The Victoria Centre Council is dealing with many important issues that
relate to our great past, and more importantly to our future.
At our most recent council meeting, we officially named Bill Almond our
Centre Historian and accepted his proposal to celebrate our Centre's
90th anniversary at our March members' meeting.
For our future, council decided to proceed with plans to expand our
outreach efforts by purchasing imaging and projection equipment to
better show the wonders of the universe to our members and to the
Council is also working on some important questions that certainly
interest many members, and we want to have your input. Our Honourary
President, George Ball, is generously offering his astronomical equipment to the
Centre, and we are in the process of looking at this equipment and
deciding how best to use it.
Much of George's astronomical equipment is attached to a permanent mount in his
observatory. If we are to use this equipment, we will have to move it to
another permanent site.
While council is considering storing this astronomical equipment for a time, we need
to have some discussions about a permanent observation site for the
centre. Two possibilities are to locate these telescopes at the DAO or
at Pearson College, but these two locations have downsides as well as
Many members have talked about setting up a new observing site wholly
owned or controlled by the centre. If we are to have such a site, we
have several important issues to deal with.
First is the question of purchasing a site. If we take this route, we
will have to raise money, and that will involve a major commitment of
time and effort by many members. Choosing a site involves many thorny
questions including price, convenience of access, and the quality of sky
in the area.
Then there are questions such as site security, and the management of
observatory construction and operation. These will involve ongoing
commitments of time and work by members. And solutions will require a
strong measure of good will, because the answers to these questions will
not please everyone.
We will keep members in touch with our decisions about George's
astronomical equipment. All members of council want to hear whether or not you
believe that this is the time to begin work on a new centre observatory,
or whether we should consider other alternatives.
On March 6, the Victoria Centre will be 90 years old. Council has
decided that our regular March meeting on March 10 will honour this
milestone with a special lecture by our centre historian, Bill
Almond. As well, we will have cake and coffee in the meeting room to
celebrate this anniversary.
Bill is a past president of our Centre who is writing the history of the
Victoria Centre. Last fall, he was the recipient of the Newton-Ball
Award for his service to this Centre.
The Victoria Centre held its founding meeting on March 6, 1914, and the
following month, the national council of the RASC welcomed the new
centre to the fold.
We urge all members to join us at this anniversary meeting. We are
extending a special invitation to the staff of the DAO and the faculty
and students of the UVic Physics and Astronomy Department.