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VAN RIJSSE, Klaas (jnr)

Born: fl. 1887
Died: 1941 11 10


The name is also spelt VAN RYSSE, was born in Zaandam, Netherlands. A private pupil in Amsterdam of Sytze WIERDA, he, his wife and family emigrated from Holland to the ZAR in 1887 to work for the industrialist GA Oekerse who helped many Netherlanders to come to the South African Republic; he arrived before WIERDA and took part in the commission set up to consider the prize-winning design for the proposed new Government buildings for Church Square, Pretoria, for which a number of architects had submitted plans. It seems that VAN RIJSSE's knowledge and persistence in examining the various schemes encouraged the Government to reconsider these drawings; VAN RIJSSE was asked by President Kruger to submit fresh plans. VAN RIJSSE was temporarily appointed to a newly created position 'Government Engineer and Architect', and assisted in various ways from August to October 1887 before the arrival in November 1887 of WIERDA who succeeded to the position. WIERDA requested that VAN RIJSSE be appointed his assistant, which was done. VAN RIJSSE worked on plans for a Presidency for President Kruger which was not executed. In 1889 the Government gave him permission to leave their service for a while. He formed a partnership in Pretoria in 1889 with JE VIXSEBOXSE but the partnership was terminated in 1890, probably because VIXSEBOXSE was appointed Government Architect to the Orange Free State in 1890. VAN RIJSSE re-entered the service of the Department of Works in Pretoria and within Wierda's department designed the South African Republic pavilion for the 1894 World Exhibition in Antwerp.

During the Anglo-Boer War van Rijsse joined the Hollander Corp and was elected with 50 votes Lieutenant of the 5th Platoon (Ploeger, 1957: 299). Section Commandant K van RIJSSE was in charge of the following members of the Ordinance Section of the Hollander Corps as recorded in the papers of JB WIJERS (Ploeger, 1954:17): G ZONNEVELD, JW THEIJSSEN, JB WIJERS, B Veenemans, A Van der Meulen, H SIEMERINK, CI (or J) de Wilde, MH BRUIJN, M Brouwer, JJ van der Link, JG Ormel, LF Goldman, PJ van den Bergh, J KESTING, C van der Linde, GJ Hofs, JJ Barlagen, W WIJSBEK, HP (?) Elker, GE ter Haar, CJ Swierstra, OO Faasen, G van Dreumel, WA Hennis, FJ Schultz, AH Ruygrok, J van der Loos, JC Pfenning, J de Bruyn, AJ Franken, Lodewijkerstraat, van Rooy, Woldendorp, HG Wabeke, NG Molenbroek (The spelling of the names and lack of clarity is problematic and behind the following names are written in pencil "A" or "nee" for: SIEMELINK, van der Bergh, Hofs, WIJSBEK, Schultz, Ruygrok, Lodewijkerstraat. In addition, Lansdorp name is crossed out.)

In 1900 the Van RIJSSE family were deported and given severance pay in Brussels. The VAN RIJSSE family returned to the Netherlands where VAN RIJSSE died in the town of Velp leaving his wife Jacoba Hartgerink.

(Argus Annual & SA dir 1889; Longlands Pta dir 1899; Pretoriana Apr 1957 (23):26-32; Pretorius 1969; SESA 3:617)

All truncated references not fully cited in 'References' are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.