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Have you seen the pink Karoo church of Hofmeyr?

The small Karoo town of Hofmeyr is located about 63km northeast of Cradock and was founded in 1873. The town was initially named Maraisburg but as there was already another town in the Transvaal with the same name, it was decided to rename it Hofmeyr in 1911, in honour of Jan Hendrik Hofmeyr – an ardent campaigner for the equal treatment of Afrikaans and English, and a prominent figure in the Eerste Taalbeweging.

One of the town’s landmarks is its pink church. The Dutch Reformed Church was built in 1933 and one of the features of the church is the antique wind organ which stands high above the pulpit. The church was built amidst the depression in South Africa and according to stories it was paid fully in cash after a collection on the 1st Sunday morning filled up 6 x 20-liter milking buckets with Gold pounds.

At the time the church was first painted the current colour, the magistrates building and telephone exchange along with a few other buildings on the main road were painted in pastel colours. When the church had to be painted a few more arty members of the congregation gave some input and it was decided to paint it a coral pastel colour. In the beginning, a few of the older members of the congregation frowned at the idea, but when the time came to repaint it a few years later it was decided to paint it coral pastel again. It means the colour isn’t pink, but it appears as a hue of pink, especially at certain times of the day.