As a boy Gerard Robinson loved theatre, wanted to be an actor, received his degree in drama, and then got an unexceptional job in a now defunct state department. Then a phone call from his old prof, Anna Neethling-Pohl, sent him to see Gideon Roos who took him on and set him on a career that would keep him on his destined path for the next 40 years.
Gideon Roos was an intellectual giant; a Rhodes scholar, degrees from Stellenbosch and Oxford, a doctorate from Leiden; after which he was invited to start the Afrikaans service for the SABC in 1937. It was here that he became aware of the vulnerability of a writer’s intellectual property and laid the foundations of DALRO, an organisation for the protection of copyright in South Africa.
It was at DALRO (in the 70s) that Gerard made his own remarkable impact on theatre. A time when South African theatre was undergoing a renaissance. Boom years, angry and challenging … unique in the world. Apartheid had got writers busy, theatres exploded with protest and Gerard found himself central in ensuring artists were ethically protected and financially compensated for the use of their work, both here and internationally.
Gerard had his hands full, steering a mighty ship, carving an invaluable legacy in his path.