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UPDATED: 03/07/2020

3 July 1873, Reverend Gway Tyamzashe ordained the first black minister in Kimberley.
3 July 1890, The Kimberley Golf Club formed.
3 July 1901, Kimberley’s first motor car, a Panhard Levassor, hits the streets.
3 July 1901, Syce Moti of the Bengal Lancers stationed in Kimberley, commits suicide.

Pictured is the Panhard in the museum. Also, the Panhard being delivered to the Mine Museum in 1964. The three men that can be clearly pictured are, from the left, Ian Guthrie (DBCM Transport Superintendent), Gert Uys (DBCM Chief Security Officer), and VB Pierce (Personnel Officer). Note the Dutoitspan Hostel in the background.


In the Kimberley Mine vehicle display hall stands Kimberley’s very first motor car, a Panhard et Levassor (pictured) purchased by the De Beers Mining Company General Manager Gardner Williams. It was driven on the streets of Kimberley for the first time on 3 July 1901 by his son Alpheus Williams and must have created quite a sensation, not just to the citizens but in particular to the animals so beloved to man – horses and dogs.


The Panhard being delivered to the Mine Museum in 1964.

That same year of 1901 Cecil Rhodes also purchased a steam driven motor car which he used to travel between Muizenburg and Groote Schuur.

A brief piece on Panhard et Levassor:

Panhard et Levassor was established in 1887 by René Panhard and Émile Levassor. They built their first car in 1891 based on a license of the Daimler patent. Instead of the rear engine that the first Daimler and Benz cars used, Panhard placed the engine and radiator at the front, with rear driven wheels, and a crude sliding-gear transmission. As such, it was the first FR (front engine – rear wheel drive) car, and that configuration became known as the “Systeme Panhard”. That configuration was later adopted by both Benz and Daimler and is still going strong.

Levassor obtained his licence from Paris lawyer Edouard Sarazin, a friend and representative of Gottlieb Daimler’s interests in France. Following Sarazin’s 1887 death, Daimler commissioned Sarazin’s widow Louise to carry on her late husband’s agency who then married Levassor in 1890. Daimler and Levassor became friends and shared many improvements.


Kimberley’s first motor car – Panhard Levassor

These first vehicles set many modern standards, but each was a one-off design. They used a clutch pedal to operate a chain-driven gearbox. The vehicle also featured a front-mounted radiator. An 1895 Panhard et Levassor is credited with the first modern transmission. For the 1894 Paris-Rouen Rally, Alfred Vacheron equipped his 4 horsepower (3.0 kW; 4.1 PS) with a steering wheel believed to be one of the earliest employments of the principle.

In 1891, the company built its first all-Levassor design a “state of the art” model: the Systeme Panhard consisted of four wheels, a front-mpounted engine with rear wheel drive, and a crude sliding-gear transmission, sold at 3500 francs. It would remain the standard until Cadillac introduced synchromesh in 1928. This was to become the standard layout for automobiles for most of the next century.

In 1895, 1,205 cc (74 cu in) Panhard et Levassors finished first and second in the Paris-Bordeaux-Paris race, one piloted solo by Levassor, for 48¾ hr. Panhards won numerous races from 1895 to 1903 and developed the Panhard Rod or track bar, commonly used on live rear axles and which became used in many other types of automobiles as well.

The last time Kimberley’s Panhard was driven was during the city’s Centenary celebrations in 1971. Amazingly, it used more water than fuel!!

(Various sources including the Internet).

UPDATED: 03/07/2019

3 July 1873, Reverend Gway Tyamzashe ordained the first black minister in Kimberley.
3 July 1890, The Kimberley Golf Club formed.
3 July 1901, Kimberley’s first motor car, a Panhard Levassor, hits the streets.
3 July 1901, Syce Moti of the Bengal Lancers stationed in Kimberley, commits suicide.

(Pictured is a map of the original Kimberley golf course.)



Kimberley Golf Club

The Kimberley Golf Club, by virtue of its founding date 3rd July 1890, is rich in history, not only of its own, but also in the broader sense of the game in this country. Today, 129 years ago, in the Queen’s Hotel on Stockdale Street at 6pm, the first meeting was held to start a golf club.

The first committee elected was John Blades Currey as President, Justice William Solomon as Vice President, David Skirving as Club Captain, and Stephen Stokes as Honorary Secretary and Treasurer. As committee members were G Hudson, H Robinow, Dr J Eddie MacKenzie, R Ford, F Fergusson, and JS Hyslop.


Original Kimberley Golf Club

The land for the first course was donated by the London and SA Exploration Company, the manager of which was JB Currey. It was David Skirving and Stephen Stokes who paced out that first course, the course being from where the Belgravia Primary School building is situated on Dutoitspan Road, up Memorial Road through Diamantveld school, the Honoured Dead Memorial, MOTH Centre, the Kimberley Junior School and into what is today Monument Heights. It would change shape a few times before finally leaving in 1960 to where the course is today.

A humble beginning in the halcyon days of the Diamond Fields – the greens began as sand putting browns, followed by diamondiferous blue ground, mats served for tees and dynamite was employed to blast the stones on the fairways (among many other oddities) – has finally evolved through to the current Bob Grimsdell designed parkland layout that boasts Elliot grass tee to green, which, in itself is also an oddity.

The course today has two distinct faces, a green summer look that has the ball holding, and a frosted winter white look that has the ball rolling. Whichever the face the course remains particularly player friendly.

Of course the 19th hole is more consistent, inviting a warm welcome throughout the year. And, this can be ably testified by the 600 golfers who annually partake in the Barney Barnato “Festival of Golf, Ribald and Revelry” held every October.


Kimberley Golf Club House in 1955

Despite being situated in the middle of South Africa, Kimberley remains somewhat isolated. Visiting golfers, therefore, are most appreciated.

As was astutely observed by Phillip Galgut of the Compleat Golfer: “The only disappointment which this august club could possibly be accused of setting before members and visitors is the fact that although this is Kimberley, the holes aren’t any bigger”.

(From the Kimberley Golf Club website, and the History of the Kimberley Golf Club by Steve Lunderstedt and Dave Wilson).

From Kimberley Calls and Recalls on Facebook By Steve Lunderstedt

Aeon Computer Kimberley

About Steve Lunderstedt


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