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Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk
Rosendal, Free State

Walter DONALDSON: Architect

Date:1914
Type:Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk - Church
Status:Extant

 


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Coordinates:
28°30'21.55" S 27°56'01.16" E

Listed as W Donaldson en Zoon (Donaldson and Son) on the foundation stone.

The town of Rosendal was already well established by 1913, and the local community's desire for an NGK congregation, worshipping in their own church, became stronger. A 'Memorial' signed by 238 people was duly compiled and submitted to the Central NGK Circuit at their meeting held in Theunissen on 24 April 1913. The central theme of the 'Memorial' was a plea for the establishment of a new congregation, with Rosendal at the centre.

In the NGK Kerkbode (Church Messenger) of 12 June 1913 it was noted that the 'Memorial' was found in order, subject firstly to the necessary security being provided and secondly to the permission of the Church Council's involved.

The Church Council's of the surrounding town's of Ficksburg, Senekal and Bethlehem duly gave the required permission. The NGK Kerkbode of 30 October 1913 recorded the following:

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE ROSENDAL CONGREGATION

"Notice is hereby given that the Presbytery Committee of the Eastern and of the Central Circuits met at Rosendal on Wednesday 15 October 1913 and that the respective Circuits were in agreement that a congregation of the church could be established in Rosendal."

The first church services were held in the local blacksmith's workshop; sometimes bucksails were used to form a shelter under which services could be held. Ds. AJ Troskie of Ficksburg acted as the Custodian Minister.

The need for a permanent church building was clear and a final decision to proceed was taken at a meeting of the congregation held on 10 December 1913.

A Building Committee was chosen early in 1914 and W Donaldson was appointed as architect, which he undertook in association with his son. The process of planning, obtaining approvals from the Building Committee and calling for tenders occupied the first half of the year. Following the appointment of Clyde Construction Co, the fine sandstone foundation stone was laid by Ds Troskie, at the northwest corner of the building, during a formal ceremony held on 8 July 1914.

The wording of the foundation stone (in Dutch) is transcribed below:

DEZE HOEKSTEEN
WERD OP 8 JULI GELEGD
DOOR Ds A. J. TROSKIE.
"DIT IS NIET DAN EEN HUIS GODS, EN
DIT IS DE POORT DES HEMELS."
1914GEN.28.17
ARCHITECTEN
W DONALDSON EN ZOON
KONTRAKTANTEN
CLYDE CONST.
CIE. BPT.

The First World War slowed the progress of construction and the church was only completed in 1916. Ds HJ Pienaar of the Senekal NGK officiated at the opening ceremony held on 28 April 1916. The original building costs had been estimated as £4,5000 - by completion these costs had risen closer to £7,000.

Freely translated and adapted from the booklet published during the 50th Anniversary of the Rosendal NGK:

Groenewald, CJ, circa 1963. Rosendal Halfeeufees 1913-1963. 50 Jaar van Gods Genade. Rosendal NGK.

[Submitted by William MARTINSON (March 2011); includes information supplied by Christa Botes, NGK Archives and Information Centre in the Free State, Bloemfontein.]

Webwerf van die NG Kerk in die OVS: Website of the NG Church in the Free State.

E-posadres van die Argief en Inligtingskantoor te Bloemfontein: Email addresses of the Archives and the Information Office at Bloemfontein.

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.


Writings about this entry

Maeder, GA & Zinn, C. 1917. Ons kerk album van Hollandsche kerken en leeraren. Capetown: Cape Times. pg 187
Menache, Philippe & David, Darryl Earl. 2015. Church tourism in South Africa : a travel odyssey. South Africa: Self-published by Philippe Menache and Darryl Earl David. pg 52