Heinrich Julius Bremer Hofmeyr was one of eight children born to William Hendrik and Greta Hofmeyr on October 2nd,1909 in Stellenbosch.
In 1930, Bremer was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to University College, Oxford and became a member of Trinity Hall. At Oxford he studied Theology completing the degree in two years which left him enough money from his scholarship to go on to do one year in Divinity at Presbyterian College, Westminster, Cambridge.
In 1934, with his studies completed, he gave his life to work with the Oxford Group, then Moral Re-Armament (MRA), (now called Initiatives of Change) in Britain, Norway, Switzerland, Germany and the United States of America.
At the end of World War II, Bremer married Agnes Florence Leakey, from Limuru, Kenya, who was at the time part of a team of people working with Frank Buchman, initiator of MRA. They married in London on July 7th,1946.
They used their shared home for all races (not 'the done thing in those days') – where all were equally welcome, could stay together, meet and plan together. Bremer writes: “The pain for all of us who sought change in South Africa in those days was not so much the difficulty of doing the right things, but of knowing what was the right thing to do. One simple thought has been with me in these difficulties. It is that those of us – black, brown and white – who live in this country, if we truly seek God's will, are meant to be the new society........it is how we live, not just how we talk, that matters.”
This led to large multi-racial conferences and plays even though public gatherings were not allowed. “All these events made it abundantly clear that we were serious about patterning a new society for all races,” Bremer writes, despite the strong opposition from the Apartheid government.
Despite travelling with MRA teams to many countries worldwide, Bremer's heart always remained in South Africa and Africa where he visited and worked in 20 countries in all, often accompanied by Agnes. As Agnes wrote describing in the forward to the book Bremer Hofmeyr's Story, “ He vividly reveals his own deep love for the people of Africa – through rough times and smooth – to realize Africa's God-given destiny in the world.”
Bremer died on April 7th, 1993