As we wave our final goodbye to the one and only Gladys Thomas, we look back at her life.

Gladys Thomas was originally born in Salt River and lived with her family in Lakeside. Gladys left school to find work to support her family in a sweet factory and later a shirt manufacturing company.

Her family was forcibly removed from Lakeside and their house was demolished. Gladys married Albert Thomas and moved to Simons Town, and during the 1960’s Simons Town was declared a ‘Whites Only’ area under the Group Areas Act. Gladys with her husband and 3 kids were forcibly removed from Simons Town to Ocean View. This would be the second time Gladys experienced forced removals. According to Simons Town Museum, these experiences shaped and influenced the writing of Gladys Thomas.

Gladys Thomas, a poet, playwright and short story writer. Was active in community, civic and cultural activities as well as a founding member of Congress of South African Writers, a member of United Women’s Congress and the Federation of South African Women. Gladys and her husband Albert Thomas were both members of Cape Areas Housing Action Committee which was the forerunner to the United Democratic Front. President Thabo Mbeki awarded Gladys with the Bronze Ikamanga award and in 2008 Gladys was awarded Shoprite/Checkers Women of the Year.

Gladys has been very instrumental in the Arts and she was part of the the foundation works for Youth in the Arts. Before it officially became Art Vibrations, the name was originally the Ocean View Arts and Culture Foundation of which Gladys Thomas was one of the founding members.

From the Ocean Times we extend our condolences to the family of late Gladys Thomas. May her soul rest in peace.