Deutscher Verein

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A German association for culture and ***.

Geselliger Verein von Deutschen in Pretoria

In 1888 Dr. Hävernick, a Geologist and Naturalist conceived the idea to found a small society, and during a meeting the details were discussed and statutes set up, under the name “Geselliger Verein von Deutschen zu Pretoria” the club was established (Pretoria Deutscher Verein Zeitschrift, März, 1963:3). This was founded in the tavern of the South African Hotel and Tavern or Reck’s Lokal in Pretoria.

Deutscher Verein

The club house moved from location to location due to financial reasons or political problems, such as the war, it moved from the Reck’s Lokal, to a hired room in the Transvaal Hotel, the site where Pretoria ** is currently situated and finally to the current site which is on the corner of Proes str. and Paul Kruger str. (Transvaler, 1988).

According to the Pretoria News, August 1988 the following history was stated: that due to financial reasons the society agreed on selling the club to the British League Club to prevent the society from reaching total bankruptcy. “At the end of 1925, as a result of the national consciousness that had ruled the German people since 1920, Germans in Pretoria reinstated the German Society.

They established a new club house on the corner of Proes and Paul Kruger streets- the present German Club can still be seen at this site” (Pretoria News, 1988. In September 1932 the German Society extended the club in order to host all its members as well as other German Societies. By December 1933 the extensions were completed. From 1937 until 1962 Mr. E. Schweickert became Chairman of the Society.During the war the Ministry of Defence rented the building and handed it back to the German Society on 15 July 1950.

According to the Chairman Mr. Norbert Allgeier the Club lost interest in the 70’s and when a number of younger members were elected to the committee, new ideas and enthusiasm came forth and the club got new life. Mr. Allgeier also said that: “The club is Purely a social club and does not involve itself in political issues.”According to the Pretoria Deutscher Verein Zeitschrift, March - July 1963 the history of the building is as follows: In the Reck’s Lakal on the 16th of August 1926 was the Deutscher Verein Pretoria dissolved. Thus on the 4th of September 1926 the site on the corner of Market- and Proes str. was bought and the decision made to rebuild it for the societies purposes, due to a suggestion made by the Board of Directors. These Extensions and alterations began on the 1st of November of that same year and were finished in February 1927.The official opening occurred on the 5th of March together with the Major, Herren C.M. de Vries.

During 1927/1928 a flat for the caretaker and a bowling alley were added to the back of the building. In 1929 the society reconsidered more rebuilding plans, which were then approved by the Building Committee in a General meeting in which it was also decided to allow women to become members of the society. Soon after the Committee decided to change the society to a company with limited liability in order to aid with the burden of the financial implications of the rebuilding of the structure and thus the societies name changed to Pretoria “Deutscher Verein limited” (Pretoria Deutscher Verein Zeitschrift, June 1963:4).

During the war the Ministry of Defence rented the building from the society.Middle 1943 the mortgage on the property became too much to handle for the society and Mr. E. Schweickert took over the mortgage.In 1948 the society voted for a Building committee, which approved the building plans and determined if the increase of the main part of the building was possible. On the 15th of May 1950 the building was returned to the society. After a number of necessary renovations the building could be opened to the club again on the 15th of July (Pretoria Deutscher Verein Zeitschrift, July, 1963:4).

An offering was received by the club to buy another property, which was able to accommodate a hall, which could house 600 people, a beer garden and a bowling alley. Thus the plans became to build an entirely new club on the property, which was situated next to the existing one and only demolish the old one once the new building had been completely erected. During another general meeting the newest building plans could already be shown by architect Dr. May von Langenau in the form of a model, which suited everyone’s expectations of what it should become. (Pretoria Deutscher Verein Zeitschrift, July, 1963:5)Currently the building is used as a small shopping centre for small independent businesses, such as a hair salon, a take-away kitchen and a small goods store etc. The ‘shopping centre’s” name is Liuba Shopping centre.

The history of the Deutches Verein hall in Moerdyk Avenue

In 1903 they built the Harmony Hall in 1903 as a community centre for the German speaking community of Pretoria. It served in this capacity till the First World War, when the war time paranoia ended the association’s activities. Revived in 19**, the association ***

See also the Breytenbach Theatre

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