Johan Hendrik Greijbe’s lifelong dedication, both scholastic and cultural, to the Afrikaner, earned Greijbe the title of “Father of Education in the Transvaal”.
Greijbe was born in Graaf-Reniet, nine years before the Anglo-Boer War and came to the Transvaal after he matriculated, teaching pupils from Grade One to Standard Five (Grade Seven) at a farm school near Bank Station on the West Rand.
He enrolled at the Heidelberg Teachers’ Training College about 18 months later, where he obtained his Primary Teachers Certificate.
He was appointed to a primary school in Germiston and at the same time obtained his Higher Education Diploma at the Johannesburg Teachers’ Training College; and his BA at the University of the Witwatersrand.
While in Germiston, he met another teacher, Johanna Jacoba Loubser from Stellenbosch, who became his wife and joined him in his work.
Greijbe was appointed principal of the first Dutch-medium school in Benoni – Hoërskool Brandwag in 1919.
He was also responsible for the opening of the Benoni Branch of the Volkskas Bank and became one of its directors.
He became the first Afrikaans town councillor in 1927; and he and his wife got to be the first citizens in 1934.
On his retirement as headmaster of Brandwag, Greijbe was elected Member of the Provincial Council in 1949.
He was leader for the Voortrekker Movement, of which he was one of the founders, for 35 years and served as an elder of the Dutch Reformed Church.
Greijbe died in 1966, and at the time of his death, he was chairman of the Benoni Burgerkring, sat on the Witwatersrand East School and Boksburg-Benoni Hospital boards, was a member of the Rapportryerskorpse and also of the Townships Board.
He and his wife are buried in the Rynsoord Cemetery.
Information supplied by Glynis Cox Millett-Clay.
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