Ontstaansgeskiedenis van Die Oranjeklub, met spesiale verwysing na die bevordering van die Suid-Afrikaanse toonkuns
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Die Oranjeklub was the first Afrikaans culture organisation in Cape Town. Active since 1915, it strove to shape Afrikaner identity and advance Afrikaner art and culture. The main aim of the club was to inspire national sentiment, especially among young Afrikaners, and to help cultivate a love in this constituency for their language and history. This national sentiment was nourished by meetings of social and cultural significance. In this respect, Die Oranjeklub played an integral role in early twentieth-century Cape Town to oppose a perceived English political and cultural supremacy, acting as a buffer against the so-called ‘ver-Engelsing’ or Anglicization that was seen to threaten the identity of especially urban Afrikaners. Programmes during meetings usually comprised of a speech, supplemented by music and recital items that were generally contributed by Afrikaans club members. Meetings that deviated from this norm were mainly evenings where plays were performed or festivaloccasions of national importance in which the club was actively involved. The club’s management comprised two levels: an honorary committee and an executive committee. Many historically important figures served on the honorary-committee. The list includes names like D.F. Malan, J.B.M. Hertzog, C.J. Langenhoven and J.C. Smuts, amongst others. The executive committee had equally noteworthy chairmen, like the writer I.D. du Plessis and the critic C.H. Weich. The names of many important musicians can be found on club programmes, including Arnold van Wyk, Blanche Gerstman and Stefans Grové. Important actors and role players in theatre also participated in club events, amongst others Anna Neethling-Pohl, N.P. van Wyk Louw and Sarah Goldblatt. Speakers included personalities like D. Craven, C. Barnard and P.W. Botha. In 1976, after many decades trying to advance culture among white Afrikaners in Cape Town, the club was disbanded. This thesis documents, for the first time, the history of Die Oranjeklub. It also considers the meaning of the club’s cultural activities, especially its efforts to advance music among its members.