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Photo by Gabriël Fagan
Gwen Fagan was a medical practitioner until 1969 and is working now with
Gabriël Fagan Architects as a historical researcher and landscape planner.
Gwendoline Elizabeth Fagan was born on 25 September 1924 in the little Karoo
Town of Victoria West. Her mother's family dates back to the early days of the
Cape. Her father, Benjamin Charles Gannon, an Irishman, eloped when Gwen was
two. She grew up in the care of an uncle on a farm of the grain-growing
district of Morreesburg.
At seven she went to live with her mother, then a singing teacher in Stellenbosch.
Gwen's longing for the farm life inspired her to make a garden in a shop yard and she has been an ardent gardener ever since.
Gwendoline attended Rhenish Girls' High School at Stellenbosch , where she matriculated in December 1942. She studied Medicine at the University of Cape Town (MB.CH.B. 1948) and worked as a medical practitioner until 1969.
Afterwards she joined her husband's firm, Gabriël Fagan Architects, as a historical researcher and landscape planner.
1995: PhD at the University of Cape Town: An Introduction to the man - made landscape at the Cape from the 17th to the 19th centuries.
Gwen Fagan is married to Gabriël Fagan since 1949. They have a son and three daughters.
Recent and present academic activities:
(1) Research into early Cape defences with particular reference to the Chavonnes Battery to form part of an exhibit for the Battery ruins and for the ruin reconstruction. The exhibition was opened on 1 December 2001.
(2) A publication on the work of G T Fagan
(3) A publication of the thesis on the Man-made landscape 1652 - 1900.
Gwen turned 90 in 2014 and she and her husband still go to the office every day.
A rose named 'Gwen Fagan' by Ludwig's Roses
University of Cape Town Summer School 1996.
University of Cape Town on the 18th Century manmade landscape of the Cape 2000.
Speaker at many International Rose Conferences, Gwen published many articles regarding restoration projects in restoration journals.
Gwen and G T Fagan publish their books themselves and distribute them very successfully from their own publishing house, Breestraat-Publikasies.
"Roses at the Cape of Good Hope", 1988 - 2011
"Nauti se Gwendoline", 1999 (Afrikaans biography of her childhood)
Elsenburg - a chapter on the history and architecture of the 18th Century farm complex
www.StellenboschWriters.com © Rosemarie Breuer