Mr Watse Sebrus Andringa was one of Stellenbosch’s early magistrates or landdroste (around the same time as Ryneveld). He became landdros in 1812, but sadly was in office only for two years before his death. For some time Andringa was secretary of the Stellenbosch estate managers office (boedelkamer).
Mr A.F. Markotter, or Oubaas Mark as he was known, wasn’t only a famous rugby player, but also a lawyer and head of the first Stellenbosch executors offices (eksekuteurskamer) (founded in 1916, the sister company of the Stellenbossche District bank). It is Markotter (with the hat) sitting next to Paul Roos in the photo above.
Hendrik Bergh Avenue
Three streets in Uniepark commemorate the leaders of the first Stellenbosch District bank. Hendrik Bergh was the second manager, as well as long-time president of the die Stellenbosch rugby club (he initially played for the first team as well). Van Reenen was the first manager, and Bergh followed him up in 1898.
As a young man Mnr PF Martinson worked as railway clerk at Bosman’s Crossing, but in 1904 he was asked to become part of the bank’s personnel of only three. The well-known Jannie Marais gave proof of Martinson’s integrity and trustworthiness. Martinson stayed in Die Laan and is remembered as a warm and sympathetic man.
Van Coppenhagen Street
Mnr Louis Van Coppenhagen was also one of the first managers of the Stellenbossche Distriksbank. He joined the bank in 1911, following Martinson up as manager. Van Coppenhagen was involved with the bank for a record time of almost 57 years.
Dr Nicolaas J Hofmeyer studied theology in Utrecht in the Netherlands where he became friends with the Murray brothers and Johannes H Neethling, the founding members of the theological seminary. Hofmeyer was particularly passionate about the youth, and as part of his ministry bought a house in Church Street, converting it to a hall with 400 seats for bible studies. The hall known today as Hofmeyer hall was later built in its place.
John Murray was also a theologian who studied in Utrecht. Both he and his brother, Andrew Murray, had a big impact on the church history of South Africa. Together with Neethling and Hofmeyer, Murray was passionate about education, and it was through their initiative that Paul Roos Gimnasium and Bloemhof Girls High were founded
Johannes H Neethling (1826 – 1904) was also an alumni of Utrecht, and with his friends John Murray and Hofmeyer founded the theological seminary. He also married the Murray’s sister, Maria Murray, with who he had 12 children. Johannes and Maria Neethling stayed in a large parsonage with a yard stretching from Dorp Street to Neethling Street. The Neethlings are remembered as warm, hospitable people, because they had a ‘never-ending stream of visitors, house guests, synod attendants and students’ in their house, according to the writer AM Hugo.
His son, also Dr Johannes Henoch Neethling (1859 – 1937) was a physician and medical officer, and followed his father’s passion for education through his involvement with Bloemhof Girls School for most of his life. He studied in Scotland and was a doctor for 28 years, often travelling with his horse and cart over Helshoogte for doctor’s visits in the Pniel community.
Dr Neethling was co-founder of the Stellenbosch executors firm (eksekuteurskamer), and for the last 10 years of his life served on the director’s board of the Stellenbosch District bank. In his free time he was a keen carpenter, some works still showcased at Saxenburg today.