President's Message - May 2009

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by John McDonald

I am just catching my breath after participating in the TC 10K as part of the IYA team and reflecting on all the wonderful activities that we have had in April. Canada Post's launch of the beautiful astronomy stamps was on April 2 and Dr. Pierre Coulomb, President of the National Research Council of Canada visited the DAO on the 8th. I was proud to be able to show him our observatory and he seemed to be pleased and impressed with the "Shed" and the instrumentation.

Scott Mair organized the Solstice event at Gonzales Hill on behalf of CRD again this year and the sun cooperated to make it a fine occasion for the many visitors that showed up. Earth Day celebrations at Centennial Square were also a success with the Sun keeping us waiting just long enough to build the suspense before coming out in very clear skies.

For me April has been a special month. I have had the pleasure of teaching University 201 - Astronomy at UVic to a class of very engaged adults. The 101-201 series provides university level education to adults who have never had the opportunity. I have rarely been so challenged and excited in my teaching experience. The level of the questions they ask and their enthusiasm just blows me away. At the end of the class on April 14, the sky was clear and Saturn turned out to be a special treat since most of the class had never before had an opportunity to look through a telescope. For giving Galileo moments that are truly meaningful, this has been my personal best.

I was not able to attend the Tuesday evening IMAX and lecture series events as my class met on those days but from all reports they were excellent. Thanks to all the RASC volunteers who helped to make these and all the IYA events so memorable. You are great.

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Last updated: January 29, 2014

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