I’ve been something of an amateur astronomer since I was little. I like to say it was the Apollo missions that sparked my interest – all my friends wanted to be astronauts – but I thought the astronomers on the ground had the really interesting jobs. My observations of lunar phases started back in 1990 and I have dabbled in other astronomical projects since. After the 2017 Solar Eclipse, I decided to buy a better telescope, and then another, and now we’re at a dozen!
But the biggest thing that happened after the eclipse, was getting invited to give at talk at the Victoria Centre Astro Cafe. And I got to meet this wonderful community – this set of interesting and entertaining people. And then, two years ago, you elected me President of the Victoria Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. There’s nothing like being president to get to know people and learn what’s going on in a group! Fortunately, our community is strong with enthusiasm and volunteerism. We get stuff done!
We successfully made the transformation to online events and then to hybrid events. We have continued outreach events, such as the International Astronomy Day, the Saanich Fair, and the Fall Fairfield. We have started new programs like our Special Interest Groups and the Sky Darkness Survey. We have combined our star party with the Cowichan Valley Starfinders’ star party to develop a unified Island Star Party, which we hope can thrive for decades.
We have successfully developed and ushered in a new set of bylaws, to bring our community into the electronic age and provide for a smaller, more supple board of directors. And we have a promising set of executives and directors nominated to lead us into the future.
Thank-you for two excellent years. I often feel more like a cheerleader than a leader. But mostly, I feel I have found my people. I look forward to seeing photos and sketches of the sky: in emails, social media, and in SkyNews. I love learning about the sky at Astro Cafe. I love having people with whom I can share my learning about astronomy.
As we look forward to the new year of the Victoria Centre, we also remember to Look Up!
Randy Enkin, President@Victoria.RASC.ca