President's Message - May 2011

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Victoria Centre is part of the national Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, which is dedicated to bringing information about astronomy to the general public.

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by Lauri Roche

The chances are pretty good that if you are reading this President�s Message on-line you are a full-fledged member of the Victoria Centre of the RASC. You�ve decided to join our group of approximately 170 people, mostly from the southern end of Vancouver Island , who are fascinated with astronomy, want to learn more and enjoy contributing to the growth of astronomy with the general public as well.

If you are a visitor to one of our programs or browsing our website then you might be aware of our meetings held each month at UVIC with interesting speakers and programs, our weekly Astronomy Caf� in Fairfield and our many activities in the Victoria area that we hold for public outreach. But these, for the most part, are accessible to everyone in the community and don�t require paying of dues, so why bother becoming a member?

Well, here�s what you�re missing if you are not a member of the RASC already.

At the National level: involvement in a respected Canadian, scientific organization, a yearly subscription to the popular SKYNEWS magazine and the internationally known Observer�s Handbook, the on-line Journal and Bulletin of the RASC, access to reduced prices for RASC publications and
merchandise, full insurance coverage for individuals and for our local centre working at public events, as well as new discounts for all members with Budget Rental Cars and Delta Hotels across North America.

At the local level: you receive our own Skynews newsletter before it is made public, have access to the Victoria Centre Observatory on Little Saanich Mountain with its amazing telescopes and camera equipment, have the opportunity to rent a variety of telescopes and other equipment to try out before you make your own decisions, take out on loan a full library of books and other resources and participate in courses on astrophotography and other topics of interest from our in-house member experts. You may also exercise the right to sit on committees such as Technology or Light Pollution Abatement and have full voting privileges in order to have a say in the running of the organization. I�ve probably even missed several other benefits but you have the idea.

We know that the yearly membership fees for the RASC are not insignificant and membership is not taken lightly but the dues are comparable to similar organizations. We hope that if you are already a member you will continue to feel that the information, the programs, the resources and activities, and, most importantly, the people that become friends and colleagues are well worth the money you pay each year.

If you aren�t a member yet, I encourage you to talk to people in our group, explore our website and the National website to obtain more information and come out and join us at a general meeting or at a public event. You don�t need to have any particular expertise or knowledge of astronomy, nor any specialized equipment. Just come with an interest in finding out more, a dose of curiosity and a wish to explore. Then we hope that you, too, will discover what you are missing and that you really do want to access all the benefits that full membership would bring. Can we count you in?

Clear Skies� (some day soon!)


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Last updated: January 29, 2014

The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada is dedicated to the promotion of astronomy and its related sciences; we espouse the scientific method, and support dissemination of discoveries and theories based on that well-tested method.

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