Paying tribute to Pat

From left are, Pat Featherstone’s daughters Leah Hawker, Mikhela Hawker and Jacky Valkhoff; granddaughters Mila Valkhoff and Sascha Valkhoff; sister Adrienne Pfaff; niece Elloise du Toit; sister Louise du Toit; and long-time friend and colleague Thea Preistly.

Flags fluttered in a warm breeze in the lush Soil for Life garden as friends, family and colleagues gathered in the grounds off Brounger Road in Constantia to pay tribute to Pat “Tish” Featherstone.

The almost 100 guests had been asked to wear something colourful.

Ms Featherstone died in her sleep surrounded by her dogs on the morning of Thursday October 14 (“The woman who brought us back to earth,” Bulletin October 28).

Ms Featherstone was due to have been the guest of honour at the graduation of 20 home gardeners in Tulbagh, the day after her death.

Soil for Life trainer Kevin Beaumont, who lives in Tulbagh and is involved with the project, said: “This project might never have begun had I not had the privilege of having met and worked with Pat. Until the very end, she was a stalwart supporter of our work. Our trainees know of her, but sadly missed being able to meet her.”

Joined by many people around the globe, through tears and laughter, Ms Featherstone’s daughters, Leah Hawker, Jacky Valkhoff and Mikhela Hawker, and sisters, Adrienne Pfaff and Louise du Toit, plus two cousins, one in Oman and one in France, reminisced about the founder of the non-profit organisation that has helped so many people to learn how to grow healthy, organic food using simple, low-cost, environmentally-friendly methods since 2002.

Ms Featherstone lived what she taught – to tread carefully on the earth.

Happy times, Cherry Kesler, Lynn McCallum, Andrea Benn and John Pfaff.
Miriam Khatib from Kuils River with Willy de Jong from Constantia.
Pat Featherstone founded Soil for Life in 2002.
Soil for Life facilitators Natasha de Leeuw of Retreat, Philipina Johnson from Pelican Park and Joy Erasmus from Mitchell’s Plain.
Mitchell’s Plain community gardeners Fareeda Abrahams and Valma Scheepers were taught the A to Z of gardening by Ms Featherstone.
Leah Hawker with Soil for Life staff, Danille du Toit, Collins Knyewawa, Edwin Rhino and Patric Davidson.
Kevin Beaumont and Ibrahim Abdi from Tulbagh with Anette Fatti from Meadowridge.
Patrick Dowling and Alison Fenton, both from Kommetjie.
Alyx Casarin of Muizenberg, Gabi Christie-Smith from Claremont, Mikaela Hawker from Observatory and Finn Burton-Moore and Cieara Joynt from Constantia.