We are members of this venerable institution because we share a bond of fascination with the wonders of the sky. I don’t think any of us joined the Centre to worry about the details of how it runs.
These are the opening lines of an email I sent on December 10 to all the Members of the Victoria Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. We are proposing a new Constitution and Bylaws to run the Victoria Centre. Did you receive it? Please read it! I hope we explain well enough why the amendments are necessary and how they will make our centre operate better.
The Victoria Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada was founded in 1914. We’ve been through a lot! But all organizations need to ride with the times. The fact that we now communicate electronically has to be acknowledged and embraced by our bylaws. But once we opened the doors to an amendment, then it became clear that there are many other issues to modernize or fix.
Fortunately we have some remarkable members in the Victoria Centre, who understand how constitutions and bylaws are supposed to be worded. The committee which produced the amendments was chaired by our vice president, Dave Payne, who has experience running non-profit organizations. The other members of the committee are our secretary, Jill Sinkwich, who had previously worked for the Ministry of Finance on the BC Societies Act; our Membership Chair, Chris Purse, who participated in writing the previous version of the bylaws and is a font of institutional memory; Dan Posey, who has experience writing provincial legislation; and me, president and cheerleader for this group of awesome hardworking members.
We request that you read and provide comments on the draft Constitution and Bylaws by January 15, 2023 to Secretary@Victoria.RASC.ca. We particularly need to know if there are issues that would prompt you to vote against adoption of the bylaws at the upcoming Special General Meeting, which will be scheduled in February. The Bylaws must be passed with a special resolution of the centre by a 2/3 vote.
We know they are not perfect, but we feel that they are a significant improvement over what we are currently working under.
Randy Enkin, President@Victoria.RASC.ca