Kimberley, South Africa


Grigson (nee Dave), Barbara

Barbara Grigson

Posted June 2018

David Rauff (nephew of Arnold Rauff of Kimberley who died in August 2016) wrote on 25 March 2017to the shul Facebook group: My mother-in-law Shirley Barbara Gregson (nee Dave) passed away peacefully last Thursday in Johannesburg.

She was the daughter of the late Becky and Monty Dave who lived at Mount Curtis Flats in Dutoitspan Road, just a door or two away from my uncle Marky Rauff (Arnold's dad). She is survived by her brother Alan Dave who also lives in Johannesburg.

Barbara, as she was known, married the late Louis Belnick in Kimberley on March 1960. Rabbi Werner officiated at the wedding. Louis Belnick sadly died of a heart attack in 1970 at the age of 33 leaving 3 very young children Adrienne, Mark and Caron to be brought up by their single mom.

Fortunately, Barbara met a wonderful gentleman by the name of John Gregson and they were married for 22 years before he passed away in April 2001.

Barbara was plagued by poor health in the latter years, but she fought her illness with courage, strength and dignity. She was the kindest and most caring mother and grandmother and a gentle and loving soul. We will miss her dearly. RIP Barbara. (Funeral was in Johannesburg)

Geraldine Auerbach wrote: We were saddened to hear of the death in Johannesburg, of Barbara Dave. I was at Girls’ High School with her in the mid-1950s.  Here she is pictured far right at a ‘crowd’ picnic at Riverton.

The girls are l-r Norma Levinsohn, Geraldine Kretzmar, Maureen Kroll, Marcia Frank and Barbara Dave. At the back is Sarah Cohen.  In this picture below, with the boys, Barbara is still on far right. She was very popular with the girls and boys.

In those days, there was a real Jewish 'crowd' of teenagers in Kimberley. We went to so called ‘Jewish Assembly’ - which was pretty boring, and only went in to the main assembly for the announcements, after they had finished their prayers and beautiful hymns. After school on a Friday, we used to walk together down ‘Pan Road to the Plaza or Astra or Vaudette to see lovely films, musicals and biopics - not violent or sexy films like today. We had parties on Saturday nights at each other’s houses, where we listened to jazz and swing LPs, danced (bopped) and played 'postman’s knock'!! you can read articles and see pictures about these carefree days of youth activity including Habonim camps with Barbara playing a prominent part, written by Leslie Stein and Leon Chonin – and excerpts from my teenage diaries here:

As each generation left school they went away from Kimberley to study or to work, and very few came back to settle. So, it’s good to keep our memories together here. Condolences to the family and may she rest in peace.