2014 General Assembly in Victoria

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Moving George Ball's Observatory

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April 1, 2004

George Ball donated his observatory to Victoria Centre recently, and it was our job to move the dome and all the equipment. Thanks to the dedication of our able foreman and Vice President Bruno Quenneville and his crew of RASC volunteers, this was accomplished.  Despite choosing to move this equipment on the morning of April Fool's Day, everything went without incident!

A special thanks goes to Advantage Cranes (250) 920-9691 for providing the crane, owner/operator Steve Tidder, trailer and equipment to make this move go smoothly.

The observatory and equipment will be stored until the Centre decides what to do with this valuable gift.  We are actively looking for an observing site, which may or may not house all or part of George's donation.

Bruno putting the final touches on the bracing inside the dome

Bruno, Frank Ogonoski, Sid Sidhu, Chris Gainor

The first lift

Advantage Cranes, Steve Tidder

Lift a little higher

How does it look?

Off balance, more work needed!

So, how do we balance this thing?

Chris Gainor, our President talking with the Times-Colonist reporter

Second lift - better balance

Clear of the back yard

Snug it up and swing it over

Over the fruit trees and clear of the back porch

Our historian Bill Almond watches with interest

Under the wires and over the hedge

Slide the dome over the hedge

Success - almost there!

The dome safely aboard the trailer

Bruno our swamper, secures the telescope mount


This lift is easier

Safely aboard Sid's truck

The concrete pad and pier


 Related Material

bulletNew Frontiers - profile of George Ball (345k pdf)
bulletSkynews - an interview with George Ball
bulletPresident's Message - February 2004 - discusses George's gift to the Centre
bulletRASC Victoria Centre's 90th Anniversary - photo of George helping to cut the cake (bottom of page)


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Last updated: December 12, 2013

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