Remembering Yvonne Verblun

An excerpt from a tribute to Yvonne, written by her grandson, Daniel Verblun.

Yvonne Verblun was Head Librarian of Jacob Gitlin Library from 1972 until 1999. 

“After some years at City Libraries she was approached to take over the running of what were the very beginnings of the Jacob Gitlin Library. The work conditions were not as attractive as staying at City Libraries, and she had to continually concern herself with funding the library from donors and grants, but she must have wanted her Jewish self and community to benefit from the legacy of her efforts. A staunch Zionist she visited Israel many times in her work capacity and considered Aliyah during difficult stages for South Africa, but was I imagine too hopeful to go through with it. 

“Over the next 27 years she turned what was a collection of old books and periodicals packed in a few boxes into a renowned Jewish reference library that is now regularly visited by tertiary academics and students, many of whom she befriended over the years.”

She retired from the Gitlin in 1998 but continued to share her wisdom and knowledge, serving as a valued member of the committee till recently. The Gitlin Library remains her legacy.

* Yvonne passed away on 11 January 2023.

• Published in the March 2023 Digital Edition – Click here to start reading.

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