Gillian Attwell (always called Jill and spelt with the J) has died aged 94. Jill was a much loved person in the Hangklip community having retired to Betty’s Bay with her husband ‘Bo’ in 1979 where she lived  until frailty necessitated a move to Gerimed in Kleinmond. An editor of this newsletter and a writer of its column The Country Diary, she served as a member of the branch committee and was elected Honorary Life Member of the Botanical Society of S.A. in recognition of her service to branch and society. Jill is the author of a booklet on the Betty’s Bay Wild Flower Society which the branch is shortly to re-issue as a free  e -book.

Jill grew up on a farm near Mossel Bay, was schooled in George and completed her education at UCT. Always a lover of plant and animal life, she became a self educated and most knowledgeable botanist. Marriage took her to both southern and northern Rhodesias with time spent in Cape Town too, so her familiarity with the environment was unconfined.  Jill was very involved with the Harold Porter Gardens as a volunteer guide, plant potter and her advice was  in demand for the flower shows. Her natural fynbos garden which covers five erven was featured in the magazine of the Royal Horticultural Society in England and she tended to it herself alone after Bo’s death. Always an ardent Betty’s Bay hacker (firstly as a holiday maker) until over ninety, in the early days of the hack Jill had initiated the custom of serving  the much appreciated tomato sandwiches at tea time.

A keen craftswoman, knitter, smocker, calligraphist, jam maker, folder of paper boxes and patchworker. Many of us carry patchwork “Jill’s Bags”. She is missed.

– Merran Silberbauer.