Church celebrates 90th anniversary

The 90th anniversary of this building in Lansdowne will be celebrated later this month.

The 90th anniversary of the founding of a Moravian Church school in Lansdowne will be celebrated later this month.

The school building is in Albert Road. In recent years, the Moravian Church of South Africa has used it as its head office.

The Afrikaans-medium Rom-pie Vallei Primary School was established by Gotlied Weber, the principal, on April 8 1929.

Later it became the Spangenberg Moravian School, but pupil numbers dropped as more schools were built in the area and it closed in December 1989.

In 1984, the Moravian Church established its head office in part of the building and the hall was used for community events.

The church office, which was renovated last year, will be rededicated in a ceremony, to be attended by the school’s past pupils and teachers, at the nearby church, at 63 Albert Road, on Saturday August 17, from 10am to noon.

Valerie Cloete, Moravian Church South Africa’s finance director, said that over the years the school had hosted various concerts and received accolades for English and Afrikaans subjects.

The church hosts the Kinderfees annually on August 17, which includes storytelling and hymn singing.

The church has two choirs, a brass band, spiritual dancing, and a youth development programme as well as a seniors’ knitting group.

Church member Elizabeth Cockrill, 72, taught at Rompie Vallei Primary School from 1965 to 1985, alongside teachers who had taught her as a pupil.

Ms Cockrill who is the organiser of the ceremony, said she had fond memories of her childhood, and the highlight each year had always been the Kinderfees.

“It was a very special occasion that we looked forward to because we would dress up, and we learnt about different things. They read us stories from the Bible, and we especially looked forward to the day because there were three services.

“Children from all faiths attended. In fact about 70% of them were Muslim. As a child, it was very important for us to attend church, especially Sunday school at 2pm every week.”

As part of the 90th anniversary celebrations, the church will be making a monetary donation to Margaret’s House, non-profit residential centre for children in Lansdowne. The church has appealed to the public to contribute.

For more information, call the church head office on 021 761 4030.