For those of you who were unlucky enough to miss this month’s meeting (like me!), Ed Mizzi has once again provided us with a great summary on the activities of the night!
– Gary Bennett, our President gave a quick outline of the topics to be covered for the evening, and then welcomed new members who were in attendance
– Ed Mizzi discussed Outreach programs and how to get involved. He strongly encouraged members to join in these fun sessions, whether they are in classrooms, adult groups or Guides and Scouts.
– Gary Colwell discussed the observatory and that it needs to be maintained on a regular basis. The parking lot will be improved soon. The two large scopes are presently out of commission and Gary B. is looking for assistance with repairing them.
– Bill Leggitt briefly discussed the state of our finances and promised to give a detailed report in November.
– Gary B. followed up on the previous speakers and invited members to get involved and volunteer their time and expertise in keeping the club vibrant and active. He suggested that any member or members could easily organize their own event, formal or informal, and that it is not necessary for one or more of the Directors to be involved. These get-togethers would help members to learn more about each other and share their knowledge and skills, in addition to making the club more inviting to both new members and the general public.
– Gary then asked Andy Blanchard to report on the situation with AstroCATS and CAPS. Andy mentioned that he did have someone interested in chairing AstroCATS 2017 and that CAPS was well on its way to its second annual event.
– Gary B. then began the election of new Board members and encouraged others to join the Board if and when they felt they could spare the time and energy. The slate of candidates was voted on as a whole and all were accepted as Directors of the Board for the Hamilton Centre RASC, 2016/2017.
– Gary B. discussed that, after one year as a member in good standing, anyone could obtain a key to the observatory and that the fee would be waived if that person helped with a club project or two. Gary’s vision includes having members begin and/or join new committees or activity groups and offer their time and knowledge, rather than it being left to only the Board of Directors.
Gary also encouraged those in attendance to make better use of our Forum and to get involved with other members who share an interest in a particular aspect of the hobby. For example: Visual Observing, Astrophotography, Solar Observing, Hardware/Equipment and, of course, Outreach, etc.
– Gary mentioned that the Board will be sending out a survey to suggest how to form “mini-clubs” that members are interested in. Then our Board can organize the online forum so that members can “subscribe” to notifications when a member posts a topic. The Board is also hoping that they can configure the online calendar so that members can organize a get-together.
– The Directors would also like to see members use the equipment. Their hope is that with more people becoming comfortable with operating that equipment, we will also have more people who can help to make repairs when things break and to use the equipment for activities such as Outreach and Science. Presently, there are only 2 Directors/Members who know the equipment well enough to diagnose symptoms and possibly fix them.
– Gary B. mentioned the scope loaner program. Members interested in borrowing an 8” Dob should contact Ed Mizzi via the Forum and borrow a scope for a two week period.
– Gary ended the meeting by thanking those who attended and inviting everyone for refreshments, after the meeting, to the Royal Coachman in Waterdown.