12 August 1952, Olympic gold medallist Esther Brand (pictured) has civic reception at city hall and is given another gold medal by the Mayor.
DID YOU KNOW
Namibia’s capital Windhoek has a suburb (Olympia) where many of the streets are named in honour of South African Olympic gold medallists or world record holders.
Three such streets are named after Kimberley sporting heroes – Bevil Rudd, Esther Brand and Karen Muir.
Bevil Rudd (1894-1948) was born in Kimberley. He won the gold medal for the 400 metres at Antwerp in 1920. He also held the world record for the 440 yards in 1921.
Esther Brand (1922-2015), although born in Springbok, was living in Kimberley when she won the high jump at the Helsinki Olympics in 1952.
Karen Muir (1952-2013) was born in Kimberley. On 10 August 1965 she became the youngest person (at 12 years 10 months and 25 days) to break a world record in any discipline. She would hold 15 world records by the time she retired.
12 August 1952, Olympic gold medallist Esther Brand has civic reception at city hall and is given another gold medal by the Mayor.
DID YOU KNOW
Adjacent to the Kimberley City Hall is what was originally known as the Market House (aka the Market Shelter), and later known as the Farmer’s Market and then the Indian Market, where fresh fruit and vegetables were sold daily.
The original steel framed roofing and cast iron ornamental columns still exist, the outer walls being added in the 1980s when the (mainly) Indian traders were forced to relocate to the market on Pniel Road. Legend has it that the entire structure was delivered to the wrong Kimberley, and should have been delivered to Kimberley in Australia. It was decided that it was easier to leave the structure here, as it was cheaper to make a new one and ship it to the correct address!
However, it is only a legend and the truth is that it was designed by the Borough Engineer of the then Kimberley Corporation in 1907, the original drawing being in the Kimberley City Engineers Department.
(Pictured with the red roof is the Market Shelter in earlier days, next to the City Hall, and also how it looks today.)