Formally named the Christelike Jongeliedenvereniging ("Christian Young People's Society") when first established, and populalry known by its acronym, CJV (also written C.J.V.), it was an initiative of the Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk or NG Kerk (usually referred to as the Dutch Reformed Church in English). Founded as A Christian youth organisation in Pretoria in 1883, and gradually expanded to have branches throughout the country in the late 19th century and early 20th century. They held meetings at which they inter alia played music, sang, read verse, held mock trials, and performed plays. The organisation became especially important in the promotion of Afrikaans language and culture in the rural areas of South Africa after the Boer War. (For the more outstanding and/or prolific individual CJV societies, as regards theatrical presentations, see the sub-entries below, listed CJV - followed by the name of the town or city (e.g. C.J.V. (De Nieuwe Kerk), C.J.V. (Warmwater), etc.).
In October 1904 the various regional organisations were united nationwide by the establishment of De Christelijke Jongelieden Vereeniging Unie. From 1917, the CJV stood under the patronage of the Helpmekaar-Vereniging, and continued to stage Afrikaans productions regularly.
As regards theatrical presentations, these societies the model society was the CJV of the Nieuwe Kerk, Cape Town, while a number of CJV's of the George-Oudtshoorn district played an important part in C.J. Langenhoven's language campaign and growth as theatre practitioner. For the more outstanding and/or prolific individual CJV societies, see below under CJV (followed by the name of the town or city - e.g. CJV (Warmwater)
Individual societies and their theatrical work
C.J.V. (De Nieuwe Kerk), Cape Town)
Other entertainments included a "Mock Trial" called "Verbreking van Huweliksbelofte" ("breaking the marriage vow") held in the vestry of the Moederkerk ("Mother Church", also known as De Nieuwe Kerk - "the new church") on 28 June, 1900
The first CJV society to be founded in 1883 ***
One of the busiest organisations in the Oudtshoorn district, dominated by the Meiring family, they performed a number of plays in Afrikaans and English. These include adaptations such as My nooi se naam is Sarie Takhaar ("My girlfriend's name is Sarie Backvelder" - 1907) by AV, Die Haarlintjie ("The Hair Ribbon"), The Selfish Schoolteacher (1914) by J.H.H. de Waal (?), and original plays such as Grootpratery ("Boasting") by Jacob van Rooyen, Een Paar Broeivogels ("A pair of breeding fowls") by "Hendrik" (H.A. Joynt?), and (possibly) Geschiedenisrykkunde by Michel Meiring and Gritha Meiring.
Ludwig Wilhelm Berthold Binge. 1969. Ontwikkeling van die Afrikaanse toneel (1832-1950). Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp.
P.J. du Toit, 1988. Amateurtoneel in Suid-Afrika. Pretoria: Academica
Jill Fletcher. 1994. The Story of Theatre in South Africa: A Guide to its History from 1780-1930. Cape Town: Vlaeberg.
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