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All Saints Church

TODAY IN KIMBERLEY’S HISTORY 23 MAY

UPDATED: 23/05/2019

23 May 1886, Foundation stone of All Saints Church in Beaconsfield laid.
23 May 1900, Presentation to Town Council by Dr R Harris of Cecil Rhodes’ portrait.
23 May 2013, Sylvia Lucas inducted as Premier of the Northern Cape.

DID YOU KNOW

John Angove, in his entertaining memoir “In the Early Days” published by Handel House in 1910, wrote:

“The early church edifices on the dry diggings were most miserable structures of wood and canvas. A building of that material was erected on a site situated at the lower side of Du Toits Pan Market Square. It was a long building of about sixty feet, and about twenty feet wide; the wall-plates were seven feet above the level of the floor; the ridge-pole, or beam, of the pitch roofing, about twelve feet from the floor. The interior was fitted with an altar and a reading desk; sitting accommodation was for about one hundred or one hundred and fifty. Such was the Anglican Church of All Saints, which a few years later was under the pastoral supervision of the Rev WT Gaul (now Dr Gaul), who in turn became a Canon of the Diocese and Rural Dean of Bechuanaland. 

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Reverend WT Gaul

In 1887 Canon Gaul was raised to the dignified position of Archdeacon, and soon after became Bishop of Mashonaland. The canvas walls and roof of the church were at last covered with galvanized-iron, which, with a boarded floor, made it far more comfortable. On the 23rd of May 1886, the foundation stone of the new Parish Church of All Saints was laid in the New Township, now Beaconsfield, and it was not long after that the church was taken out of the hands of the builders, opened, and consecrated.”

Pictured is the All Saints Church in Beaconsfield, and the Reverend WT Gaul.

UPDATED: 23/05/2018

23 May 1886, Foundation stone of All Saints Church in Beaconsfield laid.
23 May 1900, Presentation to Town Council by Dr R Harris of Cecil Rhodes’ portrait.
23 May 2013, Sylvia Lucas (pictured) inducted as Premier of the Northern Cape.

DID YOU KNOW

Sylvia Lucas, the fourth Premier of the Northern Cape Province, was elected and then inducted as such on 23 May 2013, succeeding Hazel Jenkins who had resigned due to ill-health.

She was born on 22 April 1964 in Upington, and educated in the same town at the Carlton van Heerden High School.

In Upington during the 1980s she became involved in local political activities and when apartheid was dismantled joined the National Party as did so many from that same town. She joined the ANC in 1995 and was a councillor in the Khara Heis Municipality, while also serving on regional structures of her new party. In 2000 she became a member of the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature, and in 2009 was appointed as the MEC for Environment and Nature Conservation.

Lucas was re-appointed premier following South Africa’s 2014 general election, being one of two women appointed as a premier in the nine provinces.

23 May 1886, Foundation stone of All Saints Church in Beaconsfield laid.
23 May 1900, Presentation to Town Council by Dr R Harris of Cecil Rhodes’ portrait.
23 May 2013, Sylvia Lucas inducted as Premier of the Northern Cape.

DID YOU KNOW

As the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902 entered the guerilla phase the British used the Blacks in a more militant role, with many units being comprised solely of Black personnel. These included the Namaqualand Border Scouts, while armed black men in uniform would assist in guarding the various blockhouse lines, particularly in the Northern and Eastern Cape.

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Armed Men at a Blockhouse

Flying columns, used by the British to chase up the various Boer commandos, used Black scouts forward of the more conventional units such as the Rimington and Damant Scouts. They would all be armed. Probably the most important – and well-hidden fact until recently – was the role played by Kimberley blacks in Colonel Bryan Mahon’s column for the Relief of Mafeking (Mahikeng). All histories have stated that the Imperial Light Horse and the Kimberley Mounted Corps were the forward scouts, but there were black scouts even more forward than they, and it was these who forewarned of the Boer forces ahead, particularly at Koodoosrand Ridge near Kraaipan. This resulted in the Battle of Maritsani, and these Blacks would have all been experienced Kimberley Siege veterans. Sadly, no names have yet been found, especially in the light that at least one was killed and 15 wounded at this Maritsani battle.

In spite of denials, Colonel Robert S. Baden-Powell used armed Blacks, both African and Coloured (Cape Boys), in the defence of Mafeking, while in the smaller sieges of Kuruman, Koffiefontein, O’Okiep and Springbok, Blacks played an integral part. In the siege of Kimberley – although officially disallowed – they too played an important role and indeed, many were armed. The De Beers Company certainly armed their cattle guards on their farms on the outskirts of the town.

Lord Kitchener of Khartoum, the Commander-in-Chief of the British Army in South Africa during the guerilla war stage (late 1900 – May 1902), after delaying tactics, admitted in 1902 that the British had issued weapons to at least 2 496 Africans and 2 939 Coloureds in the Cape Colony alone.

That there were more armed Blacks than has been officially noted is certainly a given fact in that all Black scouts in the flying columns were all armed by early 1901.

Peter Warwick noted that many Coloured communities formed their own unofficial units so as to defend themselves – this being most noticeable in Calvinia with Abraham Esau and his unit.

Captain F.P. Fletcher-Vane stated in a long memorandum to the Colonial Office on 4 May 1902, that Black Scouts had been armed with Lee-Metford rifles for at least 12 months (therefore from May 1901). Every column had at least 30 to 50 armed Scouts, and that they were used on offensive actions against the Boers.

“Natives were everywhere armed for purposes of offence. I have never heard it denied by a single officer I have met. It is common repute.”

A unit known as the Special Police was raised in Kimberley circa September/ October 1900, whereby all Officers and Sergeants were white and all other ranks coloured and Africans. Their job was to do the duties of the Cape Police in areas where the regular Cape Police were absent or non-existent because of the war, and were essentially used from Kimberley to Warrenton and on to Mafeking (Mahikeng) along the railway line.

Pictured are armed Blacks at two different blockhouses during 1901/1902.

From Kimberley Calls and Recalls on Facebook By Steve Lunderstedt

Aeon Computer Kimberley

About Steve Lunderstedt

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