by John McDonald
are not many administrative roles that I would want to take on at this stage of
my life but I have been so impressed with the Victoria Centre that I consider it
a privilege to be asked to be your President. Joe Carr has done and exceptional
job in his two years at the helm and I want to start by acknowledging my debt to
him. Working under his leadership has been a great learning experience. Joe set
a clear goal - to get an observatory built during his term. Thanks to his
vision, a great bunch of donors and some pretty talented volunteers led by Bruno
Quenneville, we are now the proud owners of a truly wonderful facility. I also
want to thank Sid, Martin, Li-Ann, Scott and all of the outgoing Executive and
Council. Working with them has been a pleasure. I also want to say how pleased I
am with the new executive and council.
I am a relatively recent recruit to the RASC and had a lot to learn when I
joined. Thanks to the help of so many of you, my learning curve was much shorter
than it might have been, and for me, that is what really distinguishes Victoria
centre. Newcomers are welcomed and given help when they need it. Of course it is
fun to help others learn from our experiences so this is a win - win situation.
It is also a tradition we need to preserve.
With that in mind, my goal for 2009 is to make our celebration of the
International Year of Astronomy something that the people of the Victoria
region, young and old, will remember for years to come. IYA represents a
fantastic opportunity to enhance our outreach activities and introduce the
wonders of the night sky to a wider community. Sid Sidhu has worked up some
exciting possibilities for a variety of events and happenings throughout the
year and I encourage you to get involved. It is going to take an effort on the
part of each one of us to make our IYA a success but if you show the same
enthusiasm that you did for the observatory project, we can make it a year to
remember. Let's recruit a new generation of astronomy enthusiasts and show the
wider community the value of connecting with the universe.
Last but not least, I want to note just some of the many ongoing activities that
will give some great opportunities for you to fully enjoy your hobby. Astronomy
Caf� will continue to provide a chance to get together weekly on Monday evenings
at the Fairfield Community Association. The Victoria Centre Observatory is up
and running and will be open for Active Observers on a regular basis Friday
evenings, weather permitting. Additional openings can be arranged by MICS as
needed, The MIC in charge for each opening will send out a message to let you
know if it is a go for that night and what the focus will be - observing at the
CU or the VCO, special things to see such as occultation's, astrophotography and
so on. Observing sessions at Cattle Point, Pearson and elsewhere as well as the
fun of volunteering at CU and in the School Program will also continue to be
I am looking forward to a great year and invite you to share in the fun.