Painting by Hérine Fourie
1910 - 2000
Gabriel Gideon Cillié, known as Gawie or Riel by
friends, was born on 13 July 1910 in Stellenbosch. His father was the first
rector of Stellenbosch University (after its name changed from Victoria
College). Piet Cillié was his brother.
Gawie Cillié was only 15 when he matriculated from the then Jongens-HoŽrskool in Stellenbosch. The rector of the school, Paul Roos, wrote that he considered Cillié to be one of the most brilliant science pupils the school had ever produced.
During his school years G. G. Cillié also earned several music diplomas in his own time.
He studied Mathematics at Stellenbosch University (MSc cum laude), and Astronomy at Oxford (PhD) and Harvard (MA in Astronomy).
Before he joined Stellenbosch University as a Mathematics professor, he lectured at the Universities of Witwatersrand and Pretoria.
In Stellenbosch he was organist and choirmaster at the Moederkerk for 25 years, until 1964, and also the conductor of the University Choir for 15 years.
He is well known for his involvement over many years with the hymns of the Afrikaanse Psalm en Gesangboek.
When, after 36 years at Stellenbosch University, Gawie Cillié retired, he accepted a post as lecturer in Music at the University of the Orange Freestate, where he stayed for seven years.
G G Cillié died on 15 June 2000.
The CD Boekevat, is a collection of Afrikaanse Liederwysies, which is dedicated to Gawie Cillié.
Hobbies and cultural activities: Astronomy and music
1933: Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society
Member of the Advisory Comittee of the South African Astronomical Society
1971 - 1981: councillor of the SA Academy of Sciences