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The Mother Church (Moederkerk)

First leaves of spring (Winner: Eikelens)
First leaves of spring

The Mother Church (Moederkerk), 1863

When the old church of 1722 became too small for the congregation it was decided to enlarge it in the neogothic style after plans by the German architect Carl Otto Hager. A great bazaar was held on the Braak to raise funds for the project :
Despite generous contributions from members of the congregation and donations of items, such as the pulpit, the railings and the three bells in the belfry, further fundraisings were needed to meet the substantial cost of the alterations (£ 9 057 11s 5d)...Apart from oxen, cows, calfs, horses, sucking pigs, 300 sheep, 200 chickens, pheasants, partridges and turkeys, 25 half-aums of "matured wine" were also put up for sale, all for the benefit of the building fund. To attract the curious, a cow with two tails and a leopard were on show, and in addition to the refreshments in the marquee, grog and brandy and soda-water could be consumed in a separate little building.
No wonder the bazaar was a resounding success.
Ters van Huyssteen, Footloose in Stellenbosch

Photos by Willem Malherbe and Florian Breuer

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