Three short stories.

Firstly, Miss Melanie Karam of the Convent High School, daughter of Mr and Mrs Edward Karam of Douglas, has been awarded the City Council Medal for the highest marks in Kimberley schools, in the Junior Certificate (Standard 8) examination. She would be presented with the medal in the Convent School Hall on 11 June 1964.

Secondly, Boys’ High School beat Christian Brothers’ College 24-13 at the KAC grounds before a large crowd on 10 June 1964 in a fast and entertaining match.

Though there was not as much of the snappy hand-to-hand passing and backing up as clashes between these two schools usually produce, there was never a dull moment with a lot of hard running, particularly by the High School backs and a lot of excellent tackling, in which Drier, the College centre did well.

For the winners, Derek Sterley at flyhalf overcame an erratic service and Smit ran beautifully on the wing.

Both packs of forwards maintained a terrific pace throughout the game with High School’s the stronger combination.

Tries for Boys’ High were scored by winger Smit (2), Clements, Gordon, (Unknown) and Reg Billett while Smit converted three of the tries. (A try was 3 points and a conversion 2 points). CBC replied with tries by McNamara and Brokenshire, both of which were converted by Doherty. Doherty also added a penalty.

Thirdly, the fire on Tuesday 10 June 1975 at Mulder’s Shoe Bar on Old Main Road caused over R40 000 worth of damage.

The fire, which broke out at 5.30pm destroyed the stock in the women’s fashion parlour but left the goods in the adjoining shoe stores undamaged.

Mr WH Mulder, the managing director of the shop believed the fire had been started by an electrical fault or the air conditioner in a back office, his view being supported by Kimberley’s fire chief, Mr WS Kruger.

Firemen had to break in through a side door and window to get at the flames, and with the help of the SAP and the Kimberley Commando they had the fire under control within 30 minutes.

Shoes, stockings, handbags and tins of show polish were destroyed by flames, heat or water and duplicate books of the store’s records were charred.

Hundreds of people crowded around as smoke poured out the shop and Old Main Road was closed to vehicular traffic.

“It has taken me 11 years to build up this shop and it has been ruined in one night,” Mr Mulder stated.

Nothing has yet been found for this day in Kimberley’s history. Assuredly something did happen….research continues.


Rosemary Weir was born in Kimberley on 22 July 1905, the daughter of George Alfred Lawrence Green (the then editor of the Diamond Fields Advertiser) and his wife Katherine (nee Bell). The family left Kimberley in 1910 when her father was transferred to the Cape as editor of the Cape Times. She was then aged five years. Her brother is the well-known Lawrence Green, famous in South Africa for his series of entertaining travel books.


One of Rosemary Weir’s Books


Another one of Rosemary Weir’s Books

She was educated privately in South Africa and at schools in England where she trained for the stage, becoming a partner in a touring theatrical company, playing one-night stands in rural districts of England and Wales for three years. Later she turned to farming in North Wales and Devonshire and taught elocution and sewing in a school, ran a furniture renovating business, and worked as a domestic and cook, both privately and in hotels and lodges. During the Second World War she served with the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry before being invalided out.

She did not start writing until she was already over 50 but produced a respectable number of books over the next twenty-five years, later claiming, “I remembered my own childhood very clearly and perhaps my books for children were a way of returning to a happy time in my life. On the whole I have enjoyed writing for younger children, The Smallest Dog in the World being my own favourite.” Apart from her writing for children, she also wrote for the BBC, adapting The Secret Journey and penning a series entitled Strange Tales.

Margaret Greaves, in Twentieth Century Children’s Writers, discusses a number of her books, and sums up her entry by saying that it is her “books for older readers that show Rosemary Weir as an original and perceptive writer. The characterization is strong and clear, including satisfactory and fruitful relationships with adults as well as children. She stimulates interest by developing an unusual situation, but through it she explores the emotional experiences common to most children. She is concerned with the problems of growing up, but she makes them the material of art and not of social therapy.”

She was married to Napier Weir in 1931 (they later separated before his death in 1973), and had one daughter, Alison. She lived in Somerset, England, where she died in 1994, aged 89 years.

Pictured are two of her books.

From Kimberley Calls and Recalls on Facebook By Steve Lunderstedt

Aeon Computer Kimberley

About Steve Lunderstedt


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