Minutes of PGAS General Meeting – Jan 31, 2001

Meeting Hosted By: Bob Nelson
Number Attending: 12 members
Start Time: 7:30 pm

Read previous minutes/ agenda.


As stated at the last executive meeting Brian B sent the letter to the RASC requesting the PGAS become a RASC Center.

Washrooms / Holding Tank Installation:

  • The weight to the shut off alarm still needs to be installed.
  • Gil is still talking to Jon about installing the freshwater. (see previous minutes for more details)
  • The lid to the tank still needs to be locked in some manner to prevent vandalism.
  • Bob K has installed the toilet and baseboard. Installing the sink requires additional work
  • The Jan 31, 2001 completion date will have to be extended hopefully, the washrooms will be installed for the upcoming open house season in March.

Dark Sky Activism:

  • Paul R. has been busy researching Dark Sky Activism – deciding what the goals and objectives of the committee should be and how to go about achieving them.
  • Paul R. will call a meeting of interested members in about two weeks to discuss. Gil S, Bob N, Fred V and Rob F all acknowledged a willingness to participate.

N.O.V.A. – New Observers to Visual Astronomy

  • Rob F. gave a short overview of what the part of the course will cover.
  • How to read Star Catalogues
  • How to run the telescopes
  • Finding and Identifying Constellations
  • NOVA will coincide with Members Night starting in March (every Saturday night)
  • Start Date: March 3 @ 8:00 pm

New Grant Application:

  • The wish list as it currently exists was presented to the members. (see previous minutes)
  • The members added additional items to the list.
  • Another washroom
  • Video system to project the scopes view into the classroom
  • Image intensifier (to go with video system)
  • Furniture – more chairs, a bed, new counters and cupboards.
  • Sound deadening
  • Portable planetarium
  • Carpeting in the main hall & entrance
  • Pop machine – create additional revenue from tours as well as a convenience for members.
  • The members started to categorize the list into most urgent and least urgent as well as long and short-term goals. The list so far:
  • Observing Deck and CCD camera were ranked as high priority – short-term.
  • Hiring a consultant to review the main scope and recommend changes to improve scope performance was ranked as the highest long-term priority.
  • Due to time restrictions work on the list was halted. The executive will work on prioritizing and categorizing the list at the next executive and present it to the members for review at the next meeting.

Gaming/ Financial Report:
Was sent in on Saturday, Jan 20, 2001 by Paul Roberts.

At the last regular meeting (Dec 20, 2000) Paul was asked what the approximately $10,000 worth of miscellaneous expenses were for. At the time he did not know. At this meeting (Jan 31, 2001) he provided a breakdown of those expenses to the members.



  • Paul R. gave a brief report of the finances. Breakdown as follows:
  • Reg. Account (approx): $2,500.00
  • Gaming Account: $0
  • Cash (approx): $70.00
  • Total (approx) $2,570
  • Paul indicated that the gas bill has risen to about $126 / month.
  • Bob N brought up that we are paying Praxair about $70.00 / year for a hydrogen tank rental. The tank was used to hydrogenate 35mm film. No one has used it in the last few years. The club members voted to return it to save the money.

Nothing New – Bob N

Nothing new – still waiting for washrooms.

Gil S. still needs to look into the false alarms although; there hasn’t been any for a while.


  • Brian B discussed his idea to have “Tour Hosts” and “Tour Helpers”
  • The idea is to have older more experienced members run the group tours with one or two newer less experienced members. This will help the newer members learn how to run tours and having more people involved will also help prevent burn-out among the members.
  • Brian has created a list of people wanting to be either hosts or helpers.
  • List of Hosts so far: Gil S, Bob N, Jon B, Brian P, Steve S, Brian B
  • List of Helpers so far: Doug W, Paul R, Frank B, Rob F.
  • Brian will send an email asking for more volunteers.
  • On Monday Feb 26 there will be a group tour of approximately 30 Brownies and Girl Guides. Jon B will host and Frank B will help out. Brian B will be unable to attend so a third person will need to be found.
  • Brian announced that he/ the club has taken on a work experience student from College Heights Secondary. As part of his work experience the student will: learn the constellations visible from PG, write an article for the Pegasus, give a presentation at the next meeting, keep an observing log, and use the main telescope to make observations in a variety of projects.
  • Brian B reported seeing an entry in the Resource Sign Out books at the observatory. Members are asked to please continue to use them so the club knows where its property is.

Web Page:
Matthew B. has updated the site the group tour section of the web page to include the new tour rates.


  • Bob N will supply Brian B with logos and copy so he can create plaques to thank major contributors and founding members. – Brian has not received any info from Bob yet.
  • Brian B dropped off brochures at the PG Public Library and the Girl Guide office. People are also taking about 5 brochures per week from the counter at SpeeDee Printers.

RASC Calendars:
Paul R. took orders for the RASC calendar. He will order them in the next few weeks.
Gil S and Bob N both placed an order

RASC General Assembly:
The RASC General Assembly will be held in the month of June – London, Ontario
This is the meeting that the PGAS application for joining the RASC will be voted on.

Gil S reported a there was a lack of articles in the January Pegasus. He made a bit of a plea to the members to write more articles so he can keep the newsletters “local” (not have to include articles from websites)


Constellation of the Month:

  • Doug W gave a presentation about the constellation Monoceros: The Unicorn
  • Doug discussed many objects of interest in this often-overlooked constellation including the Cone Nebula and Christmas tree cluster.
  • Note: Doug W has found a great website with free constellation charts. The charts also have a list of objects to view visually, through binoculars and through telescopes. The site is www.skymaps.com

Gil S gave a brief demonstration of the clubs CCD operating software.

Shareware Astronomy Programs:
Bob N gave a presentation showing a collection of shareware and freeware astronomy programs including one he made himself! These programs are going to be included on the Members CD-Rom.

Black holes:
Paul R showed a computer movie that he downloaded from NASA on black holes.

Meeting Adjourned: 10:00 pm