S.F.N. Gie

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S.F.N. Gie (1884-1945) Historian, teacher, politician and diplomat, amateur actor and director.

His niece was the playwright Adele Gie.


Born Stefanus Francois Naudé Gie on 13 July 1884 in Worcester, was educated at the Educated Boys High School in Worcester, then studied at the Victoria College in Stellenbosch, followed by the University of Amsterdam and the Humboldt-Universität in Berlin.

From 1906 to 1909 he was a teacher in Cradock and Worcester, and for two years (1910-11) school inspector and then the principal of the Teachers' Training College in Graaff-Reinet (1912-1918?).

In 1918 he was appointed a professor of history at the University of Stellenbosch (1918-1925) and as Rector of the institution for one year (1926). In this time he produced the work for which he is perhaps best remembered, a standard historical work called Geskiedenis van Suid-Afrika, of Ons Verlede ("History of South Africa, or Our Past", 1924) (This was later updated as Geskiedenis van Suid-Afrika, 1652-1795 - "History of South Africa 1652-1795" - 1955, and continued to be a standard work).

He entered the political arena when he was appointed Secretary of Education of the Union of South Africa (1926-34), and later became Minister Plenipotentiary of the Union in Berlin (1934-39), Stockholm (1939-44) and finally in Washington DC, where he died on 10th April 1945.

Cultural and theatrical interests

He was a founding member, actor and director for the Graaff-Reinetse Letterkundige en Toneel Vereniging in 1915. Co-directed the first big production, Susanna Reyniers with Pieter Pohl in 1917.

In his capacity as Secretary of National Education he was instrumental in establishing Die Voortrekkers[1] ("the pioneers") nationally as a youth movement in South Africa.



Jean van der Poel. 2007. Selections from the Smuts Papers: Volume VII, August 1945-October 1950, Cambridge University Press, p. 396/Google E-book[2]

Christo Viljoen, 2015. "Léwe die Rektor" in Matieland, No 58:p.34[3]

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