Wednesday, 21 October 2015

The story of a Lawyer and a Building with Bank History


The history of the Cloete and Neveling building 
A post card the Bank build in 1905
Standard Bank was expelled from it's border of our provice in 1865 after the British occupation and during the Anglo-Boer War in 1900. 
The bank as the Army Pay Department's banker was allowed under martial law to open branches in the Free State and this lead to the abolishment of the law of 1865. 

Harrismith was the first town in which the Bank was interested and was permitted to operate where the British forces maintain a permanent garrison.  

The Railway also requested that Standard Bank open a branch in town. 

new Branch was opened for business on 1 October 1902.

Land negotiations took place and in Nov 1902 it obtain land with 50ft frontage and a depth of 180ft. 
This was a central and practical site on the Market square between the offices of the Bank of Africa and the National Bank and it purchase the ground for 1570 GBP.  

In the absence of any local architect the Bank used the services of one of the Royal Engineers who was carrying out some military work in the vicinity. 


The plans were completed in November 1903. 
They were drawn up and provided a further story to be attached to provide for a residence for the Manager. 
The architect modified the plans without altering their essential character.
 It was completed at the beginning of April 1905. 
The manager and his family occupy the house which was very convenient and comfortable. 

A large brass plate should be fixed to the wall immediately below the middle window. 

The new building the the best and most note able on in the square and surpassed all the other bank buildings in town, both internally and externally 
The very first photograph taken after completion for the Standard Bank.
Note the human pulled cart known as a rickshaw
The date at the top of building referrers to the date that Standard Bank was established in South Africa  
A post card of the early day in Harrismith
The only building that is still standing is the Bank building 
The original safe that is situated in the strong room of the building
It still in use in the lawyers offices. 

Look at all the detail 
One of the teller machines that was used in the bank 
This post is not only about Standard Bank but also about a Lawyer firm called Cloete and Neveling

Cloete & Neveling inc., initially established as a partnership, has practised uninterrupted since its establishment in 1945 
Chris Cloete and Barney Neveling 
A deed of the "water erven" these had water rights from the river 
The gavel that was used in the Harrismith Court rooms
Gavel is that small wooden hammer that a judge or magistrate uses in a court room in order to get people’s attention or to emphasize on something that he has said.
An old filing cabinet that is still in use 
The original deed of the Muller's Hoek farm 
Another view from the Town Hall toward the Cloete and Neveling building
The double story has once again made way for a new development 
A deed of Matthys Johannes Wessels dated 1886 of the farm Parkhurst 
Deed of Pieter Cornelius de Beer 1868 
A beautiful old book case filled with law books 
The Cloete and Neveling Building
Nee The Old Standard Bank Building 
The Law firm was bought by the current partners and we say thank you to Gerhard van Wyk for taking us on a tour and showing us around

A selection of Spy cartoons all depicting the Law 
Sharing some of the sketches of  the Chief Justice of South Africa
Starting top Left: Ismail Mohammed 1997, L C Steyn 1959 - 1971 and N Ogilvie Tompson 1971 - 1974
Middle Left: John Wessels 1932 - 1939, J S Curlewis 1936 - 1938 and James Stratford 1938 - 1939
Bottom Left: William Solomon 1927 - 1929, Sir James Rose-Innes 1914 - 1927
and Lord De Villiers 1910 - 1914
But like in all building and in this instance a Law firm there will be a lot of stories.

Like to share this one with you.  
Thank you to Leon Strachan for sharing this with us
The Ghost Will
Flip Pieterse was orphaned when he was very young.
His two uncles took him under their wings.
"Come and bend over the rocks with us", they said, with these two tough men 
he began to dress stone in the area. 
They erected stone sheds, made stone kraals and built neat sand stone homes.
It was hard back breaking work but there was always something in the chest and 
now and again time to be jolly.
Work disappeared because of the depression and they had to go and work 
for the State wielding picks and shovels.They helped to carve out 
the van Reenen Pass in the Drakensberg and then they chopped the slopes of the same 
mountain to pieces for the Oliviershoek Pass and it was here that Flip heard about the daughters 
of Piet de Heer. They lived in the Lost Valley. Deep in the folds of this mountain between the two passes Flip Pieterse lost his heart. 
After the wedding he built a little stone house for his bride and became a "bywoner". 
Flip and his father-in-law were as one mind from the start. 
Piet (the father-in-law) was work shy and people jested that he was a professor from 
Leiden who lived on his wife's property and was too lazy to work.
He taught the children of the Valley.
In any case Piet De Heer died in about 1950. Flip Pieterse's wife inherited the farm and some of the other children were most unhappy about this.
One night van Heer Jr. had a vision. He dreamt that his father visited him and told him that the will was incorrect. The other children also had to inherit.and he explained how the will should actually read. It was an unbelievably clear dream with amazing detail..
Early the next morning he rode on his donkey to the town . He went to Cloete and Neveling where he obtained an appointment with Barney Neveling.
Barney in his young days 
He told him this remarkable story. 
Barney listened in utter disbelief. He has seen some interesting wills but that one takes the cake. 
Barney had an inextinguishable enjoyment of life and a lively sense of humor.

"Well" he said " 
come back in about two hours give me time and can have the new will drafted and it typed. 
Barney complied, He drafted the will exactly as Piet had spelled it out in the dream.
 He have it to the younger de Heer .
"If your father visits you again, you may give it to him to sign. Then everything will be in order. Oh Yes! remember to have him initial every page."
Chris Cloete in his young days 
Details of the building
The date on the building refers to the date the Bank was established in South Africa