Famous Hungarian violinist visits Paarl

Ede Reményi and Johannes Brahams 1852 (WikiMedia Commons)

Ede Reményi and Johannes Brahams 1852 (WikiMedia Commons)

On Saturday evening 21 April 1888, Ede Reményi, a Hungarian violinist, performed in Paarl. According to the advertisement placed in the Paarl District Advertiser, Mrs OT de Villiers and Misses A and N de Villiers, and Harold E Stidolph, pianist, also performed that evening.

Reményi (1828-1898) was born in Miskoic in Hungary and was banished for taking part in the Hungarian Revolution (1848). In Germany he befriended Johannes Brahams, then only 15 years old. Reményi spent four years touring in America before returning to Europe in 1852. The following year he went on tour with Brahms. In 1854 he performed for Queen Victoria, and after his pardon in 1860, performed for Emperor Franz Joseph. He died in 1898 during a concert in San Francisco.

Source:
Paarl District Advertiser, 1 April 1888
Wikipedia

Ganzen in de straat

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Wilhelm de Villiers was gedagvaard door de Municipaliteit omdat hij de regulaties had overtreden doordien zijn ganzen in de publieke straat hadden gelopen op 26 Maart. Hij pleitte schuldig onder provocatie, dewijl de ganzen zonder zijn verlof hun hok hadden verlaten. Vonnis 2s 6d boete.

Source:
Paarl District Advertiser, 2 May 1888

Elba, Main Street

The town property of Elba was in the region of 127 Main Street, Paarl

The town property of Elba was in the region of 127 Main Street, Paarl

Old auction notices provide valuable information on properties. In 1888 Nicolaas Rossouw passed away and his property was put up for auction.  The following advertisement appeared in the Paarl District Advertiser, 5 May 1888:

OP DONDERDAG, 17 MEI 1888

Zeker gedeelte van ELBA, bevattende twee suffisante Woonhuizen met Pakhuizen annex, geschikt voor enig Handel of Nering, zijnde eens der beste handelstanden in het dorp, de gronden zijn beplant met fraaijen Wijngaard, Vruchtenboord en Tuin.

This 2 morgen property was issued in 1804 to Gertruida Blom (1734-1804), widow of Heinrich Arnoldus Brüggeman (-1792). After her death in 1804 the property was sold to another widow, Hester Elisabeth de Villiers (1759-), widow of Petrus Johannes de Villiers (1757-1804). In 1805 Elba was sold to Hester Rossouw (1755-1834), the unmarried daughter of Daniël Rossouw of La Concorde farm in Suider Paarl.

Abraham Pieter Heroldt (1795-1868) bought the property in 1834.

Abraham Pieter de Villiers owned the property in 1850.

In the 1888 advertisement, J J de Villiers (AP zn) is listed as the secretary for the executor’s testament.

SOURCE:
Le Roux, J: Drakenstein se erfgrond – Suider Paarl
Paarl District Advertiser, 5 May 1888

Rev JF Curlewis

watermarked-MPG05600 Rev. J.Curlewis 17.08.1894

Fr JF Curlewis of the St Stephen’s Church in Noorde Paarl. The other men have not been identified, but were possibly church elders. The photograph was taken on 17 August 1894 and is part of the Drakenstein Heemkring’s Gribble Collection.

Read more about the St Stephen’s Church here.

St Stephen’s Church in Northern Paarl

St Stephen's Church

© Gribble Collection, Drakenstein Heemkring

The St Stephen’s parish was founded by Fr James Inglish, a priest in theAnglican Church, who started to work among residents of Noorde Paarl – or Lower Paarl as it was then called – in 1850. The Lower Paarl Mission School was also established by the Cape Town Diocese in 1854  with Fr J F Curlewis as its first teacher.

A school chapel was built in 1858 and served as a place of worship and a primary school. The building stood on the corner of Main and School Streets.

In 1876 the Anglican Church bought a property in Main Street in order to build a new church for the Noorde Paarl parish. The St Stephen’s Church was consecrated on 7 August 1877 with Fr Arthur Fraenkel Jeffery as its minister. The old chapel could then be subdivided into four permanent classrooms. In 1982 the school closed down and pupils were moved to the Nieuwedrift Primary School. The original school building in Noorde Paarl was demolished under the Group Areas Act.

The congregation had its own rugby club called the St Stephen’s RFC – also known as the Swartbekbootjies. The team was coached by Fr LK Zeeman, and many of the players also sang in the St Stephen’s Church Choir. They wore a black rugby jersey with a white collar, black shorts and black socks with a white stripe.

The St Stephen’s School was founded in 1854 by the Anglican Church with

St Stephen’s Friendly Society (1882 – 1971)

The society was formed in 1882 to provide social and financial support to members living Noorde Paarl. In order to join, applicants had to be between the ages of 18 and 45. New members also had to pay a once-off fee of 75c if they were under the age of 30 years, or R1 if they were older than 30. Weekly contributions were set at 10c per member. In return, the society supported members in terms of medical costs, funeral costs and also provided financial support when members were too ill to work. Society meetings were held in the St Stephen’s church hall in School Street. The society also owned houses in Bosch Street.

Group Areas Act

When the Group Areas Act of 1961 was enforced in Paarl, Noorde Paarl was initially declared a “Coloured” area. “White” residents campaigned vigorously against this classification, and the area was subsequently reclassified as a “White” area. This reclassification happened despite the efforts of the Noorder Paarl Waaksaamheidskomitee under the chairmanship of John Martin to wanted to retain the “Coloured” classification.

The Community Development Board bought the St Stephen’s Church on 18 October 1979 for R50 000 and paid an additional R110 000 for its church hall, school, rectory, caretaker’s cottage and graveyard in School Street. Fr Frank de Jager conducted the last service on 25 January 1981.

The government subsequently sold the church building to the Paarlberg Dutch Reformed Church for R20 000.

In 1998 the St Stephen’s congregation approached the Commission of Land Restitution in order to have the building returned to them. Negotiations were set in motion between the Dutch Reformed Church and the Anglican Church, after which the State decided that R780 000 would be a fair value for the building. Funds were made available to the Paarlberg NGK so that the claim could be settled. The ministers involved in the act of reconciliation were Rev Pieter van der Walt (Paarlberg NGK) and Fr Roderick Cox (St Stephen’s).

References:

Arendse, IHG – Ons Mense
Paarl News, 7 April 2013 – A little school in Northern Paarl by Johnny Martin
Paarl Post, 24 April 2003 – Historic occasion as church is returned
Paarl Post, 30 April 2003 – End of ‘exile’

 

Visosse en vakansies by die see

The Strand, False Bay coast. © Gribble Collection, Drakenstein Heemkring

The Strand, False Bay coast. © Gribble Collection, Drakenstein Heemkring

Om in April – na die wyn gepars is en die vrugte-oes af is – see toe te gaan is ‘n baie ou Bolandse tradisie. In die ou dae – nog voor mense motors besit het – was dit ‘n bybelse uittog van kookpotte en kos, klere, beddegoed en seker ook visstokke. Alles op ‘n ossewa of kapkar.

Marlene Goosen vertel dat haar ma  as kind so op Gordonsbaai vakansie gehou het. Al die vakansie-goed is op ‘n wa gelaai wat dan met ‘n koei en ‘n paar hoenders vooruit gestuur is, dan het die familie heel deftig in ‘n kapkar ‘n dag later gevolg.

So in die gesels onhou ek weer van Henri Louw se boek “Pêrel van die Paarl” waar hy ook geskryf het oor hoe hulle as kinders Onrus toe gegaan het vir hulle vakansies. Voorbereiding vir die uittog see toe was net so belangrik. As kinders het hulle voor hulle vertrek loodsinkers gemaak en visstokke in die bamboesbos gesaag, die perde nuwe hoefysters gekry, en in die kombuis is vrugte gedroog.

Hy skryf dat selfs toe die regering sy pa se perde in die Anglo-Boereoorlog opgekommandeer het, het die familie nie van hierdie tradise gewyk nie. Sonder sy pa se spogperde was die ou vakansie-wa oorbodig. Die wa is toe verkoop en in plek daarvan het sy pa vir die gesin ‘n kompartement op die trein van Kaapstad na Caledon bespreek.

So het almal met al hulle bagasie, kos en visvang-gereedskap by Paarlstasie opgeklim vir die treinrit tot op Botrivier. Henri Louw skryf dat die trein teen Sir Lowryspas so stadig gery het dat passasiers kon afgeklim om blomme te pluk, en dan weer in die ry weer op klim.

Op Botrivier het sy pa gereël dat ‘n plaaslike boer vir hulle met ‘n ossewa na Onrus toe neem. Tot die kinders se vermaak is die boer se osse almal na visse vernoem: Geelbek, Roman, Steenbras, Kabeljou, Galjoen, Jokopewer, Rooi- en Witstompneus. In die ry het die boer dan sy osse aangespoor met ‘n uitroep van “Geelbek, Roman en ander visosse! Dit is die harde pad na die sagte belsbosse wat julle gaan lui maak!”

So het hulle dan gery tot op Dawidskraal waar hulle die osse uitgespan het en koffie gedrink het onder melkhoutbome, tot laaggety, sodat hulle verder langs die see tot op Onrus kon ry.

Na ‘n paar weke by die see, het die klomp songebrande “matrose” en “vissermanne” weer die pad terug na Botrivier aangedurf. Die laaste uitspan was altyd by ‘n spruit net voor Botrivier. Daar het die mans geskeer en almal hulle netjies en mooi gemaak vir die treinrit terug Paarl toe.

Vandag ry ons in ‘n uur of wat tot in Hermanus. Laat mens net wonder: die dag wat ons petrol en diesel opraak, sal ons nog ‘n paar visosse kry om in te span en ons see toe vat?

[The article was written by Marguerite Lombard and appeared in the Paarl Post, 21 April 2008]

Paarl’s first car dealerships

Repair shop

© Gribble Collection, Drakenstein Heemkring

EJ Lawton Ltd was one of the first motorcar dealerships in Paarl. The company was based in Cape Town and advertised the opening of its Paarl branch on 22 July 1918. From the advertisement it was possible to deduce that they had bought up Mr GK Briers’ Elite Motor Works opposite the Royal Hotel in Main Street. The hotel was situated between Zeederburg Square and Zion Street. According to the advertisement, Nico Decker had been placed in charge of the dealership’s financial department. Lawton also had cars for hire.

In 1918 JN Hogkins, a mechanical engineering and motorcycle building company – “motor cycle repairs and pram wheels retyred while you wait” – ran an advertisement for a 1918 model “Indian”. The “Indian” was a motorcycle with a sidecar, and the new model’s arrival was described as “the event of the year” (PP 30.03.1918). A few months later Hogkins demonstrated the motorcycle’s ability, and proudly announced that it had successfully negotiated the Franschhoek Pass on the 3 February 1919 (PP 15.02.1919). The driver on this occasion was Mr N Decker, with Mr Curtis in the sidecar. Hogkins was situated in Lady Grey Street.

What is particularly interesting about the post WWI advertisements is the observation that a number of Paarl’s old wagon building firms had reinvented themselves as motorcar dealerships or were in related businesses. In 1929 Solomon, Reyneke & Kie in Main Street advertised themselves as wagon builders and undertakers (PP 13.04.1929), also see Carson & Co and Retief De Ville & Co listed below. Continue reading

Order of service – seating of women in the church

Today it is difficult to believe that society could be governed by so many rules and conventions. Someone recently brought the following note to me. It is titled: “Rangskikking van sitplase in die kerk te Stellenbosch, 5 Jan. 1748)”, and was published in the minutes of the church council, 22 Dec. 1805. The same rules would have applied to the Strooidak Church in Paarl. The note listed women’s status as follows: Continue reading

Pontac Street, Paarl c1920

Van Niekerks of Pontac

Volunteers at the Heemkring are currently working on what will possibly become one of the Heemkring’s single largest collections of personal documents. The documents – personal and business letters, invoices, reports – all belonged to Diederik Johannes van Niekerk, and were rediscovered in the Heemkring’s attic. Most of the documents predate WWII, and the oldest letter was written in 1897. Continue reading

Mrs Naudé’s journal

Genealogists are thrilled when they stumble onto a personal diary during their research, and so were we when we started dusting off personal documents that once belonged to Pierre Olivier Naudé (1895 – 1933).

We were cleaning out the Heemkring’s attic when we found a large box full of cards, letters, invoices, cancelled cheques and so forth. The papers were covered with dust, and the box had a few cobwebs lurking in its corners. Mindful of dangerous button spiders we carefully carried the box down and unpacked with all the anticipation of children opening presents on Christmas Eve. Continue reading