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Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk
Williston, Northern Cape

Date:1912
Type:Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk - Church
Status:Extant

 


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Coordinates:
31°20'27.60" S 20°54'59.33" E Alt: 1079m

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The cornerstone was laid 2nd November 1912. It was consecrated 31st October 1913. The cost of the building was £8000-00 (R16 000). There were no debts and members were 450. A Dutch bible, hymn book and other documents were cemented under the cornerstone. The sandstone blocks were chiselled from the hill behind the present hospital. The builder was Mr van der Hoven. According to Mr Van der Hoven the spire was architecturally too low and offered to build it higher at a cost of £100-00 (two hundred rand). The building committee refused the offer.

Gas lamps were installed. The organ was a replica of the organ in the Groote Kerk in Cape Town

The oak pews, clock and stained glass windows were ordered from the Netherlands. Only one window survived. The pews and clock are still original.

All the building materials were transported from Matjiesfontein via Sutherland with a donkey cart. Two of the leading donkeys named Bloubok and Herklaas, were put out to pasture at the farm Klipdrift of Mr Danie Theron, their reward for services to the church.

Beautiful stencil patterns were painted on the walls, but were plastered over in restorations during 1930.

Electricity replaced gas lamps, and the organ was electrified.

In 1930 the organ was rebuilt for the first time by Mr Price, and it was agreed that he would tune the organ for the next ten years for the amount of £7 10 shillings (15 Rand).In 1957 it was again rebuilt on advice of professor Dr.G G Cillie of Stellenbosch by the company P Dietman. Mr Kadurr did the restoration and tuned it for years afterwards.

In 1978 the entire interior of the church was restored. All clay plaster was removed, chicken wire was attached to the wall and plastered over. The acoustics were poor due to small floor space and a high ceiling. Acoustic tiles were applied all round.

In 1912 when the church was built, above the organ a dome was added, which was covered with wire mesh and filled with horse hair and wool. Large coloured letters bordered with gold spelt out “Looft God in Zyn Heiligdom.“ This was removed in 1978 when the organ was enlarged. A wooden panel was added behind the pulpit. Practical blinds replaced the old long curtains and electric lights lit up the church. The old chandeliers were removed. Unfortunately no trace of them can be found.

The garden wall

In 1953 the old trellis work was replaced with a stone wall. Gravel was placed on the inside around the paths during restoration in 1978 a beautiful garden was created. A remembrance plaque was placed against the pillar at the main entrance.

[Karoo Hoogland Municipality]


Writings about this entry

Fransen, Hans. 2004. The old buildings of the Cape. A survey of extant architecture from before c1910 in the area of Cape Town - Calvinia - Colesberg - Uitenhage. Johannesburg & Cape Town: Jonathan Ball Publishers. pg 538-539
Menache, Philippe & David, Darryl Earl. 2012. A Platteland Pilgrimage : 102 country churches of South Africa . South Africa: Booktown Richmond Press. pg 79