General Jan Christian Smuts bought a third of the original Doornkloof farm in 1908 and needing a home for his growing family, bought for £300, the wood and iron building which had served as the Officers Mess of the British Forces in Middelburg during the Anglo-Boer War, and transported it to the site at Doornkloof. He had it dismantled and transported to Irene where it was re-erected as his farmhouse, and the billiard room became his famous library; the house became known as “Doornkloof”, and the General lived there until he died on 11th September, 1950. He always preferred to stay there rather than in the Prime Minister’s official residence in Pretoria. Many famous statesmen, politicians, scientists and even a llumber of reigning monarchs visited him there. At about the same time as he was building his house at Irene he was busily engaged in the negotiations which led to the creation of the Union of South Africa out of four separate’ countries, the beginnings of the building of our South African nation.