A jubilee that truly sparkles

Comment on this story


ST Kimbery Museum02

.

The Kimberley Museum is celebrating its 60th anniversary.

Kevin Ritchie

This year’s turning out to be a diamond jubilee not just for Queen Elizabeth II but for the people of Kimberley too.

Long famed as the diamond capital of the world, it’s the 60th birthday of Kimberley’s equally famous Open Mine Museum.

For those who have never been to Kimberley or think it’s famous for being a third of the way from Joburg to Cape Town, think again.

For those of us who come from there, we know it’s the centre of the known universe. Literally, since the geographical centre of South Africa lies a couple of kilometres west.

The discovery of diamonds on Colesberg Kopje on July 16, 1871, sparked the biggest diamond rush the world has ever seen. Ultimately there would be five major diamond mines in and around the city, three of which are still operational, but it is the Big Hole of Kimberley Mine that’s the most famous.

ST Kimbery Museum04

The Big Hole at Kimberlery  where you can try to score a hole-in-one.

.

It’s there that Cecil Rhodes finally wrested control of the mine from Barney Barnato with the biggest ever cheque drawn at the time and laid the foundations for a South African diamond company that until recently ruled the entire diamond world.

But it wasn’t just that. The money that the other big diggers made before being forced out financed the deep-level gold exploration on the Witwatersrand, unlocking the El Dorado of southern Africa. You don’t just have Kimberley to thank for Joburg, there’s a host of “firsts” too, from the stock exchange to electric street lights, the birthplace of the once mighty SA Permanent Building Society and, through its school of mines, the seed that would ultimately become the University of the Witwatersrand 480km to the north.

All this and much more is captured in the Open Mine Museum, on the bank of the largest hand-hewn hole in the earth’s surface – and visible from space.

The museum was established in 1952 with an appeal to De Beers (as almost everything in Kimberley was) to help save certain historic buildings in the city centre that faced being destroyed in the name of progress.

The company provided a site on the edge of the Big Hole since the mine had stopped operating in 1914 and its grassy embankments were already a popular picnic area for the townsfolk.

Complete with a tea room and curio shop, the museum operated as an attraction – as well as a terminus for the restored Kimberley tramlines running to the City Hall on Market Square – until the early part of this century, when De Beers launched a massive multi-million rand revamp of the entire complex.

What had been a twee little outing was transformed into a hardcore corporate museum, inside an interactive replica mining village – where the pubs (most important) aren’t static displays but working establishments with exotic names like the Occidental.

The best of the old, like the traditional bowling alley with wooden skittles and bows and a serious jewellery shop with blindly bright gems, was retained and added to with a reproduction of an underground mining experience and an eye-watering display of diamonds (real ones) as well as scale replicas of all the world’s most famous ones.

Now there’s a four-day festival, the brainchild of legendary Kimberley tourism entrepreneur Steve Lunderstedt, to celebrate the museum’s 60th birthday from Thursday. There’s everything from an arts and crafts market to fashion shows, lectures, guided tours, game drives and the opportunity to hit a hole-in-one into the Big Hole itself, complete with a special certificate.

There’ll be lots to eat and drink, with two legendary bars, the Star of the West and the Half (Halfway House) a short drive away. You can stay at the authentic Kimberley Club, a revamped boutique hotel, or the Big Hole Protea Hotel, which feels like a reprodux version of the club, or choose from a whole gamut of accommodation in the city.

It ends on Sunday with a service in Kimberley’s oldest church, the old German Lutheran church which was transported by ox wagon from the coast to the diggings in prefabricated panels, culminating in a diamond rush with a R25 000 diamond up for grabs, as well as a pair of diamond earrings worth R5 000.

If you’ve never been to Kimberley, the museum jubilee is as good a reason as any to visit – and realise that next time you drive to Cape Town, it’s worth breaking your journey there for a night or two, rather than braving the congestion of the N1 – and Bloemfontein.


sign up
 
 

Comment Guidelines



  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

     

Newspaper Subscriptions
butterflykisses14
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 31 and 51.
View Profile
kristella
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
veldmuis007
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 35.
View Profile
Liefterdiefter
I'm a 48 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 63.
View Profile
noirsette
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 37 and 45.
View Profile
AGX
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 44.
View Profile
bluemon
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
Sparkie92
I'm a 22 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 22 and 29.
View Profile
Smarag
I'm a 20 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 22 and 30.
View Profile
Graciousheart
I'm a 47 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 44 and 56.
View Profile
ioio
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
ContagiousLaughter
I'm a 41 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 37 and 44.
View Profile
AM1234
I'm a 41 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 46.
View Profile
devotedlady
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 43 and 55.
View Profile
KiTella
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 42.
View Profile
blondgirl
I'm a 57 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 53 and 60.
View Profile
lookingsexy200
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 34 and 45.
View Profile
LuckyCharm_440
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 40.
View Profile
Omdraai
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 41 and 49.
View Profile
girlnextdoor2014
I'm a 47 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 47 and 53.
View Profile
iamclassy
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 50 and 62.
View Profile
Believer001
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 40.
View Profile
This_is_m3
I'm a 45 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 50.
View Profile
Diena_van_die_Eike
I'm a 49 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 49 and 62.
View Profile
Softberry
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 55.
View Profile
DelightfullyTipsy
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 38.
View Profile
Dreamer1987
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
KayBee75
I'm a 39 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 49.
View Profile
Juliet8
I'm a 50 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 65.
View Profile
Wonderer_0202
I'm a 42 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 52.
View Profile
JustLooking69
I'm a 56 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 50 and 60.
View Profile
Belind4_M
I'm a 19 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 19 and 30.
View Profile
CC82
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
Gem31
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
blom788
I'm a 25 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
Grace62
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 33 and 42.
View Profile
profile01
I'm a 42 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 39 and 47.
View Profile
OneWay
I'm a 39 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 47.
View Profile
HottFoxx
I'm a 46 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
Viv42
I'm a 42 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 55.
View Profile
Ja9
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 26 and 36.
View Profile
Stiletto1
I'm a 53 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 47 and 57.
View Profile
Lady66
I'm a 48 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 47 and 55.
View Profile
Tamtam31
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
Sosialemeis2
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 46.
View Profile
lenQ313
I'm a 19 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 22 and 28.
View Profile
PhoenixLin
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 42.
View Profile
supe24
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 65.
View Profile
DaffodilTulip
I'm a 48 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
KarooBoereMeisie
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
dreamsoftly
I'm a 49 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 47 and 58.
View Profile
Gem24
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 40.
View Profile
LOVINGLIFE417
I'm a 45 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 43 and 50.
View Profile
Ldp123
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 44 and 58.
View Profile
Natz79
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
KissFromARose
I'm a 58 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 55 and 64.
View Profile
Boulderhopper
I'm a 44 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 50.
View Profile
Kosmos075
I'm a 39 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
Lulu_101
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 45.
View Profile
AngelBabe1
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 39.
View Profile
Chanex
I'm a 20 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 23 and 26.
View Profile
Comet43
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 54.
View Profile
brokenheart2_cnb
I'm a 42 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
PixelFairy
I'm a 21 year old woman looking to meet men and women between the ages of 18 and 35.
View Profile
Charms1203
I'm a 39 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
love_passionately
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
AmaJ
I'm a 44 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 42 and 50.
View Profile
Sugababe
I'm a 41 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 42.
View Profile
Lemoenbloeisel
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
HoopvolleToekoms
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 39.
View Profile
AMy_303
I'm a 39 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
Pretty_Nerd
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 37.
View Profile
TLCfree2bmex3
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 39.
View Profile
MustLoveDogz
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 33 and 43.
View Profile
kim2702
I'm a 46 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 50.
View Profile
Elyn1980
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 42.
View Profile
pesin15
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
voelkos
I'm a 54 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 56.
View Profile
Athena
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 37 and 45.
View Profile
Gypsey4Life
I'm a 51 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 50 and 62.
View Profile
Kwarenina
I'm a 47 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 42 and 52.
View Profile
itu22
I'm a 22 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 37.
View Profile
SKY248
I'm a 52 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 44 and 52.
View Profile
SkyLark67
I'm a 47 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
chicky582
I'm a 25 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 30.
View Profile
Stella143
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 34 and 45.
View Profile
xine_414
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
Isolabelle
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
00butterflygirl00
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 36.
View Profile
MazR
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 48.
View Profile
foxy583
I'm a 20 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 20 and 27.
View Profile
Poppielap007
I'm a 23 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 29.
View Profile
Mianli
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 40.
View Profile
_Alwayssmiling
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 41.
View Profile
thrillsandfrills
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 41 and 45.
View Profile
SATYNTJIE
I'm a 52 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 60.
View Profile
mystiqueZN
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 45.
View Profile
Lisa_Jayne
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 23 and 35.
View Profile
Fairtalk101
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
tigercat
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 22 and 54.
View Profile
Red_Red_Wine
I'm a 61 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 39 and 59.
View Profile
umustbsomewhere
I'm a 61 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
Eugene053
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
earthwormjim1968
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 48.
View Profile
shadowwarrior
I'm a 59 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 38 and 55.
View Profile
JustJve99
I'm a 47 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 45.
View Profile
LoveFriendFirst123
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 72.
View Profile
JONGKEREL
I'm a 62 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 49 and 55.
View Profile
gentlebutcrazy
I'm a 58 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
longingforu
I'm a 35 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 38.
View Profile
Espavo
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 48.
View Profile
Gster1
I'm a 64 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 60.
View Profile
WanderingShadow
I'm a 39 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 20 and 40.
View Profile
50pluslooking
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
LEO1982
I'm a 32 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 24 and 40.
View Profile
LiveLifeAlways
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 33 and 41.
View Profile
Romanticseb
I'm a 59 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 57.
View Profile
IceDad66
I'm a 48 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
Jurrels
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 34 and 45.
View Profile
Double_N
I'm a 41 year old man looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 50.
View Profile
WieEnWaar
I'm a 63 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 62.
View Profile
MOOLMAN
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 62.
View Profile
boersoekvrou14
I'm a 39 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 42.
View Profile
big_guy_soft_heart
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 42.
View Profile
ch_nb
I'm a 28 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 45.
View Profile
Rick1508
I'm a 49 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 49.
View Profile
Pete_1
I'm a 70 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 55 and 65.
View Profile
Rebelinbluejeans
I'm a 62 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 62.
View Profile
MAX_33
I'm a 55 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 33 and 53.
View Profile
Boereman
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 52.
View Profile
koolstoof55
I'm a 59 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 63.
View Profile
annns
I'm a 51 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 56.
View Profile
Determined_69
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 47.
View Profile
saks001
I'm a 61 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 47 and 59.
View Profile
QuietDreamer
I'm a 34 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
niemandsland
I'm a 30 year old man looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 45.
View Profile
Glorious_Quest
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 32 and 45.
View Profile
Rumrun
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 44 and 56.
View Profile
srchinluv
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 46 and 65.
View Profile
Free_Spirited
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 32 and 42.
View Profile
bellagio
I'm a 69 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 55 and 65.
View Profile
OldGoat4400
I'm a 53 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 48.
View Profile
Ben_57
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 42 and 55.
View Profile
oldschool_romantic
I'm a 26 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 19 and 31.
View Profile
Breukes
I'm a 35 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 26 and 35.
View Profile
TheRealPeterPan
I'm a 35 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 35.
View Profile
TheRisingSun
I'm a 41 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 40.
View Profile
TheDuke_99
I'm a 36 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 42.
View Profile
MysticKitesurfer
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 27 and 36.
View Profile
arew
I'm a 49 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 55.
View Profile
Apalis23
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 39 and 48.
View Profile
Holomig
I'm a 37 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 36.
View Profile
B_B_B
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 45.
View Profile
WagOngeduldig
I'm a 41 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
Bushbaby210
I'm a 27 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 21 and 35.
View Profile
Kawa1000
I'm a 49 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
Liefasb
I'm a 63 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 60.
View Profile
waitingforgodot
I'm a 68 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 53 and 60.
View Profile
Stream_Net
I'm a 32 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 24 and 33.
View Profile
GenuineJ
I'm a 64 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 64.
View Profile
AJK1110
I'm a 59 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 55.
View Profile
maybe_111
I'm a 41 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 23 and 39.
View Profile
Rich_H
I'm a 48 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 48.
View Profile
drurie
I'm a 66 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 60 and 66.
View Profile
Jurgy62
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 37 and 55.
View Profile
letslook
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Btt76
I'm a 38 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 42.
View Profile
skyandsand
I'm a 31 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
peyton515
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 36 and 46.
View Profile
Woody777
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
Geard1977
I'm a 37 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 27 and 38.
View Profile
deeptime
I'm a 53 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 58.
View Profile
Kent123
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 60.
View Profile
BobTheExtremeBuilder
I'm a 47 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 47.
View Profile
matiekat
I'm a 66 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
Yinyani
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 55.
View Profile
Lifechanger_7
I'm a 25 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 30.
View Profile
happymaker66
I'm a 48 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
CapeLover
I'm a 49 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 41 and 50.
View Profile
sailor_X897
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 60.
View Profile
oth1982
I'm a 32 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
rio77
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 60.
View Profile
cornrlius205
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 50.
View Profile
rossi46
I'm a 66 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 55 and 65.
View Profile
Soulsearcher72
I'm a 42 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
Carden
I'm a 32 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 24 and 30.
View Profile
Thebestone1
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 52.
View Profile
philip_unplugged514
I'm a 62 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 65.
View Profile
cloudhopper
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
DoctorSpin
I'm a 41 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
Summerstorm_007
I'm a 60 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 58.
View Profile
Travelbug_222
I'm a 76 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 60.
View Profile
heartroll
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 49 and 60.
View Profile
Marley77
I'm a 37 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 35.
View Profile