Orwell Astronomical Society (Ipswich)

Home Events

Message From Neil Morley On Election As Chairman, January 2009

At the OASI 2009 AGM, members elected me Chairman. For those who don't know me, I've had a strong interest in astronomy from an early age. My main interests are visual astronomy and maintaining astronomical telescopes. I've been a member of OASI for sixteen years and have served on the Committee as equipment curator for around a quarter of that time. Originally from Birmingham, I trained initially as a professional musician in London. Having spent a few years as a professional cellist in London and Dublin with the RTE Symphony Orchestra, I took a complete change of course studying for a communications engineering degree at Leeds Polytechnic. Sixteen years later, I'm still in Ipswich working at the former research facility of a large global telecommunications company!

My aims as OASI Chairman are to:

  1. Make the post of Chairman more open for those wishing to succeed me!
  2. Develop our relationship with Orwell Park School.
  3. Promote International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009) and encourage interest in astronomy in the local community, particularly amongst younger people.
  4. Grow our membership through "taster" evenings and workshops.
  5. Promote observing projects and encourage contributions to the Newsletter.
  6. Encourage more members to present at astronomy workshops.
  7. Invite more external speakers to lecture meetings.
  8. Maintain links with other astronomical organisations including local societies.

The International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009) is now upon us. Initiated by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and UNESCO, IYA2009 is truly significant, providing a global celebration of astronomy and its contribution to society and culture. It coincides with the 400th anniversary of the first use of an astronomical telescope by Galileo. Its aim is to help people rediscover their place in the Universe and to stimulate a personal sense of wonder and discovery. Further information can be found via the website www.astronomy2009.org. OASI events for IYA2009 can be found in the Society's events list.

Now, this is going to be a busy but, I trust, worthwhile year for OASI! We have 19 events in our calendar presently, with 12 dedicated to IYA2009, and I expect this list to grow as the year progresses. We need more volunteers to come forward and run events. Your society needs you to get involved! With this in mind, the date for the next Committee Meeting is Sunday 01 February, start time 3.00pm at Nacton Village Hall. The main topic for consideration is events for 2009. All members are welcome to attend. Please keep an eye on the OASI web site, email list and Newsletter as details of events unfold. If you require an astro-calendar detailing astronomical events in 2009, Paul Whiting (Treasurer) has a few left! If you have any other suggestions, questions or issues/concerns about OASI please get in touch either with me or any another committee member.

Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to my predecessor Ken Goward. Under his leadership, we've seen OASI's profile considerably raised through many memorable events including Allan Chapman's lectures, the official unveiling of the Tomline Refractor, the opening of the library by Peter Hingley following refurbishment by OASI members, observations of the transit of Venus in 2004, construction of the 48cm Millennium Telescope, further exciting discoveries about our heritage, lecture meetings, workshops, social events, visits, and more. All this is a true reflection of Ken's input, the strength of OASI and its membership as a whole.

As many of you already know, for some time, Ken has not been in very good health. Ken, we wish you all the very best for your recovery. Special thanks also to Roy Gooding (Secretary), Paul Whiting (Treasurer) for keeping OASI on course as well as the Committee, Trustees and society members for their hard work during 2008.

I wish all members of OASI the very best for a successful 2009 and hope that it will be a memorable year for IYA2009!