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Visit from Roy Bishop

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L to R: Dr. Roy Bishop, Charles Ennis, Danny Sklazeski, Mike Bradley

On 27 December Dr. Roy Bishop dropped by Sandy Hook to visit with some of our members. Dr. Roy L. Bishop Roy Bishop is Emeritus Professor of Physics at Acadia University in Nova Scotia. He is a graduate of Acadia (both Engineering and Physics), McMaster University, and the University of Manitoba. While in Manitoba, in 1967 he joined the Winnipeg Centre of the RASC. Upon his return to Nova Scotia, he helped to re-establish the Halifax Centre in 1970. Roy was President of the Halifax Centre in 1975 when that Centre hosted the first RASC General Assembly in Atlantic Canada. Currently, he is the Honorary President of the Halifax Centre. For 19 years (1981-2000) Roy was Editor of the Observer’s Handbook (also known as “The Bible According to Bishop”), as well as contributing a substantial portion of its content every year, a practice he continues to maintain into the present. During his term as editor he doubled the size of the Handbook to nearly 300 pages. In terms of number of Handbook pages edited, Roy’s record exceeds that of even the 50-year editorship of the legendary C.A. Chant. Beginning in 1980 Roy undertook the 8-year sequence of presidential positions in the national Society, serving as President in 1984-1986. In 1988, he received the RASC Service Award. He was national Honorary President in 2001-2005. For his innovative contributions to the Observer’s Handbook, in 2002 he received the RASC Chant Medal. Dr. Bishop has for decades consistently participated in and assisted with countless Centre and national projects and initiatives, including General Assemblies, star parties, public events, and literally countless lectures, published articles, and media interviews. Roy is a quiet but passionate advocate for astronomy and the RASC. He has encouraged, taught, and mentored scores of amateur astronomers, both within and outside of the RASC. He freely shares his wisdom and deep knowledge of the Society with all who seek his counsel. Roy’s research on the history of astronomy has brought to light one of the earliest observatories in North America. Other astronomical topics on which he has published include meteors, human vision, the centennial of the Observer’s Handbook, transits of Venus, and the tides of the Bay of Fundy. His contributions to astronomy and physics beyond the RASC have been recognized by the naming of asteroid 6901 Roybishop, and by his induction in 2012 to Nova Scotia’s Discovery Centre Science Hall of Fame. Dr. Bishop’s steadfast and influential work, over four decades, has helped raise the global reputation of the RASC to that of a leading astronomical organization. His reputation for, and insistence on, scientific accuracy, thoroughness, and integrity has steadily guided and maintained the RASC on the path of excellence as an organization. Dr. Bishop is a living embodiment of the goals and objectives of the RASC and in 2013 received the award of  Fellowship in the Society. We were very pleased to have him spend some time with us.

Nairn’s Star

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On this anniversary of the passing of our member Nairn Robertson, we’ve received some fabulous news. You’ll recall that Nairn was the young man that we took on as a member after the Make a Wish Foundation gave him a telescope which we taught him to use. Nairn’s telescope is now at our observatory for the use of members. Nairn’s uncle Dean has now had a star named for Nairn:

RA 1 h, 21m, 19.09s

DEC +58° 19′ 54.8″

 

Observatory Update

David is shown here putting the finishing touches to the cover he made to protect the roof opening/closing mechanism. It also keeps curious fingers from getting trapped.

The electrical system with its safety interlocks is fully functional now and moving the roof is done by pushing a button. Very smooth!

Mike

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