Gwen Gill dies

2011-08-25 10:17

Veteran journalist Gwen Gill has died.

Gill, who had been ill for some time, died at the age of 75, The Times Online reported.

Sunday Times editor Ray Hartley told Eye Witness News that she was “the greatest of a great generation of writers”.

“She rose through the ranks of the Sunday Times. She was an administrator and then she did the country’s top consumer column and I think that’s where she really established her name.”

Her friend and talk show host Jenny Crwys-Williams described her as formidable.

“I think that in her time she was a complete legend,” said Crwys-Williams.

Tributes started pouring in on the social networking site Twitter after Hartley announced her death.

City Press editor Ferial Haffajee said: “A legend to the end. We lay down our pens today as the grande dame rests.”

Technology researcher Arthur Goldstuck described her as “the great consumer journalist of her time”.
Gill started working as an editorial secretary at the Sunday Times in 1971 and from there became a renowned consumer journalist, winning an award for her work in the early 1990s.

She later became the Sunday paper’s writer of its weekly social column, transforming it into a must-read for social butterflies by gossiping about everything from the food to fashion.

University of the Witwatersrand journalism professor Anton Harber, in an interview with Carte Blanche, summarised her influence by saying: “There are Gwen Gill functions, and then there are functions that Gwen Gill does not attend or write about.”

She won the Vodacom Lifetime Achievement Award at the Women in the Media Awards in 2008.

In an interview with TheMediaOnline, she said at the time that a one-on-one meeting with former president Nelson Mandela was a recent highlight in her journalism career.

“We talked about grandchildren, the Millennium Eve party on Robben Island, winning Consumer Columnist of the Year Award, being appointed features editor of the Sunday Times when I’d only been a journalist for three years, and meeting fabulous people.”

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