Tribute to Ted Germond

Dr Ted Germond

 Ted Germond

1927-2013

The news that Ted Germond has gone to be with the Lord signified the end of his earthly race. He trusted God with the innocence of a little boy and cherished relationships with others.

Theodore (Ted) Germond was born on the 24th October 1927 in Morija, Lesotho.  He was the only son of his parents and the fourth generation of missionaries of the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society in Lesotho. Ted’s great grandfather, Paul Germond, arrived in Lesotho in February 1860.  Sam Germond, Ted’s father, was a teacher at the Basutoland Teachers’ Training College in Morija, some distance south of Maseru.

When he was 10 years old, he saw Scott Hospital being built at Morija.  He often told his family that he dreamt of one day becoming a doctor and working there. He received his primary school training locally, but went to Bloemfontein for his secondary school training in Grey College.

In 1950 Ted graduated as a medical doctor from the University of Cape Town.  Here he met and married Ilse Julia Rein, who had trained as a nurse in Groote Schuur Hospital. They first went to Durban, where Ted was a houseman at McCord Zulu Hospital. From there they transferred to Mohlanapeng, high up in the mountains of Lesotho. After three years they went to Scott Memorial Hospital, Morija. In 1955 he fulfilled his childhood dream when he became the Superintendent of Scott Hospital.

The people of Lesotho knew Ted as Ngaka Teti.  He was a much loved family physician, a skilled surgeon and a wise counsellor to generations of patients and staff at Scott and throughout Lesotho.  Ted was proficient in four languages, namely French, Sesotho, English and Afrikaans. Later in his life he could converse quite reasonably in Zulu.

The integrity of his life and work earned him widespread respect.  He was a skilled listener and wonderful servant to whoever crossed his path.  Together with Ilse they served God and the people of Lesotho in a fruitful way for many years.  In July 1963, Dr Germond was privileged to deliver Prince David Mohatu Bereng Seeiso, son of King Moshoesho II and Queen ‘Mamohato.  Over the years, the Queen continued to show her interest in the work being done at Scott Hospital with an annual visit to patients and staff on Christmas day.  In 2013 her son, King Letsie III, honoured the memory of his mother by helping to raise funds for the renovation of the maternity block of Scott Hospital, named after her.

In 1964 Ted became the first doctor at the newly-established Church of Basutoland hospital at Tebellong, in the remote mountains along the south-eastern border region of Lesotho.  Together with his wife Ilse and their four children, they spent 1964 there – the year of the big snow! Thereafter, they returned to Morija.

In the early 1970’s Ted was instrumental in helping to establish the Private Health Association of Lesotho (PHAL) and supported it by being the general secretary for many years.  This was an umbrella body of various church groups in Lesotho providing health care, to form a collective bargaining forum to negotiate cheaper prices.  PHAL was later transformed into the Christian Health Association of Lesotho (CHAL).

In recognition of his service to Lesotho and its people, Dr Germond was awarded the Order of Mohlomi by His Majesty King Moshoeshoe II.

In 1982, Ilse and Ted Germond left Scott Hospital and Morija after 27 years.  They moved to Pretoria where Ted was appointed in the Department of Family Medicine, Medical University of South Africa (Medunsa) at Garankuwa, South Africa.  There, medical students imbibed the patient-attentive attitude  which makes a successful family doctor and, above all, the guiding life principle of Dr Ted Germond: “Jesus first, others second, self last”.

Ted played an immense role in the Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF).  In 1951 he was part of the group of doctors and students that established the CMF in South Africa.  During his years in Morija, he and Ilse regularly attended CMF conferences where he strongly promoted the cause for medical missionary work.  In 1982 (in Pretoria) Ted became the first General Secretary of the South African CMF.  This was made possible by his appointment at Medunsa.  He took unpaid leave from that job when doing CMF work.  The CMF office was run from their home in Pretoria, where Ilse helped Ted in many ways.  During that time the CMF grew to over 800 members amongst doctors and students.  Ted regularly visited CMF groups and medical schools around the country and across southern Africa as far as Uganda (in Idi Amin’s time).  Since he carried a Lesotho passport, it was easier for him to travel to neighbouring countries in the 1980’s and 1990’s.  His work significantly supported the establishment of the Regional Branch of the International Christian Medical and Dental Association (ICMDA) in southern Africa.  He built a large network of relationships with people from across this region.

The Servant Song, by Richard Gillard, was introduced to Ted by Maja Teichler, wife of Dr Manfred Teichler, currently from Switzerland.  Ted made this song the theme song of CMF (SA):

The Servant Song

Brother, let me be your servant
Let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I may have the grace
To let you be my servant, too

We are pilgrims on a journey
We are brothers on the road
We are here to help each other
Walk the mile and bear the load

I will hold the Christ light for you
In the night-time of your fear
I will hold my hand out to you
Speak the peace you long to hear

I will weep when you are weeping
When you laugh I’ll laugh with you
I will share your joy and sorrow
Till we’ve seen this journey through

When we sing to God in heaven
We shall find such harmony
Born of all we’ve known together
Of Christ’s love and agony

Brother, let me be your servant
Let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I may have the grace
To let you be my servant, too

For 15 years, Ted and Ilse organized the national CMF conferences in South Africa.  Many people were touched by these conferences, where a variety of wonderful overseas speakers made a big impression on the delegates.  Without doubt, these conferences greatly contributed to building God’s Kingdom, particularly in the medical field.

In 1996 Ted finally retired and he and Ilse moved to Margate in KwaZulu-Natal as their final home.  Right to the end, Ted was concerned that his “fellow travellers” be informed about the truth in Christ.

On Saturday 23rd November 2013, Ted passed away at the age of 86 years after a short illness. A memorial service, led by his son Paul, was held on Thursday 28th November in Margate, KwaZulu-Natal.  All those that took part in this service, emphasized that Ted’s life was love in action to the glory of God.  He was buried at the historic Imbezane Mission Cemetery on a farm south of Margate where his parents, Sam and Gynette Germond, and several other members of the Germond family are buried.

Dear Ted, you have run the good race.  We salute you!

Sam Fehrsen
Hannes Steinberg
Otto Müller
Paul Bremer
Hennie Cronjé
Manfred Teichler

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