Meet Thy – Who wrote the book

Meet Thy – Who wrote the book

The next bio gives a bit of my background : Thy:

Thy at the beach

As I said, Brian and I met on a blind date. I can’t remember if I explained my name to him, as I usually do whenever I meet someone new. I say, “My name’s Thy.”

“What?” they ask, often close to staring. “Yes, its short for ‘Thyra’ – I’m named after the Norwegian Goddess of war.” Adding that doesn’t improve things much. And I’m not sure I have my facts correct, but just maybe God gave the name to enable me to break the ice and start conversation!

It’s strange that someone else in our families lost his father at two or three years of age. That was my father. He was also two or three years old when he lost his Dad. My Dad was the youngest of six children. His Norwegian father, after sailing for Norway, had gone ashore in Saldanha Bay only to meet and lose his heart to a Miss Kotze. He never left. Instead he married her but, sadly, died before he could reach a ripe old age. For my father there was a double whammy in store in that he then lost his mother – at about thirteen. And so it is probably true to say he brought himself up. 

When he married my mother, the youngest of five children, he insisted they wait until they had a hundred pounds in the bank before they had children. On cue, my mother gave birth – but what a surprise when we turned out to be twins! My father was over the moon to have a son and poured himself into him from then on. I think he wanted him to have everything he himself never had. 

We grew up on a small holding with Muscovy ducks, turkeys, a flourishing vegetable garden and a succession of dogs and cats. Our home was not a happy one – my father believed he had been overlooked for promotion a number of times. He became bitter and withdrawn and spoke little. There was no fun in our home. I did three things: began painting in oils, cried myself to sleep in my pillow and made sure I read my Bible every night. This, my mother taught me and it was a wonderfully significant thing she did for me.  

It was a relief to go to teachers’ training college. I was determined to live in Res and have a social life. And I loved teaching. But it was a big thing to leave home and I was very insecure and unsure of myself.

That blind date I mentioned earlier with Brian became a relationship, going to church together, playing tennis and writing real letters whenever he was in camp and we couldn’t see each other. We were both studying, but in my case it was a BA at Wits, at the same time as the teaching diploma of those days – to teach high school.

It was in church one night that I too, in response to a visiting speaker (a different one!) committed myself to Jesus. This was also the biggest thing that ever happened to me.


We were married in 1968, when we were both 22, which seems so young now. When Brian became a curate in 1970 I gave up teaching to support him full time in every way I could.

Thy and Brian Getting Married

So I ran the Sunday school, the ladies work and served on the church council. In 1982, after being asked to read Mary’s part in a message for Radio Pulpit, I was invited to make programmes for them. For about 17 years I created and presented music programmes, children’s stories most of which I wrote myself, and magazine programmes. I did a lot of interviewing, especially for a programme called “Spotlight.” Hearing people’s stories did a lot to shape and grow my own faith.  

 Some of us love to keep many balls in the air at the same time and I’ve always been happiest when I can do that. One of the “balls” has been oil painting, in the holidays when alone on my Dad’s small holding with no friends nearby. Another ”ball” near to my heart has been training Sunday school teachers in seminars, and with booklets, etc. I was also drawn in to studying Christian Education online at an American university. After a master’s degree I also did a doctorate, and taught masters students on line for seven years.

My love of people led me into counselling and small group work. Not surprisingly, the special prayer applied to me, in that know-yourself seminar, reads as follows:

“Lord, help me to keep …. Oops! There goes a butterfly!  …. my mind on one thing at a time.”

But, all along, what I longed for more than anything was to have children. Imagine our joy when after five years of struggling, treatments, hopes and disappointments, Shirley was born in 1975. I made the decision then always to make her my top priority. And think I did.  

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