President's Message - November 2011

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by Lauri Roche

 I can�t believe it has been a whole year since John MacDonald handed the reins over to me at the 2010 RASC Annual Dinner. I guess it really is true that time flies when you are having fun. There have been lots of good things that have happened over the past twelve months. I couldn�t begin to list them all so I will pick out some highlights for me. See if you can pick out a recurring theme here.

We had a spectacular Lunar Eclipse last December and although we had lots of people come to Cattle Point to look through the telescopes many of us were stuffed into our warmest clothing as the wind blew ferociously off the ocean that night.

During the year Sid Sidhu and I had many classroom, children�s organizations� and seniors� outreach visits that were always fun and kept us on our toes to keep up with all the different programs. Unfortunately, several of our anticipated night sky viewing sessions had to be cancelled because of inclement weather.

Thanks to our talented Tech Committee our Victoria Centre Observatory was primed and ready to go. Too bad it took so many months before our active observers had clear enough skies to really use it to its full advantage. (Have you discovered the theme yet?)

And what about our Metchosin Star Party? You guessed it�the weather was practically the main event: wicked winds on Friday evening and all day Saturday and a frontal cloud system that developed right after the talk on Saturday evening sent campers scurrying back into their wind-blown tents.

There were great times though, as well. August finally ended up being warm and dry leading to some very good observing and astrophotography sessions on the hill, at Cattle Point, and at Pearson College. Another success story this year was the work done by the Light Pollution Abatement Committee. Under the leadership of Mark Bohlman we were able to complete our Sky Quality Map for the Victoria area, write letters and give presentations to municipal and residential committees and give out our first Firefly Awards for Quality Outdoor Lighting. Other positive aspects included well-attended General meetings with speakers that provided thoughtful presentations and, impressively, a count for public participation in many community activities that reached into the thousands due, almost exclusively, to the untiring efforts of Sid Sidhu.

It takes many hands, though, to make an organization run smoothly (no matter what the weather!) and so I would like to take this opportunity to give a huge thank you to all the members who helped in so many ways throughout this past year. To all those on Council, on committees and those who have supported the RASC, thank you for your participation and ongoing leadership. It has been great fun.

Clear Skies


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