November Meeting Synopsis

On November 2, 2018 the Hamilton Centre met for its regular monthly meeting and as the first meeting of the new Board.  Approximately 30 people attended despite the terribly rainy weather conditions. The majority of attendees were club members and returning non-members.  I would like to thank Muhammad Ahmad for bringing complimentary snacks and refreshments for the attendees to enjoy during the meeting.

Muhammad commenced the meeting at 8:00pm, starting with an agenda for the evening.  The first order of business was to elect the National Representative which was postponed from the Annual General Meeting in October.  I was elected to the role, the motion was moved by Bob Prociuk, seconded by Eric Golding and approved by a majority vote. After the vote concluded, Muhammad publicised the sale of the 2019 calendars being sold for $20 each.  If you have not bought one already, be sure to grab yours at the December meeting.

Next, Bob Prociuk stated that the club membership has not changed since the previous meeting.  Muhammad then thanked Gavin Hill for successfully running a clean-up day at the observatory. Thanks to Gavin and the team volunteers, the observatory grounds and buildings are all cleaned up ready to be used over the winter.  Next on the agenda was informing the attendees about Outreach and Social Media, more specifically to announce the new Instagram page for the club (@RASCHamilton). Now with the observatory all dolled up, Roger Hill has graciously agreed to run observing nights once again, come rain or clear skies.  The idea of creating a club photo contest, proposed by Erin Vassair at the October board meeting, was well received by the attending members. Further details about the contest will be finalized and posted soon. Muhammad brought up that CAPS has been picked up by Mark Smith and that volunteers would be appreciated to help run the event.

To conclude the first half of the meeting, Sam Crane, a relatively new member, presented his work on Exploring the Universe Certificate.  In order to fulfill the requirements of the certificate, Sam had to locate and identify 55 or more objects in the night sky, record his observations, and have the work checked by a verified club member.  Sam was able to complete the requirements for the certificate in less than a year. Sam brought the sketch book which he used for the certificate so that the members could look through it. Many of the club members were impressed by his work and skills regarding the certificate documentation.  After, there was a 15-minute break for attendees to grab more snacks, look at Sam’s book, purchase a calendar, and talk amongst themselves.

At 8:40 Muhammad resumed the meeting, taking a moment to thank Ed Mizzi for his time as president over the last year.  A small painting of M33 with the dates of service as president and a card signed by the members at the meeting was presented to Ed as a token of appreciation.

Muhammad then introduced Michael Watson, the guest speaker for the evening.  Michael is a long time, non-attached member of RASC who has travelled to Australia about 6 times.  For his most recent trip he was only able to travel for 4 weeks instead of his usual 3 months. Due to the shorter travel time, Michael’s trip was streamlined, optimizing the best preparation and equipment to maximize quality output.  Michael went through his planning processes and preferred equipment for the trip. In order to best use his limited time, he would key out what objects he would photograph in advance and created custom star charts. The entire presentation was complimented all the way through with gorgeous pictures that Michael took throughout his trip, which are available on his Flickr page.  At the end of his presentation, Muhammad thanked Michael for talking to the club and presented him with a RASC toque. The November meeting was brought to a close at 9:40pm.

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