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WYERS, Jan Brink

Born: 1865 12 01
Died: 1953 11 08


Year registered: 1927

Spelt variously as WEIJERS, WIJERS, WEYERS and WYERS, Wyers is the spelling under which he registered as a member of the Institute of South African Architects in 1927 and which was used on his death certificate. Wyers was born in Est en Nijmegen, Netherlands and was trained in the Netherlands. [Ploeger 1954 states that he was born in Hellouw, west of Zaltbommel, Gelderland, Netherlands]. He was among several architects who emigrated to South Africa in the late 1880s. In 1889 he sailed in the Dunbar Castle making friends with other emigrants such as the builders , MCA MEISCHKE and Herman SEMMELINK who were also on their way to Johannesburg, working first there and then moving to Bloemfontein where he was employed by PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT.

From Bloemfontein he transferred to the Department of Works of the South African Republic in Pretoria where he served as Draughtsman (1st Class) in a temporary capacity under SW WIERDA. After an extensive correspondence between WIERDA, the Secretary of State, Leyds, the Attorney General and the Secretary of the Executive Council he was naturalised as a citizen without serving the full two year term of residence.

Amongst WIJERS's papers (Ploeger, 1954: 16) letter of appointment as Supervisor First Class at the Department of Public Works is dated February 18, 1896 (with retroactive effect from 1 November 1895) and signed by the State and Acting Secretary of State C van Boeschoten. It appears that WIJERS was, at that time working in Johannesburg. In the absence of the Chief Supervisor CF OBERMEYER he was assigned as Acting Chief Supervisor. WIJERS, after the termination of his period of Acting Chief, returned to Pretoria. He was granted full voting rights in accordance with Art. 725 (July 25, 1895) of the First Assembly of the ZAR on August 30 1897.

He married Christina Geertruide 't Hoen in 1897 by whom he had one child.

By 1897 he is recorded as being in permanent employ of the DPW as Supervisor (1st) Class at a salary of £500 per annum. He remained in this post until the Anglo-Boer War. He served as member of the Hollander Corps for the course of the war. From his papers (Ploeger, 1954: 17) it emerges that on 3 November 1899 he was employed in Garrison Service of the Hollander Corps as a Guard at the Prisoners-of–War camp at Renbaan. On 2 December1899, the Acting. Commandant of the Hollander Corps (G Westenenk) advised Wijers that he would be assigned to the ‘Klooster’ Section of the Hollander Corps. Shortly before Wijers, as evident from a letter, appears as Acting Commander of the Section under Section Commandant K VAN RIJSSE. After the war Wyers entered into private practice since by 1906 he was in partnership with J KRAAN in Pretoria (cf KRAAN & WYERS), the partnership lasting until Kraan's death in 1932. Wyers continued to practice on his own account for a few years. It is not yet known when he retired. He married the daughter of H 't Hoen in 1897, they had two children. His house at 621 (erf 100) Church Street, Arcadia, was a brick and tin house built around 1925 but since demolished.

(Ploeger & de Kock, 1989, give the date that he died as 1953 11 05)

(Building Mar 1919:255; SAAR Jun 1954:45 death notice; SAWW 1908: TAB MHG 7273)

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.

List of projects

With photographs
With notes

Bakery for Malga and Coleman: 1931. Tshwane (Pretoria), Gauteng - Architect
House Angelopulo, Station Place: 1936. Rissik, Tshwane (Pretoria), Gauteng - Architect
Motor Garage, for Rodda: 1934. Tshwane (Pretoria), Gauteng - Architect
Volksbank: 1923. Tshwane (Pretoria), Gauteng - Architect

Articles citing WYERS

Ploeger, J. 1954. Uit die nagelate papiere van Mnr. J. B. Wijers. Pretoriana. 4 2 15-17

Books citing WYERS

Bakker, Karel A, Clarke, Nicholas J. 2014. Eclectic ZA Wilhelmiens : A shared Dutch built heritage in South Africa. Pretoria: Visual Books. pp 76, 86, 136

Ferreira, OJO (Editor and Annotator). 1977. Krijgsgevangenschap van L. C. Ruijssenaers 1899-1902. Pretoria: Raad vir Geesteswetenskaplike Navorsing. pp 193

Harris, CT, Noëth, JG. 2010. Van seringboom tot kerkgebou : die argitektoniese erfenis van die Gereformeerde Kerke. Krugersdorp: Gereformeerde Kerke in Suid-Afrika. pp 19

Longland. 1979. Longland's Pretoria Directory for 1899 (Reprint No. 85). Pretoria: The State Library. pp 222

Meiring, Hannes. 1980. Pretoria 125. Cape Town: Human & Rousseau. pp 56

Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1977. Victorian Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: AA Balkema. pp 295, 297*, 299

Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1989. Historical Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: Struikhof Publishers. pp 163, 164, 168

Ploeger, Jan. 1994. Nederlanders in die Transvaal 1850-1950. Pretoria: Van Schaik. pp 148-149

Ploeger, Jan & De Kock, Gideon de V. 1989. Nederlandse emigrasie na Suid-Afrika 1800-1900. Port Elizabeth: University of Port Elizabeth. pp 233

Schoeman, Chris. 2011. Brothers in arms. Hollanders in the Anglo-Boer War. Cape Town: Zebra Press. pp 12, 13, 14, 174