Kirkwood, Eastern Cape

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Kirkwood
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Kirkwood
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Kirkwood
Coordinates: 33°24′01″S25°26′33″E / 33.40028°S 25.44250°E / -33.40028; 25.44250 Coordinates: 33°24′01″S25°26′33″E / 33.40028°S 25.44250°E / -33.40028; 25.44250
Country South Africa
Province Eastern Cape
District Sarah Baartman
Municipality Sundays River Valley
Area
[1]
  Total4.49 km2 (1.73 sq mi)
Population
(2011) [1]
  Total5,371
  Density1,200/km2 (3,100/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)
[1]
   Black African 22.9%
   Coloured 57.6%
   Indian/Asian 0.4%
   White 18.3%
  Other0.9%
First languages (2011)
[1]
   Afrikaans 82.6%
   Xhosa 12.6%
   English 2.4%
  Other2.5%
Time zone UTC+2 (SAST)
Postal code (street)
6120
PO box
6120
Area code 042

Kirkwood is a town in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. It is situated on the banks of the Sundays River in the eponymously named Sundays River Valley, which forms part of the Sundays River Valley Municipality in the Sarah Baartman District Municipality of the Eastern Cape.

South Africa Republic in the southernmost part of Africa

South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; to the north by the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe; and to the east and northeast by Mozambique and Eswatini (Swaziland); and it surrounds the enclaved country of Lesotho. South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and, with over 57 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation. It is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World or the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages, nine of which have official status. The remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European (White), Asian (Indian), and multiracial (Coloured) ancestry.

Sundays River river in South Africa

The Sundays River or Nukakamma is a river in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. It is said to be the fastest flowing river in the country. The Khoisan people originally named this river Nukakamma because the river's banks are always green and grassy despite the arid terrain that it runs through.

The Sundays River Valley is a low-lying area along the Sundays River. It forms part of the Sunday's River Valley Local Municipality in Cacadu District Municipality, Eastern Cape, South Africa.

Contents

Geography and climate

Kirkwood is situated about 80 km (50 mi) from the Indian Ocean and about 100 meters (330 ft) above sea level.

Indian Ocean The ocean between Africa, Asia, Australia and Antarctica (or the Southern Ocean)

The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering 70,560,000 km2 (27,240,000 sq mi). It is bounded by Asia on the north, on the west by Africa, on the east by Australia, and on the south by the Southern Ocean or, depending on definition, by Antarctica.

The South African Weather Service recorded a temperature of 50.3 °C (122.5 °F) in Kirkwood in 1928 - the highest temperature ever recorded in South Africa. [2]

The South African Weather Service (SAWS) is the meteorological service under the South African government's Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. SAWS is a member of the World Meteorological Organization. The agency is similar to the United States' National Weather Service.

To the north of Kirkwood are the Rietberg Mountains with the Uyepoort (Uye Gateway), which provides passage to the Zuurberg Mountains and the Addo Elephant National Park.

Addo Elephant National Park A diverse wildlife conservation park near Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, South Africa

Addo Elephant National Park is a diverse wildlife conservation park situated close to Port Elizabeth in South Africa and is one of the country's 19 national parks. It currently ranks third in size after Kruger National Park and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

History

The Governor of the Cape Colony, Sir John Francis Cradock, gave the first farms in the Sundays River Valley to the leaders of the successful burger commandos for their role in the victories in the border wars of 1811 and 1812.

A governor is, in most cases, a public official with the power to govern the executive branch of a non-sovereign or sub-national level of government, ranking under the head of state. In federations, governor may be the title of a politician who governs a constituent state and may be either appointed or elected. The power of the individual governor can vary dramatically between political systems, with some governors having only nominal or largely ceremonial power, while others having a complete control over the entire government.

Cape Colony Dutch and British colony in Southern Africa

The Cape of Good Hope, also known as the Cape Colony, was a British colony in present-day South Africa, named after the Cape of Good Hope. The British colony was preceded by an earlier Dutch colony of the same name, the Kaap de Goede Hoop, established in 1652 by the Dutch East India Company. The Cape was under Dutch rule from 1652 to 1795 and again from 1803 to 1806. The Dutch lost the colony to Great Britain following the 1795 Battle of Muizenberg, but had it returned following the 1802 Peace of Amiens. It was re-occupied by the UK following the Battle of Blaauwberg in 1806, and British possession affirmed with the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814.

Sir is a formal English honorific address for men, derived from Sire in the High Middle Ages. Traditionally, as governed by law and custom, Sir is used for men titled knights i.e. of orders of chivalry, and later also to baronets, and other offices. As the female equivalent for knighthood is damehood, the suo jure female equivalent term is typically Dame. The wife of a knight or baronet tends to be addressed Lady, although a few exceptions and interchanges of these uses exist.

These farms were awarded to Magistrate Cuyler (originally from the United States) of Uitenhage, who received Geelhoutboom (Yellow Tree, later Dunbrody); Commandant Ignatius Muller, who received Klaaskraal (Klaas' Corral, situated just outside what is now Kirkwood) and Field Cornet J.S. van Niekerk, who received Gouwernements Belooning (Government's Reward). It is on the latter farm that Kirkwood would be established many decades later.

Magistrate officer of the state, usually judge

The term magistrate is used in a variety of systems of governments and laws to refer to a civilian officer who administers the law. In ancient Rome, a magistratus was one of the highest ranking government officers, and possessed both judicial and executive powers. In other parts of the world, such as China, a magistrate was responsible for administration over a particular geographic area. Today, in some jurisdictions, a magistrate is a judicial officer who hears cases in a lower court, and typically deals with more minor or preliminary matters. In other jurisdictions, magistrates may be volunteers without formal legal training who perform a judicial role with regard to minor matters.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Uitenhage Place in Eastern Cape, South Africa

Uitenhage is a South African town in the Eastern Cape Province. It is well known for the Volkswagen factory located there, which is the biggest car factory on the African continent. Along with the city of Port Elizabeth and the small town of Despatch, it forms the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality.

In 1877 James Somers Kirkwood, an auctioneer from Port Elizabeth, arrived to auction off Gouwernements Belooning. When a flooded Sundays River prevented Kirkwood from reaching this farm he climbed a nearby hill (known today as The Lookout) instead. From there he had a view of the entire valley and had a vision of the valley - which was overgrown by bushes at the time - being transformed into irrigated fields with fruit trees. He also envisioned this farm produce being delivered via river barges to Port Elizabeth.

Shortly afterwards, James himself purchased "Goewernements Belooning" as well as some other farms in the valley. He subsequently founded the Sundays River Land and Irrigation Company as well as the village of Bayville.

Later, Kirkwood started to prepare the land for irrigation, but despite of a very positive prospectus and very good publicity, nobody was interested in buying stock in his venture. One of the reasons may be that it coincided with the big diamond rush to Kimberley. In consequence, his company eventually failed and was declared bankrupt. Kirkwood died in 1889, a financially and spiritually broken man.

However, Kirkwood can be considered to have been ahead of his time as his vision became true in the next century when the Sundays River Irrigation Project and eventually the Orange River Water Project were built. His name also lives on in the town of Kirkwood that was founded in 1912 on his first farm, Gouwernements Belooning.

At the beginning of the 19th century, the Sundays River formed the eastern border of the then Cape Colony and was the area around Kirkwood consequently the scene of many armed conflicts - Khoi against Xhosa, Khoi and Xhosa together against the Boers and British together and finally the Boers against the British during the Second Anglo-Boer War.

During this war, General Jan Smuts and his Commando of 250 men passed through the valley on their epic campaign to the northwest. Indeed, the three Boers who died the furthest south during the war were killed on Cecil John Rhodes's farm Brakkefontein. Shortly after these casualties were incurred a major battle took place on the Bedrogsfontein mountain pass. [3]

Economy

Kirkwood's subtropical climate makes it ideal for the growing of citrus fruits and this has made it the citrus capital of the Eastern Cape. Indeed, Kirkwood is the center of one of the largest citrus-growing regions in South Africa with approximately 120 square kilometres (30,000 acres) of citrus orchards. Approximately 18 million cartons of oranges, lemons, grapefruit and other citrus fruit are exported from this region each year.

The Sundays River Citrus Company employs approximately 1500 people on a seasonal basis to pack the export citrus. There are packhouses in Kirkwood, Addo and Summerville.

Kirkwood is also the capital town of the Sundays River Valley Municipality, which also includes places such as Paterson, Addo and Enon, and has a total population of about 70,000 people.

Roses are also grown in the area and there are several game farms situated nearby. The town also hosts an annual Wildlife Festival.

A panoramic view of Kirkwood and the surrounding citrus groves is possible from The Lookout in the Rietberg Mountains, where Kirkwood had his vision. The Lookout is also well known as a dinosaur fossil site. The first complete dinosaur fossil to be found in South Africa, nicknamed "Kirky", was discovered near here. Kirky was smaller than 2 meters. [3]

Notable people who were born or lived in Kirkwood

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 "Main Place Kirkwood". Census 2011.
  2. Kirkwood history
  3. 1 2 "History and Culture." Sundays River Valley Municipality website. Retrieved on 14 October 2009.