President's Message - Jan 2008

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by Joe Carr

Observatory Project

Our Project Manager Bruno Quenneville reports that the construction has started on our Skyshed design observatory.  He expects the basic components of the building will be put in place quite quickly.  As I write this on the last day of 2007, the basic frame is in place.  Please refer to the Observatory Project web page for details and a photo gallery.  Members regularly tell me how excited they are to see this project underway.  I share their excitement, and can't wait to see first light!

The New Year

As we head into the new year 2008, I can't help but look back on 2007 - we had  a very active year!  Our secretary Li-Ann Skibo compiled a very thorough 2007 Annual Report, which was presented at our AGM in November.  Here are the highlights:

bullet7th Annual RASCALS Star Party - Aug 24-26 - we had some good weather this year, the prizes were terrific, the speakers were interesting, and let's not forget the social aspect of this popular event!
bulletVictoria Centre Picnic - Sept 1 - a sublime setting for a picnic held at Pearson College's Newton-Godin Observatory.
bulletRegular Meetings - held monthly except July, August and November.  We always have excellent speakers.
bulletPublic Outreach - School Telescope Program, several public observing events at Gonzales Hill Regional Park, the Centre of the Universe, and Pearson College of the Pacific, and sidewalk astronomy at the Oak Bay Library.
bulletInternational Astronomy Day - April 21 - exhibits at the Royal BC Museum and observing at the Centre of the Universe.
bulletGeorge Ball died in 2007, as did Henk Meursing. George was Victoria Centre's Honorary President until his death, and Henk was involved with light pollution abatement for many years.  They will both be missed.
bulletThe Observatory Project was kicked off early in 2007 with National Research Council's encouragement.  We raised funds, purchased a Paramount ME mount, and commenced construction of our Skyshed design observatory at the old 16" atop Observatory Hill.
bulletWe honoured our own with some awards - The Newton-Ball Award was presented to David Lee; astrophotography awards were presented to Charles Banville, John McDonald, and Guy Walton; and a Certificate of Appreciation was given to Stephen Courtin for his outstanding volunteer work on our behalf.

I've had fun during the first year of my two year term as your President.  Meeting with so many members and gaining insight from their diverse knowledge helps me move Victoria Centre forward on behalf of everyone.  Our Council functioned as a real team this past year, and I'm happy to see that most of them will be continuing on into 2008 with their work and projects.

Victoria Centre is always forging new community partnerships and nurturing existing ones.  Members may not appreciate just how important these partners are with assisting us to reach our goals.  We look forward to continuing to work with these partners in 2008 and beyond:


National Research Council, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics and the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory;


BC Gaming Commission;


University of Victoria;


Pearson College of the Pacific;


the Royal BC Museum Corporation;


Capital Region District Parks;


all the Victoria School Districts;


Fairfield Community Association.

I think 2008 is going to be a very good year for Victoria Centre.  I hope you share my optimism, and will consider participating in the New Year.  All the best to you and your families for 2008 from Victoria Centre Council.  May we all prosper and grow, and above all else, please take time to have some fun!


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Last updated: January 28, 2014

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