Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk
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On July the 23rd 1895 the Executive of the ZAR government had granted the 'NG Kerk' congregation in Rustenburg four stands for the purpose of building a church thereon. Two months later a building committee was appointed. Lack of the necessary funds hindered progress in the matter.
Finally, two-and-a-half years later, on the 8th of January 1898 at a meeting of the congregation it was announced that a church with a seating capacity of one thousand would be built to the value of £11000 [in the end it cost nearly double that amount]. And that the building would have to be finished by December 1899.
Tenders were called for and the contract was awarded to the master builder Karl HEYNE. The contract sum has not been revealed nor is mention made of any architect.
Work started forthwith, so that in April on Saturday the 23rd the cornerstone was laid. Regrettably that sandstone weathered rather rapidly; and when later it was defaced by some hoodlums it was replaced by a new one - also made from sandstone. Later still, in 1935, for unknown reasons, a third foundation stone was installed.
The work on the church progressed very well. It appeared that the deadline for the handing over of the building would easily be met. Plans were already made for the consecration of the church when on October the 11th 1899 war broke out between the ZAR and England [Anglo-Boer War]. Work ceased immediately since virtually all the workman were called up for war service.
In May 1900 - Kimberly and Mafeking had been relieved, the big centres Bloemfontein, Johannesburg and finally Pretoria had been overrun - British forces under General Baden-Powell occupied Rustenburg. They soon seized the new church building and established a military hospital in it.
The accompanying picture of the interior of the church/hospital gives a good impression of how far the building work had already progressed. Even the brass chandeliers had been installed.
The war came to an end in May 1902 and work could resume again on the church. However, to put in the final touches took much more than a year. The workmen had to come back from the war and the prison camps overseas, materials were scarce and the repair of the wear and tear caused by the almost two years of hospital occupation could be given as the cause of the delay. For this, the latter task, HEYNE in the end was to claim an extra £500.
Finally, in September 1903 the church was consecrated.
In the early 1970s the church underwent a major overhaul and subsequently was declared a National Monument.
(Konrad Voges, July 2016)
Transcription of National Monuments Council plaque:
(S vd Stel Bul 12 Apr 1966)
All truncated references not fully cited below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.
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