History

The A&P Society of Toronto reported that as early as 1892, that H.W. Law, a headmaster at a Port Arthur high school agreed to make monthly auroral reports. The Society’s publication reported no other activity until 1954 when a couple of members from Port Arthur, F.T. Matthews and Warren Creighton, went to Mattice, Ontario for the June 20 solar eclipse. Fifteen people later attended a meeting at the Vickers Heights Social Centre four years later, and formed the Lakehead Astronomical Society. Max Shapiro was elected president, Ralph Ferch vice president, and Warren Creighton was secretary-treasurer. Although all were members of RASC, no Centre of the Society was formed. The LAS sent delegates to the 1962 General Assembly and according to M.M. Thomson’s letters all was well on a small scale at least until 1966. The club held regular meetings and members could use a 20 cm reflector belonging to Bill Gardner that was housed in an observatory built by Dr. Quackenbush. As members reached retirement age and moved on to other cities, the club ceased to exist. Lakehead University received the observatory as a donation, but it was never used. Bill Gardner still has the telescope in his possession.
On September 24, 1988 an unattached member from Thunder Bay talked to the National Council about the chance of forming a Centre. That person was Bob Bishop, an instructor in Astronomy at Confederation College there. How this came about was very interesting. Bob and his wife Bev were attempting to choose an evening course at the local college, but found none to interest them. Bev suggested that if Bob couldn’t find a course to take, that he should teach one. So, in the spring of 1987, with the agreement of the head of Adult Education at the College, he offered his first astronomy course. It consisted of seven sessions of three hours each. By the time Bob came to the Council meeting in Toronto a year and a half later, his course, called Backyard Astronomy, had attracted 120 persons and his star nights were enjoyed by the Thunder Bay Field Naturalists and by campers at Sibley Provincial Park. This interest demonstrated by Northern Ontarians looked promising, and Bob Bishop told Council that he had found seventeen members willing to form a Centre. There was some discussion because by-laws required a minimum of twenty members for a new Centre. At the end of it all Thunder Bay Centre was welcomed and it later showed as a good decision as membership went to forty the following year.
A month later, national secretary David Tindall went to Thunder Bay where he was joined by sixteen members for Sunday brunch and discussed the new Centre. The inaugural meeting was held on October 23, 1988, in the home the president, Bob Bishop. The “Northern Sky”, the club’s newsletter was started and a couple of television appearances brought the new Centre to the attention of many northerners. Active members were soon to be found in other communities like Dryden, Atikokan, Nipigon and Marathon.
The emphasis of the Centre’s activities is to encourage members to share their pleasure and knowledge with others outside the Society and to enhance members’ enjoyment of the night sky. To promote this, the executive held a series, “Finding Your Way in the Night Sky” designed mainly for beginners. Other meetings centred on photos taken at previous star nights. Special events such as the eclipse of August 16, 1989, brought out many of the public and news media. Each summer, the Centre hold a couple of star parties at Provincial or National Parks. The annual Astronomy Day sparks a lot of interest with displays of photos, equipment , book and charts. During Astronomy Week 1990, three different talks at the public library were also given. A highlight of 1991 was a two-day visit and invited talk by Terry Dickinson. Lately, Ted Bronson has been writing a column in the local newspaper and also has been running Backyard Astronomy courses at the college. The most recent visit sponsored by the Centre was by “Stargazer Steve” who enlightened us with a nice presentation and a telescope workshop.
Thunder Bay RASC Executive History
PRESIDENTS:
Bob Bishop………………..September ‘88 to February ‘91
Jim Zeleny…………………..February ‘91 to December ‘93
Ted Bronson……………..December ‘93 to November ‘96
John Bakkelund……………November ‘96 to October ‘99
Dave Galley……………………October ‘99 to October ‘00
Doug Stuart……………………October ‘00 to October ‘02
Bruce Miron……………………October ‘02 to October ‘04
Ted Bronson…………………………October ‘04 to present
VICE PRESIDENTS:
Werner Siegel…………….September ‘88 to December ‘92
Tere McDonald………………December ‘92 to January ‘96
Ted Bronson…………………..January ‘96 to December ‘98
Doug Stuart……………………..January ‘99 to October ‘99
Bruce Miron……………………October ‘00 to October ‘02
Bob McLean…………………..October ‘02 to October ‘04
Randy McAllister……………………October ‘04 to present
SECRETARIES:
Bev Connell…………………September ‘88 to February ‘91
Lee Searles………………………….February ‘91 to April ‘92
Annette Williscroft………………..April ‘92 to December ‘92
Bob Bishop……………………..December ‘92 to January ‘96
Dave Galley……………………………..January ‘96 to July ‘96
Nadia Roy………………………………….. July ‘96 to June ‘97
Dave Galley……………………………June ‘97 to October ‘99
John Bakkelund…………………October ‘99 to October ‘00
Ted Bronson……………………………October ‘00 to present
TREASURERS:
Rob Mace……………………September ‘88 to December ‘93
Dave Galley……………………..December ‘93 to October ‘99
John Bakkelund…………………..October ‘99 to October ‘01
Marion Biloski…………………….October ‘01 to October ‘04
Lora Barbisan…………………………….October ‘04 to present
CENTRE REPRESENTATIVES (N.C.)
Jim Zeleny………………………September ‘88 to December ‘90
Bob Bishop………………………..December ‘90 to January ‘97
Ted Bronson………………………………..January ‘97 to Oct ‘03
Dave Gallant……………………………….October ‘03 to present
NEWSLETTER EDITORS:
Annette Williscroft……………September ‘88 to December ‘90
Bob Bishop……………………..December ‘90 to December ‘92
Tere McDonald……………………….December ‘92 to May ‘96
Dave Galley…………………………….May ‘96 to December ‘98
Brendon Roy……………………….January ‘99 to December ‘99
Ted Bronson………………………….January ‘00 to October ‘01
Bruce Miron………………………………..October ‘01 to present
EVENTS AND PROGRAMS CO-ORDINATORS:
Ted Bronson……………………………..September ‘88 to present
MEDIA ADVISORS:
Ted Bronson…………………………September ‘88 to January ‘93
Doug Stuart……………………………………January ‘93 to July ‘96
Ted Bronson…………………………………………July ‘96 to present
WEBMASTERS:
Ed Kucbel…………………………………………..April ‘98 to present
( I must acknowledge Bev Bishop, the book “Looking Up” by Peter Broughton and Ted Bronson for this material …. Webmaster )

The A&P Society of Toronto reported that as early as 1892, that H.W. Law, a headmaster at a Port Arthur high school agreed to make monthly auroral reports. The Society’s publication reported no other activity until 1954 when a couple of members from Port Arthur, F.T. Matthews and Warren Creighton, went to Mattice, Ontario for the June 20 solar eclipse. Fifteen people later attended a meeting at the Vickers Heights Social Centre four years later, and formed the Lakehead Astronomical Society. Max Shapiro was elected president, Ralph Ferch vice president, and Warren Creighton was secretary-treasurer. Although all were members of RASC, no Centre of the Society was formed. The LAS sent delegates to the 1962 General Assembly and according to M.M. Thomson’s letters all was well on a small scale at least until 1966. The club held regular meetings and members could use a 20 cm reflector belonging to Bill Gardner that was housed in an observatory built by Dr. Quackenbush. As members reached retirement age and moved on to other cities, the club ceased to exist. Lakehead University received the observatory as a donation, but it was never used. Bill Gardner still has the telescope in his possession.

On September 24, 1988 an unattached member from Thunder Bay talked to the National Council about the chance of forming a Centre. That person was Bob Bishop, an instructor in Astronomy at Confederation College there. How this came about was very interesting. Bob and his wife Bev were attempting to choose an evening course at the local college, but found none to interest them. Bev suggested that if Bob couldn’t find a course to take, that he should teach one. So, in the spring of 1987, with the agreement of the head of Adult Education at the College, he offered his first astronomy course. It consisted of seven sessions of three hours each. By the time Bob came to the Council meeting in Toronto a year and a half later, his course, called Backyard Astronomy, had attracted 120 persons and his star nights were enjoyed by the Thunder Bay Field Naturalists and by campers at Sibley Provincial Park. This interest demonstrated by Northern Ontarians looked promising, and Bob Bishop told Council that he had found seventeen members willing to form a Centre. There was some discussion because by-laws required a minimum of twenty members for a new Centre. At the end of it all Thunder Bay Centre was welcomed and it later showed as a good decision as membership went to forty the following year.

A month later, national secretary David Tindall went to Thunder Bay where he was joined by sixteen members for Sunday brunch and discussed the new Centre. The inaugural meeting was held on October 23, 1988, in the home the president, Bob Bishop. The “Northern Sky”, the club’s newsletter was started and a couple of television appearances brought the new Centre to the attention of many northerners. Active members were soon to be found in other communities like Dryden, Atikokan, Nipigon and Marathon.

The emphasis of the Centre’s activities is to encourage members to share their pleasure and knowledge with others outside the Society and to enhance members’ enjoyment of the night sky. To promote this, the executive held a series, “Finding Your Way in the Night Sky” designed mainly for beginners. Other meetings centred on photos taken at previous star nights. Special events such as the eclipse of August 16, 1989, brought out many of the public and news media. Each summer, the Centre hold a couple of star parties at Provincial or National Parks. The annual Astronomy Day sparks a lot of interest with displays of photos, equipment , book and charts. During Astronomy Week 1990, three different talks at the public library were also given. A highlight of 1991 was a two-day visit and invited talk by Terry Dickinson. Lately, Ted Bronson has been writing a column in the local newspaper and also has been running Backyard Astronomy courses at the college. The most recent visit sponsored by the Centre was by “Stargazer Steve” who enlightened us with a nice presentation and a telescope workshop.

Thunder Bay RASC Executive History

PRESIDENTS:

Bob Bishop………………..September ‘88 to February ‘91

Jim Zeleny…………………..February ‘91 to December ‘93

Ted Bronson……………..December ‘93 to November ‘96

John Bakkelund……………November ‘96 to October ‘99

Dave Galley……………………October ‘99 to October ‘00

Doug Stuart……………………October ‘00 to October ‘02

Bruce Miron……………………October ‘02 to October ‘04

Ted Bronson……………………October ‘04 to October’06

Randy McAllister……………..October ‘06 to October’08

Ted Bronson (temp) …………October ‘08 to December ‘08

Bob McLean…………………….Dewcember ‘08 to October’10

Bruce Miron……………………October ‘10 to October ‘12

Brendon Roy……………………October ‘12 to present

VICE PRESIDENTS:

Werner Siegel…………….September ‘88 to December ‘92

Tere McDonald………………December ‘92 to January ‘96

Ted Bronson…………………..January ‘96 to December ‘98

Doug Stuart……………………..January ‘99 to October ‘99

Bruce Miron……………………October ‘00 to October ‘02

Bob McLean…………………..October ‘02 to October ‘04

Randy McAllister……………October ‘04 to October ‘06

John Bakkelund……………..October ‘06 to October ‘08

Doug Stuart…………………..October ‘08 to October ‘10

Ted Bronson………………….October ‘10 to October ‘12

Joua (Barney) De Sousa….October ‘12 to present

SECRETARIES:

Bev Connell…………………September ‘88 to February ‘91

Lee Searles………………………….February ‘91 to April ‘92

Annette Williscroft………………..April ‘92 to December ‘92

Bob Bishop……………………..December ‘92 to January ‘96

Dave Galley…………………………….January ‘96 to July ‘96

Nadia Roy…………………………….. July ‘96 to June ‘97

Dave Galley……………………………June ‘97 to October ‘99

Ted Bronson…………………………..October ‘99 to October ‘06

Ed Essex………………………………..October ‘06 to October ‘08

Ian Neely………………………………October ‘08 to October ‘10

Andreas Bucholtz …………………..October ‘10 to present

TREASURERS:

Rob Mace………………………………September ‘88 to December ‘93

Dave Galley……………………………December ‘93 to October ‘99

John Bakkelund………………………October ‘99 to October ‘01

Marion Biloski………………………..October ‘01 to October ‘04

Lora Barbisan…………………………October ‘04 to October ‘07

Brigitte Schaffer………………………October ‘07 to present

NATIONAL COUNCIL CENTRE REPRESENTATIVES

Jim Zeleny……………………………..September ‘88 to December ‘90

Bob Bishop……………………………..December ‘90 to January ‘97

Ted Bronson……………………………January ‘97 to Oct ‘03

Dave Gallant……………………………October ‘03 to October ‘08

Rob Kushneriuk………………………October ‘08 to January ‘11

Dave Gallant……………………………January ‘11 to February ‘14

Vacant……………………………………February ‘14 to present

NEWSLETTER EDITORS:

Annette Williscroft……………September ‘88 to December ‘90

Bob Bishop……………………..December ‘90 to December ‘92

Tere McDonald……………………….December ‘92 to May ‘96

Dave Galley…………………………….May ‘96 to December ‘98

Brendon Roy……………………….January ‘99 to December ‘99

Ted Bronson………………………….January ‘00 to October ‘01

Bruce Miron………………………………..October ‘01 to present