Overview of the Friends of Boyden

Date of Establishment
The Friends of Boyden was established on 6 October 1996 at a time when the future of the Observatory's continued existence was in question.

Role of the Friends
The Friends of Boyden is a public interest group which fosters a wider appreciation of the astronomical activities of Boyden Observatory (Bloemfontein, South Africa) and who promote public interest in its affairs. The Friends has already contributed a major effort to the insurance that the Observatory survived some turbulent years and is now a prime public educational centre in Southern Africa.

Friends Accomplishments

*Die historical and scientific value of the Observatory have been brought under the attention of the public, educational institutions and also the government.
*Open evenings are held on a regular basis each year for the public. Groups evenings are also held for the public.
*Numerous school groups, numbering thousands of learners and from all communities have been through the educational programs presented at the observatory.
*Top national and international speakers are invited to Bloemfontein, for instance: David Malin (Australia), Dr. Charles McGruder (USA), Dr. Patrick Seitzer (USA), Dr. Louw Alberts, Prof. Tony Fairell, Gideon Joubert, Mike Gaylard, Tim Cooper, Willie Koorts and many others.
*Special occasions are organized for eclipses, comets and other important astronomical phenomena in association with Boyden and ASSA Bloemfontein Centre
*Projects to curb the negative influence of light pollution
*The improvement of facilities at the Observatory like parking, filtered path lights, speaker and computer systems and more
*Restoration of the historical and world-famous Metcalf telescope
*Giving educational and scientific information to the media: newspapers, internet, radio and TV
*A service to the public by supplying eclipse filters, astronomical books and planispheres and other items for use in astronomy
Over the past few years the friends have managed to attract the public's attention in such a way that they have a full house at almost every Open Night they organize.

The patron of the Friends of Boyden is:
- Prof. FP Retief, former rector of the University of the Free State (South Africa)
- Dr. Patrick Seitzer, Astronomer: University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (USA)

Download the Friends of Boyden Constitution

Who can become a member / Wie kan lid word?

Enige iemand! Anyone can become a supporter of Boyden Observatory (download application form below), by joining the Friends of Boyden, a society which plays an important role in the management and effective operation of Boyden Observatory. They carry Boyden's interests on their heart and contribute immensely to its progress and endeavours for the future. They are also responsible for certain public open evenings together with the University of the Free State, who is the owner of the Observatory. Contact Braam van Zyl at +27 051- 436 7555 (h) if you would like to become a member or send him the application form below.

Ordinary member: R40 per year
Families: R50 per year
Student/Pensioners: R20 per year
Societies: R150 per year
Lifelong member: R300
Company member: R150 per year
Membership valid from 1 April to next year 30 March (discounts might be applicable if membership requested during year and not at start)

Application form / Aansoekvorm

- Laai die aansoekvorm af vir aansluiting by die Vriende (Afrikaans)
Download the Application form for joining the Friends (English)

Committee members

Chairman: Prof A Schoch
Vice Chairman:
Prof Matie Hoffman
Treasurer: Braam van Zyl
Secretaries: Laurisa van Zyl (minutes), Sandra Bishop (media)
Additional members: Prof. Pieter Viljoen, Magda Schoch, Ian Jamieson, Prof. Marian Tredoux, Pat van Heerden, Hannes Pieterse.

Next meeting

Please see the calendar for the year, for complete listing of dates & events.

Search the web or this domain

Web www.assabfn.co.za
Contact details

Contact Braam van Zyl at +27 051- 436 7555 (h) if you would like to become a member of the
Friends of Boyden, or email jalvzyl@mweb.co.za.

More information and costs
Download application form.

Website information
This website: www.assabfn.co.za/friendsofboyden
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