2014 General Assembly in Victoria

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2003 General Assembly in Vancouver

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A report by Chris Gainor, President, Victoria Centre

Victoria Centre members attending the GAThe Vancouver Centre hosted a successful General Assembly on the July 1st holiday weekend (June 28-July 1, 2003) that included celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the RASC's Royal designation.

More than a dozen Victoria Centre members crossed the Strait of Georgia to take part in the activities, which included a cruise around the Vancouver waterfront, a tour of the six-meter liquid mirror telescope in Maple Ridge, and an excellent line-up of talks on astronomy.

Prior to the GA, the council of the Victoria Centre gave its support to the World Spectra Heritage project of Victoria astronomers Frank Younger and Elizabeth Griffin. This project seeks to save threatened spectrograms that were recorded on glass plates in the decades before CCD imagers replaced them.

Griffin spoke to GA delegates at the end of the national annual general meeting, and National Council later supported Victoria Centre national council rep David Lee's motion to have the national historical committee look into supporting the project.

Attendees at the meeting got a solid dose of astronomy. During the cruise around Vancouver, David Levy spoke about the early influences that led him to become a well-known popularizer of astronomy. Hardy souls who stayed up past two that night were rewarded with a view of Mars through his telescope.

Victoria Centre members enjoying the cruiseEric Dunn and David Dodge gave hilarious and insightful talks about their lives in astronomy in the Vancouver area and on trips to chase eclipses, and Alan Dyer entertained participants in the GA banquet with scores of beautiful astrophotos. David Levy and Jack Newton also gave workshops on astrophotography and observing, and Jack and Alice Newton caught up with their many friends from Victoria.

Astronomer Gordon Walker, who now lives in Victoria, gave the Ruth Northcott Memorial Lecture on the subject of discoveries about the nature of the universe arising from astronomical spectra. Pal Virag came from the Island to give his excellent presentation on Canada in Space.

Another distinguished visitor from Victoria was B.C. Lieutenant-Governor Iona Campagnolo, whose talk highlighted the royal centenary celebration. While not an active astronomer, Campagnolo proved to the crowd that she has more than the average layperson's knowledge of what goes on in the skies. [Lieutenant Governor's website] Her talk was followed by a historical lecture by former national president Peter Broughton, and a performance by Chinese dancers.

Some observing took place at the University of B.C. observatory, and on the last day of the GA, delegates went to Maple Ridge to inspect the Vancouver Centre's Canadian Amateur Research Observatory, which is used to search for novae, and UBC's six-meter liquid mirror telescope.

Next year's GA will take place in St. John's Newfoundland, but the 2005 GA will take place in B.C. when the Okanagan Centre hosts delegates in Kelowna.


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Last updated: December 12, 2013

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