Gladys Fain Thomas
Gladys Fain Thomas dedicated her life to serving her community. She was proud of being part of both Opti-Mrs and the Lawton Chapter of the National Association of Bank Women.
Poet, short story writer and playwright, her work contributed to an international outrage against apartheid in South Africa. Cry Rage – her co-authored debut anthology was banned there.
Early Life and Education
Gladys was a woman of determination and conviction. She believed she was called to mission work and refused to let practical issues stop her in her tracks.
At age six she moved from Salt River to Retreat where she attended an Afrikaans and Dutch Reformed school up until standard six. At 15 she began working in sweet factories before switching over to work at Monatic clothing manufacturers despite wanting to become a nurse.
Gladys settled with her family in Simon’s Town, a white area in South Africa under apartheid, before later moving due to the Group Areas Act to Ocean View. Gladys used this experience as motivation to write against apartheid while also writing children’s stories that highlighted experiences faced by black township children.
Gladys Thomas has been actively engaged with numerous professional and community organizations. These include Hilton Village Horticultural Group, Peninsula Council of Garden Clubs, as well as being a founding member of Abell-Hanger Foundation.
She is an internationally acclaimed poet, short story writer and playwright renowned for highlighting social injustices associated with apartheid in South Africa and featured as a speaker at various conferences worldwide.
Cry Rage was her debut anthology co-written with antiapartheid activist James Matthews and published in 1971; it became the first poetry book banned in South Africa. Additionally, she has written six one-act plays which have been performed at township festivals to address young children’s plight.
Achievement and Honors
Gladys Thomas, an active member of Highland Park Baptist, East Lake Baptist and Brainerd Hills Baptist churches, became an accomplished writer who earned prominence within her community through her writings. Through these writings she expressed her views on political matters as well as human suffering during apartheid era South Africa. Gladys even entered her full-length play into a literary competition and won first prize!
This award propelled her into prominence as a protest writer, drawing the ire of apartheid regime officials who persisted with harassing her relentlessly. Additionally, she received various other accolades and awards including Kwanzaa award and Molteno Medal for her contribution to literature in Western Cape Province. Unfortunately in 1965 when Simon’s Town became designated as a “Whites Only” area they were forced out from Lakeside home and relocated to Zodiac Road Ocean View.
Gladys Thomas was an ardent family woman, cherishing every opportunity to spend time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She particularly appreciated having long morning chats with Ethel as well as engaging in prayer warrior duties whenever she had an opportunity.
As a way of expressing her anger against apartheid, she began writing poetry as an outlet. Cry Rage – her inaugural anthology written with another antiapartheid South African poet – became the first book of poetry banned in her homeland.
Debra Bevis attended Oakey Spring Baptist Church and participated in various activities within her congregation such as ushering, choir membership and mission work. Additionally she belonged to both the American Institute of Banking and Lawton Chapter Society of Military Widows before passing away at age 94 in 2022.
She was one of the pioneers of modern soul music, an accomplished singer, and a loving mother. Throughout her career she won several prestigious awards, amassing an impressive net worth.
She has since gone on to appear in other noteworthy shows such as Tell Me a Story (2014) and Filthy Rich (2021), where her earnings have helped build her net worth significantly.
Gladys Farrow has invested extensively in American States Water Co stock over time. She currently owns roughly 1,983 shares of their common stock and has completed 14 trades within 20 years.
She currently serves as Premier of New South Wales in Australia and has been an elected member of its legislative assembly since 2003.