Learning to make a difference

Lady Herschel

The ‘Lady Herschel’ Social and Networking Circle ‘Lady Herschel’ was launched in 2001 welcomes a wide a wide circle of Herschel alumni, guests, families and friends. ‘Lady Herschel’ meets several times a year at various well-known venues, such as The Cellars, Mount Nelson and The Vineyard, on the last Tuesday of a month from 18h00 to 19h30. It is not unusual to see Matrics from twenty years apart enjoying a glass of wine while having great fun and meeting new friends. Our big event of the year is in November when we often have a large number of guests visiting from overseas. If you would like to be on the mailing list please send your email address to Daphne Beames at gilespie@iafrica.com.

The name ‘Lady Herschel’ is a tribute to Lady Margaret Herschel who graced the lawns of the estate that we now call Herschel, and the manicured gardens of the Vineyard, in the early 19th-century.  Married to her famous astronomer husband, Sir John Herschel, she was an elegant and talented hostess, and the mother of 12 children – three of whom were born at the Cape of Good Hope between 1834 and 1838. Intelligent and forward-thinking, Lady Margaret was passionately interested in the pursuit of knowledge and cherished a special love for the night skies and for botanical discovery.

She collaborated with Sir John on books of sketches and botanical paintings depicting rare specimens found at the Cape. In idyllic surroundings at her Western Cape homestead, Feldhausen (also known as ‘The Grove’) she led a romantic existence with her industrious husband – often participating in stargazing, bird watching, mountain walks, botanical collecting and painting. Possessed of an educated and enquiring mind, Lady Herschel epitomises elegance and industry, and Herschel girls of today are proud to remember her in the name of their ‘Lady Herschel’ Alumni Club .