• Short Summary

    Sir Ernest Oppenheimer funeral took place today at St. Georges Anglican Church, Parktown, Cape Town.


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    Sir Ernest Oppenheimer funeral took place today at St. Georges Anglican Church, Parktown, Cape Town.

    The chief mourners were Lady Oppenheimer and son Harry. Among the many personages present were Sir de Villiers Graaf, and Mr G.H. Edmonds, chairman of Associated Newspapers and chairman of Jockey Club.

    Advocate to Strauss (previous leader of the United Party) and Mrs Strauss were also among the congregation, together with the Mayor of Johannesburg his worship Mr Glyn-Morris and Mrs Glyn-Morris.

    Approximately 200 servants from Sir Ernest Oppenheimer's residence and estate attended the funeral.

    Oppenheimer was one of a well-known family of brothers, distinguished by personal popularity, who, had all been more or less closely associated with mining and finance in South Africa. It used to be said that Ernest Oppenheimer got into the limelight via politics. But precisely the opposite was correct. It was because he had attained by spectacular strides to a position of dominance in diamond and gold mining - with their related finance - that it became virtually a necessity to follow up his vast trust ship into the Legislature. Arriving there after the general election of 1924 as member for Kimberly - Rhodes old constituency - Ernest Oppenheimer was at once accepted as the authoritative spokesman not only of the diamond industry, but also of the highly important and complex interests involved in the African mining industry as a whole. In politics Oppenheimer had both ambition and ability. He was one of the leaders of the South African Party, and a political friend of General Smuts. It is probable that on a return of a South African party to power, General Smuts would have made him his Minister of Finance.

    Ernest Oppenheimer was born at Friedberg, Hesse, on May 22nd. 1880, the son of Edward Oppenheimer. At the age of 16 he followed an older brother to London to work in a firm of diamond merchants - Dunkelsbuhlers - where his abilities were soon recognised, and he went to Kimberley in 1902 as a representative of the firm. Always a man who took, or seemed to take, great risks he quickly established himself as a leader in the diamond trade. He also occupied himself in the municipal affairs of the diamond capital. He was mayor of Kimberley 1913-15 and raised the Kimberley regiment at the outbreak of the Great War. His philanthropy was stealthy and imaginative. He did a lot to improve the living conditions of the Africans.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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