The Fern Society of Southern Africa formally met for the first time on the 8th of March 1980. The quarterly journal was first published in September 1983 and again in March 1986. Since then over eighty issues have been published. A regional group was formed in 1982 in Southern Natal, but lasted only two years before breaking up. The first honorary member, Dr WBG Jacobsen, was elected in 1984. The Fern Society has been associated with various persons, places and organizations including Keith Kirsten’s Waterkloof Garden Centre (1985), the Manie van der Schijff Botanical Garden of the University of Pretoria (1989), the Pretoria National Botanical Garden (1990) and the Fern Festival in Graskop (1992). Several fern surveys were done for forestry companies as well as for Nature Conservation and various private landowners over the past 27 years. The Society presently has approximately 80 members throughout Southern Africa, all sharing a mutual interest in ferns.