Message from the Board

From Bob Prociuk
V.P Membership RASC Hamilton

Dear Friends of Astronomy:
With this note I hope to update you on some of the plans the Board has put forth to resume activities within our club.

Before we get to that however, I wanted to take a moment to mention the significant changes that have taken place within the leadership of our club and to acknowledge the important contributions made by past members of the Board, many of whom have retired and moved out of our area or moved on to other interests. Here I would like to recognize the past contributions made by Gary Colwell, Roger Hill, Gary Bennett, Bill Leggitt, Muhammad Basil Ahmad, Andy Blanchard and Erin Vassair. And I would be remiss if I failed to mention the on-going contributions of current Board members Eric Golding, Bob Speck and Abigail Hughes. Also, past president Ed Mizzi whom I often turn to for guidance on club membership. Thank-you all for your past and on-going support of our club.

As with most community organizations, the COVID pandemic has seriously impacted our club’s ability to carry out its mandate of provide members and the public with opportunities to learn and experience the wonders of astronomy. Our monthly meetings and public outreach events were all cancelled and member interactions were reduced to ‘virtual’ contacts. Throughout this period however I was heartened to see our membership numbers remaining firm. As well, there continues to be an interest in seeing past events revived as soon as regulations permitted. Furthermore, several new and existing members have expressed an interest in becoming more active in club activities. A big ‘Thank-you’ to all of you for sticking with us. This pandemic will pass and we will get back to enjoying our passion.

The Board met last Wednesday for the first time in over a year. Typically, we would be holding Board elections now but with COVID restriction this has become problematic. Given these unusual conditions, the Board Members have consented to extend their term until such time as a proper General Meeting can be convened to elect a new Board. Our by-laws permit the appointment of non-executive Board members and I urge any one who may have an interest in providing guidance for the long-term direction of the club to step forward. We would welcome new Board members in good standing.

The first area we would like to reactivate is our monthly Observer Nights at the Observatory. The Board will soon be selecting a date to once again open our observatory to members and public. Look for more information on that in the Forum.

Reactivating our monthly public meetings however may take a little longer as it is the Legion which would assume the liability for checking vaccine status. We are in touch with them to see if something can be worked out.

As we cautiously start the process of reopening, I would urge members to take advantage of the existing privileges each of you are entitled to: a) Access to our on-line Forum b) Weekly Zoom meetings hosted by Mark Kaye c) Access to our Observatory grounds d) Weekly news letters from our national office and e) Periodicals and Journals from our National office. If there is an interest, we can also procure RASC 2022 calendars for purchase. Let me know if you would like one or more.

Please feel free to contact me directly on any of the issues discussed here. I look forward to once again making personal contact with all of you. Until then – “Clear Skies”.

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