Orwell Astronomical Society (Ipswich)

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Message From David Murton On Election As Chairman, January 2014

As I take over the chairmanship of OASI from the capable hands of Neil Morley, to whom I am sure we would all extend our sincere thanks for the hard work and dedication he has brought to the post, I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to the members who don’t know me and set down some of my aims and aspirations for the society during my chairmanship.

I've been a member of OASI only since June 2012, having joined following a visit to Orwell Park at a taster evening. Up to that time, I'd had only a passing interest in astronomy. In early 2013, I bought a second hand 200 mm reflector tube and constructed my own Dobsonian base. This lasted until later that year when a growing interest in astrophotography led to the purchase of an equatorial mount and new tube. As you can tell, I have gotten the bug!

My primary interests are viewing and imaging the night sky, principally, deep sky objects, although I respect the fact that members pursue many differing aspects of the hobby. This is what makes OASI such a strong and vibrant society and is to be encouraged.

As chairman, I'd like to promote the observational aspects of OASI and create additional opportunities for members to observe as a group, both at club nights and public events. I'd also like our public outreach events to spread their wings further and for OASI to try to hold activities in other towns and villages in Suffolk. Our members come from all over the county and I feel we should be promoting our hobby to a wider audience.

This is not to say we should ignore those members who are interested in other aspects of astronomy. The historical side is followed and researched by several members and we must not forget that some members have put many hours of work into the restoration of Orwell Park Observatory and its telescopes. While we have the opportunity to use them we must endeavour to do so as it is a facility that many would love to have.

I intend to ensure that new members are welcomed into the society and encouraged to join in with all its activities. As a relatively new member, I understand that it can be a little daunting at first, especially given the physical restrictions imposed by the observatory. Therefore I hope to encourage new and prospective members to attend the Newbourne observing evenings where they can more easily be given a warm welcome and be introduced to this great hobby.

Finally, I know that many members have a dream that one day the society will have the permanent use of a piece of land on which it can construct its own observatory dome, hard standings, etc. To that end the committee will endeavour to start the search for a suitable home. This may well be a long task, but hopefully, one day, it will bear fruit. If any members know of any suitable land or have contacts that may be of use in this search, please speak to any committee member.

David Murton, OASI Chairman

Photos taken during the AGM on 18 January 2014 at the Methodist Church Hall, showing the presentation to the outgoing chairman, Neil Morley, for five years in the chair, and the welcome to the incoming chairman, David Murton.

20140118_AGM_ANM_pres1_MN.jpg Mike Whybray makes the presentation to Neil Morley.

20140118_AGM_ANM_pres2_MN.jpg Outgoing and incoming chairmen: who is most pleased?