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Royal Astronomical Society Visit

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That’s Charles in the background talking to RAS Council member Stephen Sergeant in the RAS Library at Burlington House

On 12 May our President, Charles Ennis, attended the President’s Address of the Royal Astronomical Society at Burlington House in London, which has been their base of operations since 1874. Charles then attended the reception afterwards in the RAS library.

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National Board Finalizes Strategic Plan

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L to R: 1st VP Chris Gainor, 2nd VP Robyn  Foret, Dr. Wilma Slenders, Executive Director Randy Attwood, President Craig Levine

The National Board of the RASC met in Calgary at the Sheraton Cavalier on 18/19 March to finalize the Strategic Plan. We identified the primary goals, assigned actions to each, assigned each action a “champion” to supervise that activity, established measurables, and set deadlines. We are determined to transform the RASC. We intend:

1: To ensure that our front office staff are adequately trained and have access to the right tools and skills

2: To become a conduit for the professional astronomical community to reach out to the public

3: To be the national brand for astronomy in Canada

4: To be stewards of night sky and the earth under it

5: To provide educator consumable material to be used in classrooms across Canada

6: To develop and mentor volunteers within the RASC

7: To become the premier link for all astronomy in Canada

8: To build collaborative communities united behind common purpose

9: To assist in developing Centre leadership and foster Centre development

10. To make the RASC a safe, inclusive, welcoming environment

11. To ensure that RASC finances are sustainable

Dr. Slenders, our facilitator, is now polishing up the results and we’ll be turning this into a presentation for the Presidents and Committees at a meeting on 22 April.

The Board would like to thank the Sunshine Coast Centre for its feedback and input, which was very helpful to us in this planning process.

Charles Ennis, National Secretary

Strategic Planning:What Do Our Members Want?

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SCC members voting on brainstorming points to prioritize them for our strategic plan

On March 4, 10 members of our Centre met at the President’s home to conduct a brainstorming session towards creating a strategic plan for our Centre and to provide feedback for the National Board, which is concluding strategic planning for the RASC at a meeting in Calgary on 18/19 March. Attendees broke down into groups to discuss Financial Sustainability, Value to Members, Value to the Public, Value to the Scientific Community, and Centre Needs. The President is going to form the results into a digest that can be distributed to other SCC members to get their feedback and input.

In Memoriam: Nairn Robertson

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It makes me very sad to announce that one of our youngest members, Nairn Robertson, passed away from his illness on 28 December, 2016. He’d received an intestine transplant weeks earlier in an attempt to save him, but ultimately he succumbed to his condition. Nairn’s mother called us in August of 2015, asking us if we could teach him how to use a telescope given to him by the Make A Wish Foundation. We got him a free membership in the RASC and got down to work. He had a chance to learn how to operate our Celestron telescope at the SCC Observatory shortly afterwards. In the fall of 2015 he went into Sechelt hospital as his condition worsened. We got the astrophysicists that came to talk at our monthly meetings to visit him in hospital. His passion for astronomy inspired us all.

nairns-scopeNairn’s mother has donated the 12 inch Meade LX90 telescope to our Centre. We’re in the process of putting together a program named for Nairn to allow young people to explore the skies with his telescope.

The memorial service for Nairn is 21 January, 2017, at YMCA Camp Elphinstone at 12:30 PM in the Welcome Centre Exploration Hall.

Closing In On the Fine Cut

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Jeff, Dodie and Charles in the office at Merit Motion Pictures working on editing Starry Nights

I spent the last 6 days in Winnipeg in studios at Merit Motion Pictures and MoonGazy Films working on turning the rough cut of our Bravo film “Starry Nights” into a finished film. We worked on recording voice overs, editing, special effects and art work, adding astrophotography, adding the music, and creating the credits. This week it will be going to technicians for color correction and sound editing. By the end of this week we hope to have it wrapped!

Charles Ennis

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Jeff and Dodie working through lunch to get the film edited.

2017 Board of Directors

As a result of the elections at the AGM on 14 October, here is your Board of Directors of the SCC:

 

  Sunshine Coast Centre RASC Board of Directors
Name Position Telephone E-mail Term Start
Charles Ennis President 778-839-4702 cuhulain@telus.net 14/10/2016
Mike Bradley Vice President 604-740-8244 imbradley@dccnet.com 11/13/2015
Bruce Fryer Treasurer 604-885-6094 bafryer@telus.net 12/12/2014
Brian Lucas Secretary 604-885-7051 sbrianlucas@gmail.com 14/10/2016
Scott Harlow Director at Large 604-741-9959 21st.centuriman@gmail.com 14/10/2016
Bruce Woodburn Director at Large 604-740-2029 1439devo@dccnet.com 14/10/2016
Debra MacWilliam Director at Large 604-741-7953 debramacwilliam@gmail.com 14/10/2016
Bill Clark Past President 604-740-5860 wmaclark@yahoo.ca 14/10/2016

Princess Cruise Courses

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teaching in the Explorer’s Lounge

I took a 25th anniversary cruise to Hawaii at the end of September and while on board the Star Princess taught 8 basic astronomy “enrichment lectures” which were very well received. I also helped with three star gazing sessions on board during the trip to Hawaii and back.

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answering questions after class

Charles Ennis