Mrs Muriel Brand was one of a small number of extraordinary women involved in the
cause of children with cerebral palsy who had South African special schools named
after them. After initially working to support the Forest Town School for more than
15 years, she started fundraising for the establishment of a new school on the East
of the Witwatersrand. The Muriel Brand School was eventually named after her. She
and her husband, Mr Charles Brand, were intimately involved in the affairs of the
school from the establishment of the school’s sponsoring body in 1964 up to their
deaths in 2003 at the ages of 94 and 95 respectively.
Muriel Lillie Brand (née Freeman) was born in Wensbury, England, on August 8, 1908.
Her family immigrated to South Africa when she was five years old. She attended school
in New Modderfontein and at the age of 14 went to business college in Benoni. She
married Charles Brand in 1932. They lived through interesting times, experiencing
the First and Second World Wars, and living through the 1922 mineworkers strike.
Charles went “up North” with the Benoni Sappers in the Second World War, while Muriel
worked for the war effort in Benoni.
The following tribute was written by Mr and Mrs Brand’s granddaughters and is placed
with the permission of the Brand family: