Well the 2003 RASCALs Star Party was a success! We had over 100 members and
public attending and we had a total of 49 Telescopes on the field! This is
encouraging! I had hoped for more but it was better than last year's attendance. Our
expenses were down, so we will actually make some money to put back in for next
year's party which I promise will be much bigger and better!
We bid a fond farewell to Scott Mair and Julie Buldac-Duval of the DAO who were
both in attendance on Friday night! Julie gave us a wonderful talk on the Gemini
North and South Telescopes, as well as an insight on the Altair Project which was
Canada's main contribution to these telescopes. We awarded each of them with the
first two newly-designed RASC Victoria Centre Golf shirts, giving them our thanks for the
support and generosity they have shown our Club! They will be sorely missed by us
and the people up on the Hill. We wish them all the best that life has to offer
in their new endeavours!
A BIG thank you to Bruno Quenneville, who in four days had the logo designed and 4
shirts made so we could have them for the presentation! If
anyone is interested in having our club logo on a tshirt, golf shirt, hat or
any other piece of clothing, just go down to The Dogs Ear in the Mayfair
mall and they will do it for a very reasonable amount. $23.00 for a nice golf
shirt (that includes the shirt too!)
Friday night was spectacular except for the dew, which didn't bother me much but
shut down a few telescopes a little early. Brenda's Kitchen was on hand to feed
us some of her great food (as usual) it's so simple and reasonable to have her
and her great crew aka: her family, do the cooking and the clean up for
you! Thanks again Brenda!
Brian and Joanne Robilliard of
Island Eyepiece had
their booth setup and were as helpful and dedicated to our club as we have come
to depend on over the last few years. Where else could you have the opportunity
to try out so much new gear before you buy, and get the great deals that Brian
and Joanne afford to our club members. They also contributed so many great door
prizes including a pair of $25.00 gift certificates, a pair of 10x50 Binoculars
and a pair of Celestron 8x35 Binoculars with built in Digital Camera! Wow
guy's that was fantastic.
This was a big year for
Celestron with their come back from the brink! This was also the first year
that they have donated a door prize, and it was a terrific one! They donated a
NexStar GT80, (80 mm Computerized GoTo Refractor with Tripod) which was won by
Darryl Whitworth and his son on the Friday night draw. Congratulations and
a big thank you to Celestron! Not to be outdone,
Meade has come through for
us for the third year in a row with a donation of a Meade ETX 105 complete with
Auto Star Computer and a deluxe field Tripod (Valued at $1200.00 Can) which was
won by a soon to be new RASC member Kathryn Farr! Congratulations Kathryn and
a big thank you to Meade for their continued support.
Saturday was a busy day! We had lots of Scopes set up with Solar filters as well
as Franks 8" set up with Pearson College's H-Alpha Filter. At 2pm Sid Sidhu and
Lauri Roche gave us an updated version of their school presentation. It
was very informative, as well as letting us see what the kids see when Sid tours
the schools. Thanks guys, it was great!
At 3pm John Vincent gave a great presentation of his trip to Australia last
December to view the total Eclipse of the Sun! It was a very interesting and
informative talk with some fabulous photos! I know how hard John worked on this
- his first ever presentation (he had to learn a computer program to put on his
show). It was a job well done. Thanks John!
At 7pm David Lee gave a very informative talk on the differences between the
main types of Astrophotography, I must say that I learned a lot from his
presentation. Thanks as always David!
Our Telescope awards were handed out after David's presentation. Our winners
were as follows:
|For Merit - Don Van Akker|
|For Innovation - Alex Schmid|
|For Excellence - Guy Walton|
Thanks to our judges: Frank Ogonoski, Ed Maxfield, and Chuck Filtness; to David
Lee for the doing the Certificates; and to Bruno Quenneville for having the Award
Well, as advertised the weather was perfect all weekend and the seeing was
fantastic, especially on Saturday Night when the dew was not as bad as Friday
I would like to personally thank everyone who attended this years Star Party. To
those of you who didn't make it, you missed out on a great time! I would also
like to thank everyone who helped to put on this Party with special thanks to
Frank, Bruno and John Love.
Well that's it for 2003! Hope to see all of you and more next year! Stay tuned!
VP RASC (Victoria) & Star Party Co-Coordinator