Thus far, nothing of historical note has been found that happened this very day in Kimberley’s history. Research continues…
Rooipoort Shooting Box opens
The official opening of the Rooipoort Shooting Box was on Thursday 10 August 1899 when a group of De Beers Directors and their party left Kimberley for the farm. All was finally ready and it had been furnished. The access road too, had been repaired.
Cecil Rhodes had been invited to this grand opening shoot, but did not attend due to Parliamentary matters directly concerning De Beers such as taxation and revenue, and it is highly unlikely that Rhodes ever stayed at the Shooting Box. Parliament was in session virtually right through September and Rhodes only came to Kimberley when the Anglo-Boer War started in October 1899.
Rhodes, ostensibly on his way to Rhodesia with Dr Thomas Smartt, arrived in Kimberley by train on the evening of 11 October 1899, a mere few hours after the war began. W.D. Fynn, in his memoirs, states that Rhodes planned to leave Kimberley for Bulawayo on Sunday morning, 15 October, but after discussing the situation with Fynn from 2.30 am until 5 am, when Tony de la Cruz brought them coffee on the balcony of the Sanatorium, he changed his mind and decided to remain. At the then postponed annual general meeting of De Beers, he was distressed that he was still in Kimberley.
“…I have been prevented from going to Mashonaland and Matabeleland, for 6 weeks. I want to get away as soon as possible…”
Those who did attend the week-long shoot beginning that Thursday were Gardner Williams, GW Compton, William Pickering, D MacGill, and Tim Tyson. Dr Leander Starr Jameson and Lady Sarah Wilson were expected to join the party on the following day, Friday 11 August.
The new Shooting Box near Klipfontein is replete with everything leading to comfort and a quiet rest after a hard day’s shooting.
Nothing historical has yet been found that happened this very day. Research is ongoing…
DID YOU KNOW
Extracts from the diary of Rev William Pescod in 1884 who was sent to Kimberley as the Minister of the Bean Street Methodist Church. This humble man spent the rest of his life improving conditions for all of Kimberley.
Saturday 19th April
Received a telegram saying “Appointed at Kimberley”.
A very bleak morning. I left the dear and kind friends behind under a cloudy sky and down pouring rain. I got on the “Melrose Castle” all right but had not been long on board before I became very sick which continued almost up to the time of my arrival at Port Elizabeth. Spent a day and at night went on by rail to Colesburg. Arrived on the evening of next day – spent 5 days in Colesburg. (He was met by Rev Treleaven – on the Sunday he conducted the morning service in the local Wesleyan Church. A severe snow storm hit the small town and the weather was extremely cold)
Friday 6th June
Left Colesburg by (Colley’s) coach that morning as an outside passenger. The cold was something fearful and the coach was so full that I was compelled to go higher. We reached Fauresmith about 7 in the evening where we spent the night. Next morning at 4 left for Kimberley arriving on Saturday 7th at 8pm at Colley’s Depot at the Central Hotel. (The first person Pescod met was Jephta Solomon, accompanied by church officials. They conducted Pescod to his lodgings with the Rev Wesley Hurt, then resident minister of East End Chapel (Trinity Church), in Dutoitspan Road.
Sunday 8th June
Preached at West End in the morning and East End in the evening.
A reception meeting was held by Mr Hayes at the Pan.
Sunday 7th September
Preached at East End Chapel.
Had a letter from Mr Slade with cheque. I was never so poor in my life as I have been of late. I was without a penny, but I am all right now. Kimberley’ is a very difficult place to maintain a healthy spiritual life.
Saturday 18th October
This is my birthday, I am thirty today. God has been very good to me and brought me safely through this year.
(Kindly supplied by Veronica Bruce)
Nothing yet found that happened today in Kimberley’s history. Research continues….
DID YOU KNOW
Mama (Ma) Mittah participated in the struggle, particularly for women emancipation and actively resisted the anti-pass laws by mobilizing women in the anti-pass laws campaigns. Inspired by the Programme of Action of 1949 of the ANC Youth League, she joined the League and got actively involved in the underground structures. Her involvement gained her the attention of the SAP, culminating in her imprisonment in 1965. Upon her release she was incorporated into the structures of the ANC’s military wing Umkhonto We Sizwe.
She lived most of her adult life in exile, having been forced to leave the country of her birth. Together with her husband Maruping Seperepere, they left the country for Botswana in 1966. It was from Botswana that they later relocated to Tanzania, from where she served on the Regional Political Committee of the ANC. She became the welfare officer and started a primary school at SOMAFCO (the ANC School in Tanzania).
After her husband’s death in 1981, Mama Mittah relocated to Lusaka (Zambia) where she joined the ANC’s Women’s Section. From 1983 until 1989, she served as a representative of the ANC Women’s Section at the Women’s International Democratic Federation based in the then German Democratic Republic (East Germany).
Mama Mittah also represented Women’s liberation movements in the frontline countries, the English speaking African countries and the Portuguese speaking countries of Angola and Mozambique. In 1989, she was appointed ANC Chief Representative to Madagascar, La Reunion, Seychelles, Mauritius and the Comores.
In 1990, with the unbanning of the ANC she returned to South Africa and fully participated in the ANC structures and mobilized the community of Majeng and surrounding areas. From 1994 until 1999, she served as a Member of the National Assembly and in 1999 declined to return to parliament because she believed younger people should be given the responsibility. From then onwards, she became deeply involved with community development projects.
She also moved into tourism and hospitality by opening a guesthouse, Mannye’s, in the West End suburb.
In 2014 she was posthumously awarded the Order of Luthuli (Bronze). The Order of Luthuli is awarded to South Africans who made meaningful contributions to the struggle for democracy, human rights, nation-building, justice, peace and conflict resolution.
(From a variety of sources too numerous to mention).