Wednesday, 19 June 2013

A visit to Tiger Kloof in our North West province


I would like to share this very special Tiger Kloof Institute, situated south of Vryburg. 
Tiger Kloof was a High School, 
Teachers' Training College,
Bible College and 
Trade School all rolled into one.
Amos greets you at the gates
Tiger Kloof Educational Institution was founded in March 1904 “on a piece of bare veld” 12 km of Vryburg, where the Rev. WC Willoughby unpacked a borrowed wagon and started to build a school. 

During Rev. Willoughby (1904 - 1914) time the institution took root and
various buildings and structures were erected
The aim was to equipment African ministry for an African Church. …
And the first work of Tiger Kloof was to train their ministers in true leadership, 
knowledge, and spiritual vision. 
Secondly the Institution wanted to train African schoolmasters and 
schoolmistresses for African schools as essentially Christian. 
Lastly they also wanted to train the men as craftsmen and teach the women skilled work. 

Early buildings still standing 
The Old Spinning and Weaving Shed 

 
Rev. Arthur Haile 1915-45 was the next headmaster. Various buildings and roads were constructed. 
The Girls’ School became a reality and the Arthington memorial church was built by masonry apprentices of the Institution itself.
The training school for teachers was built and an annex added later on. 
A hospital was added. A visiting medical doctor served the school and a nurse worked and 
stayed on campus. 
A Bible school was started and African ministers trained and sent out to work 
in surrounding areas and further afield. 
 

 
At its height the Institution comprised nine different training schools on one campus .

Arthington memorial church 



More of the original buildings 

After much unrest and rioting, as well as the burning down of the boys’ dormitories, the Institution finally closed its doors at the end of 1963. Contracts were given out for the destruction of the buildings and many were torn down: the African staff village, the academic school, the remainder of the Boys’ dormitories, the tannery and boot-making department, the isolation hospital, the carpentry building and the girls’ school staff house.  
The other buildings either lay fallow or were used as sheep pens, stores or farmhouses.



In 1991 a meeting of Old Tigers was initiated to investigate the possibility of reopening TigerKloof. The reconstruction of Tiger Kloof began. 
A portion of the original property was acquired, and buildings were renovated. The official opening of the new Tiger Kloof Educational Institution was celebrated in October 1995. 

In 1995 the Institution reopened amidst great celebrations, led by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, with a group of 25 learners. 

Since 1995 all the land has been returned to Tiger Kloof with the final handover in 2004, the year of the Institution’s centenary.