Evette Huntley Branson—mother of Richard, Vanessa, and Lindy and wife of the dashing ex-Cavalry officer Ted—was a force of nature.
Eve founded the Eve Branson Foundation in 2005 at the age of 81. From the start, Eve’s vision was to work hand in hand with villages surrounding Kasbah Tamadot to build a secure, healthy and resilient community.
The Eve Branson Foundation was set up to cultivate opportunities that would have a meaningful and positive impact on the lives of local Amazigh (Berber) people.
Eve was a devoted and tireless social entrepreneur whose philanthropic journey all began when son Richard was attempting to fly a hot air balloon from Morocco to France.
"My son Richard was scheduled to fly around the world in a giant hot air balloon. They chose Morocco for the launch owing to the utter stillness early in the morning. While the technicians were preparing, my friend took me up into the Atlas Mountains where we came across a beautiful Kasbah.
Richard didn't quite manage to complete his hot air balloon mission but I did convince him to purchase the magnificent Kasbah Tamadot on the condition that I would look after the surrounding villages.
With no qualifications, how, just how could I help them? Well I CAN knit, but where and how do I start?"
Eve took her knitting wool and needles to a nearby village and met a young girl called Fatima Imni who invited her in for tea. Eve showed Fatima how to knit and encouraged her to practice her English. In turn, Fatima taught Eve about the region's rich Berber history and culture. Today, Fatima runs the EBF Shop.
More about Eve
As a young woman longing for adventure, Eve disguised herself as a boy to take glider lessons, enlisted in the WRENS to help with the war effort, and appeared as an actress and dancer in racy West End Theatre productions (much to the dismay of her grandfather!).
At age 24, Eve left her toe shoes behind and embarked on a series of harrowing adventures as an air hostess (dubbed ‘Star Girl’) on the ill-fated British South American Airways. After two of the airline’s small fleet, consisting of bombers and military transports retired from recent combat, disappeared in the Caribbean (helping to create the mystery of the ‘Bermuda Triangle’), the handsome Major Edward Branson lured Eve from the skies to safety—and marriage.
While raising a family, running a property business, serving as a probation officer and advocating for child welfare Eve managed to find time for her writing and her beloved golf and tennis. She never lost sight of her famous son’s business ventures and highly publicised attempts to break world records, her two daughters’ arts and business careers and the exciting exploits of her 11 grandchildren. Eve was the author of travel articles, novels, and children’s books and a lifelong active advocate for child welfare.
Eve inspired and supported Atlas Mountain communities, right to the end of her life. Read here for some reflections from Richard and the family on Eve’s wonderful life, her work with our foundation and the remarkable legacy she leaves.
Evette Huntley Branson, 1924 - 2021.