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Frank DeKinder

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(1892-1970) An active Montreal Centre member and observer (meteor/solar). Received the Chant Medal in 1955. AAVSO president (1967-69).


FRANK J. DEKINDER (1892-1970) joined the Montreal Centre in 1934. All the lectures at the time were formal affairs given by professional scientists, and he feared that many amateurs were intimidated. He himself was an estimator for a tile company, so he was rather startled when Dr. A.M. Douglas, the Centre's Secretary-Treasurer, replied to his request for some lectures of a more popular nature by suggesting he do it. Though he had never given a public lecture and had to rent an evening suit (as Centre protocol required), he reluctantly agreed. DeKinder handled the publicity himself, seeing to it that announcements were made in every high school in the city and in various public places. His maiden speech on current knowledge of the solar system was a phenomenal success, and he was thereafter marked as just the sort of dynamic individual the Centre needed.

From 1935 until 1964, he held various offices in the Montreal Centre, including a term as President in 1939-41, and was on the National Council from 1949-64. Over the years he gave many talks in English and French to both Montreal Centres. Frank DeKinder was an active observer and it was primarily for this that he received the Chant Medal in 1955. Meteor showers attracted him at first but after 1945 when he built a domed observatory at his home in Sault-au-Recollet to house his clock-driven 10-cm refractor, solar observing became his main interest From 1950-64 he was Observations Director for Montreal Centre. Though he was a diligent participant in the AAVSO nova search program, it was chiefly his solar work that got him involved on the council of that association. At their meeting in California in 1963, he became Second Vice-President. Because of this commitment which led to his AAVSO Presidency in 1967-69, he gave up all RASC duties in 1964.

Peter Broughton (from Looking Up)

 

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Description: 
DeKinder, Frank J.
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Person