Observatory fund raising newsletter

The Hermanus Observatory is the most exciting project that the town has had for many years. It will be “up there” along with Whale-Watching as a major tourist attraction for the town. The Observatory is not just an event, it will be there forever and as club members, you will be a part of it.

As stated in the April ‘Southern Cross’ Newsletter, this special edition is entirely devoted to the fund raising campaign for the Observatory.

As you know, it is proposed that the Observatory will be built at the top of Rotary Way opposite the main car park and facing away from the Hermanus town house and street lights.

The total cost of the observatory is expected to be R908,896.00 which will include:-

1. Security fencing.
2. The domed observatory
3. A meeting or lecture hall with kitchen and toilet facilities
4. An open air amphitheatre
5. Adequate parking.

An attachment to this Newsletter will be an A4 plan of the Observatory so that you can see what it will be like upon completion.

The first phase will include the security fencing, the domed observatory, plus kitchen and toilet facilities and an initial car parking area. Total cost – R411,061

The second phase will include the meeting hall, amphitheatre, plus completed car parking. Total cost – R489,835

The planning application has been submitted to the Municipality and will now proceed through the consultation and committee stages.

Now we come to the next important part of the project – raising funds for its construction.

The idea of an Observatory in Hermanus has tremendous ‘selling’ strength in that any persons or company who invest in the concept are investing in the future and in something that will be there forever as a landmark in Hermanus with fantastic educational benefit for the whole community.

Firstly, a ‘Friends of the Observatory’ pledge programme was initiated at our club night on the 26th March. We need funds for the planning application process, which is expected to be in the region of R5,000, plus funds towards the total observatory funding machine. We are therefore asking members to come forward and be a part of this fantastic project. Pledge forms are available from John & Irene. All pledges will be kept in a sealed letter-box and not opened until such funds are needed. All pledges, big or small, will be most welcome.

We will request your pledges to be honoured at a later date, once the planning application is moving forward.

As mentioned in the clubs April Newsletter, the Whale Festival Media & Marketing (to be referred to as WFMM) have agreed to raise the funds needed for phase one of the Observatory project.
Awareness Campaign

A CD/DVD of our complete project file will be made available to any club member who would like one.

An A4 sized brochure triple folded is to be created for display in the tourist office, hotels, guest houses and B & B’s, book shops etc.

An Hermanus Astronomy Club (HAC) ….proposed Centre…….website is to be created as part of an HERMANUS awareness scheme and will be linked to the ASSA (Astronomical Society of South Africa) and Hermanus tourism websites.

An awareness story is to be published in the Hermanus Times to ‘kick off’ the fund raising.

Schools and other educational organizations will equally be made aware of the campaign and to help spread the word.
Fund Raising

Arabella Golf Day, Dinner & Art Auction. It is planned to have a fund- raising golf tournament at Arabella which will include prizes, a dinner and an auction of art and other similarly desirable items. WFMM will manage this, but they expect HAC members to advise them of the names, and contacts of friends, business acquaintances etc. etc. who they believe may be interested in taking part in such an event. WFMM will make the actual contacts, they just need names, e-mail addresses and phone numbers of likely participants. If you would like to join us, or if you know anyone who may be interested, please supply a committee member with their name, phone number and e-mail address and WFMM will do the rest.

Invest in Brick & Interest Free Loans. Again, WFMM would like all club members to advise them of any company, or individual who they believe may be interested in the project and possibly be willing to make a ‘large’ donation and to see their name or their company name displayed in perpetuity on a plaque on the wall of the Observatory in recognition of their generous donation.

Interest Free Loans are a similar concept. Again, if you know any company or person who you think may be interested in investing in such a scheme, please inform a committee member and we will pass the information on to WFMM.

Debenture Scheme. Schools, colleges and other similar educational institutions who may be interested in investing in a debenture scheme will be contacted. Their participation will allow them ‘x’ amount of hours or days use of the Observatory based on a negotiated rate.

In closing, if any committee member can give names, e-mail addresses and phone numbers of any person or business that they believe might be interested in:-

1. A Golf Day, Dinner and Art Auction at Arabella.
2. Invest in a Brick

3. Interest Free Loan and/or
4. Debenture Scheme,

Please don’t be shy in coming forward to a committee member and supplying them with relevant information, and WFMM will do the rest. Your assistance in this wonderful project will be greatly appreciated.


John Saunders (Chairman) 028 314 0543
Steve Kleyn (Technical Advisor) 028 312 2802
Pierre de Villiers (Treasurer) 028 313 0109
Irene Saunders (Secretary) 028 314 0543
Pierre Hugo (Auditor & librarian) 028 312 1639
Jenny Morris (Newsletter editor) 071 350 5560
Derek Duckitt (IT & website co-ordinator ) 082 414 4024
Johan Retief (Monthly sky maps) 028 315 1132
Piet Daneel 028 314 0347

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