11 August 2022
Reinette Popplestone, born du Plessis, was educated at the Pioneer School, Worcester, after which she studied physiotherapy in London, England at the Royal National Institute for the Blind School of Physiotherapy. On returning home after the course, she settled in Cape Town where she practised physiotherapy in one of the larger state hospitals and also met and married Tony. They had two children, a daughter nowadays a successful professional person, and a son who died when he was a mere toddler. Fourteen years ago she and Tony took a severely disabled baby boy into foster care and raised him as their own.
She was the first South African Braille Consultant, engaged by the partnership of the SANCB, the SALB, the SABWO and the Institute for the Blind, Worcester. This was the fore-runner of SABA, the SA Braille Authority.
Subsequently she joined the University of Cape Town, where she headed the Disability Unit and retired from there a year or two ago.
As a volunteer, Reinette proof read braille for the SA Library for the Blind for many years. She was interested in everything related to braille and also served (until the time of her passing) as the Deputy Chairperson of SABA and a very knowledgeable vocal and active member of several of its committees. Internationally, she participated in the activities of the International Council on English Braille.
Reinette was the author of “Hands On”, the only braille teaching manual for any of our 11 official languages in South Africa.
She was a hard-working, gifted person who had flair and a deep love of serving others. She will be sorely missed by literally thousands, not only for what she did, but for who she was.
– Christo de Klerk, ICEB President
Adapted from Source: ICEB