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.
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
*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
*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
*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.
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