On Sunday 7th September the oldest church and also the oldest building in Johannesburg was filled with members of the congregation, several of whom had been christened and married here together with priests from other Anglican churches, heritage friends and sponsors come to celebrate the birthday and admire the restoration of the church. Seen in this photograph is Father Morgan Ellis the parish priest who was the founding headmaster of Saheti School and then of Bishop Bavin School. Bishop Steve Moreo, Bishop of Johannesburg, was the celebrant and the Methodist organist and choir of Bedfordview added music and great joy to the occasion.
The stained glass windows donated by the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation were in place recording their origin in the home of Henry Bettelheim in Doornfontein which was built in the same year as the Church. Mrs Mackenzie and her daughter Mrs Jane Paumgarten representing the Mackenzie family Trust which has sponsored the restoration of the church attended the service.
All that remains to be done are the two turrets which need new shingles. They will only arrive at the end of October and then St Mary-the-Less will be almost good as new. Designed by Arthur Reid the church was built in two stages. The Foundation stone was laid by Mrs John Darragh on her wedding day 10th September 1889. She had come to Johannesburg as Miss Mary Ross, the first principal of St Mary’s Girls School which is now in Waverley.
In 1896 the walls of the little church showed signs of giving way and had to be buttressed. The following year the church was extended eastward.
The bell which rang out several times during the service, was the second one to hang in the west turret tower. The first had been sent to England to be re-cast in 1916, but lies now at the bottom of the Atlantic because the ship in which it was returning a year later, the Alnwick Castle, was torpedoed. So this bell was replaced by insurance in 1918.
Bishop Steve preached the sermon from the pulpit donated by Mrs Julius Jeppe and Deacon Keith Rankin read the lesson at the handsome brass eagle lectern donated by Rev John Darragh. Father Ellis had beautified the entrance porch for the great occasion, enhancing the much loved little church.
Here is a list of the architectural drawing held by Museum Africa
Click here to open the Plans List in Excel - MA Plans List
An astounding collection at Museum Africa
Brigid Grosskopf holds up her gloved hands in joy as she examines beautiful drawings of Park Synagogue This was a very special occasion for which white gloves were essential.
The special project has involved cataloguing and listing the collection of architectural drawings held by Museum Africa. For years the collection has been safely stored, but completely inaccessible because it could not be catalogued - no staff. So we sponsored the museum specialist, Linda Chernis, who has been working through the collection of thousands of drawings, cataloguing them for the Museum AND at the same time listing them for our research and to enable us to publish the list in Excel for other researchers to use.
The drawings belong to the Museum. We don't have them, but we have the list which you can consult.
it is an important record of early joburg - architecturally, genealogically, socioligcally - they show so much more than just buildings, they give a whole feel for each area and the socio-economic reality of turn of the century Joburg.
Linda says " It's almost like being an archaeologist digging beneath the surface and finding a whole new civilisation!"
The funding was raised through donations and we had a really happy morning donors and researchers together at the Museum pouring over the lovely drawings which date back to 1892. Some are truly exquisite, some are a lot simpler, but they do give a picture of Joburg when Noord Street boasted the poshest row of houses and the government buildings were very handsome including the dreaded Pass Office and Marshall Square Police Station.
To look at the list press............... and note they are arranged under township, stand numbers, dates, street addresses, names of architect (if
You can e-mail Museum Africa on................ but don't expect an instant reply. There is ONE curator who is also the acting director, where 20 years ago there were 9.
This is a wonderful project for the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation since it is certainly a major contribution to the city and its architectural legacy. We need on-going funding to keep working and because we hope to persuade the City to allow us to move the building plans of demolished buildings from the Metro Centre to the Museum.
My photographs don't convey how beautiful some of the drawings really are.
JOHANNESBURG HERITAGE JOURNAL: NUMBER 4
The most recent edition is available by going to that page on our website. I enjoy the journals because this is all primary material with touches of unconscious humour only time can add.
So enjoy reading it on line opr if you are very old fashioned and want a hard copy please e-mail Eira on 011 482-3349 and arrange to collect one. Theyw ill definitely be avialable at the AGM. They cost R35 each.
Member's Tour - 18 to 20 October 2013
Members' Tour to Kimberely
Great step Forward: Handing over the assessments and data base for the heritage buildings in the Joburg City Centre.
GRADING THE BUILDINGS OF THE JOHANNESBURG CITY CENTRE
The first task the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation undertook after its establishment was to assess the buildings in the centre of town and publish these on our websites and, hopefully, also on the City of Johannesburg’s website.
To distinguish the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation’s assessment from the official ones Grades A, B and C have been used instead of numbers..
Anyone altering a building over 60 years old needs help. So we have drawn up a list of consultants whjose work we have seen and which we cite so people can check for themselves whether they have done a good enough job.
Johannesburg Coat of Arms
The small jam pot in our letterhead is not without meaning or to bring sweetness into your life.
It is the stamp which appears on the earliest Johannesburg Coat of Arms - the actual foot of the crusher which pounds the rock . There were different size stamps 6 pounders or 10 pounders.... the noise was simply unholy but the crushed rock went through the process and became golden sand on the mine dumps.
These tiny stamps are used on the escutcheon plates of the old City Hall and a stylized version is used to number the routes through the city.
So this is a tiny bit of Johannesburg we chose to decorate our logo.
LOOKING AHEAD: SPECIAL PROJECTS
Did you know that:
To help you in this process we have compiled a liust of architect for whose work in the heritage field we can vouch.
Click here to find our list of recommended architects to assist with Heritage Work.
We have been sent the Latest requirements from PHRAG for permits and for nominations for heritage sites. PLEASE CLICK on the Form below to down load these. BE SURE TO USE THESE AS THEY ARE THE MOST UP TO DATE VERSION AND WILL SAVE DOING ANOTHER SUBMISSION
“A city without a past is like a man without a memory” warned Professor E.W. Mallows
Contact us on: 011-482-3349 Weekdays (Mornings only)
"We have made a start ...!"
Introduction to Listings and Assessments
FRIENDS, CORPORATE MEMBERS AND SPONSORS
The Northwards Trust
Set up to retain the historic architectural heritage of Johannesburg Foundation Trust. The Trust tries to make this heritage accessible through tours of the buildings and the area, publications and special programmes for school children.
It is a fund-raising organisation and donations are most welcome.
Last Edit : 06/10/2014
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