Joseph Armand Gaston Raymond Auclair (b.1952-09-07 in Lachine, Quebec) attended primary school at École Mgr Boileau and spent one year in a special program for gifted pupils at École Victor Thérien. He was a high school student at école Piché from 1964 to 1968 and was introduced to astronomy by a classmate. He credits Expo 67, the world exposition in Montreal with inspiring his scientific interest. At his high school graduation in June, 1968, his date was Hélène Gélinas, and they were married 1976-08-21.
Auclair joined the Coast Guard College and began studying Nautical Astronomy, with lots of spherical trigonometry. Upon graduating from Coast Guard College with specialization in Nautical Science and marine navigation in 1972, Auclair served first as a junior ship officer out of Halifax until March, 1973. He wrote the exams for Officer certification (equivalent to a Bachelor's in Nautical Science) and then served on various Coast Guard ships out of Quebec City, with emphasis on ice breakers and arctic resupply vessels. The ships he served on include the Tupper, C.D. Howe, Bluenose II, Labrador, J.E. Bernier, Louis S. St-Laurent, Provo Wallis, Mink, Nicolet, d'Iberville, Simon Fraser, Puffin, Eider, Skua, Norman McLeod Rogers, and John A. MacDonald. In 1976, he was in Ottawa, setting up Coast Guard's new communication centre. Then in February, 1978, he was called in to teach three topics of math application at the Command Course, and was subsequently offered a teaching position at the Transport Canada Training Institute (TCTI; then in Ottawa, later in Cornwall, Ontario). Auclair wrote a textbook, Le magnètisme à l'usage des candidats au certificat de commandement, which was republished in the mid-80's by the Coast Guard College. He was appointed Superintendent of navigation training at TCTI in 1980, and selected as Chief of Training at the Coast Guard College in 1983. Because he was acting as director of the College in the winter of 1989-90, Auclair earned the right to be called "Captain," and in the old British tradition, he maintains this right forever. While at the College, he was Parade Commander for the Tall Ships, was Secretary for a Bridge Club, completed a B.A. in French literature at University of Ottawa, and chaired the host commitee for the RASC General Assembly in Sydney, Nova Scotia, in 1989.
When he was called to Ottawa to work on rewriting the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Act in 1990, Auclair's career took an administrative turn. When responsibility for the Coast Guard was transferred from Transport Canada to the Department of Fisheries & Oceans, Auclair ended up as Director of Research, Evaluation and Systems for TDG. In order to fulfil requirements for the position, he began work on a B.A. with concentration in math, and completed this in 1996.
He joined the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada in the late 1960s, and has been a Life Member of the RASC since 1973. He donated his 15cm telescope to the Cape Breton Astronomy Society in 1990, and began using a 26cm Newtonian. He was 18th Secretary of the RASC from 1997 to 1999. Auclair received the RASC's Service Award in 1989.
Name proposed and citation prepared by Robert Jedicke and Peter Jedicke.
Reference: MPC 54175