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Highlights of 2013 RASC General Assembly

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Written by Denis Grey on
Post Date: 
Tue, 2013/07/02

The 2013 RASC General Assembly in Thunder Bay is now concluded. An excellent time was had by all of the attendees who joined the members of the Thunder Bay Centre to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their founding as a Centre of the Society.

New Society Governance Structure Approved

At the Society's Annual General Meeting held on 2013 June 30, the members present overwhelmingly approved the Society's new By-Law Number One. This approval marked the completion of the RASC Governance Renewal Project. The Society is now officially operating under the new By-Law and the new Policy Manual approved by the Society's National Council.

The biggest change as a result of the new Governance Structure is the conversion of the Society's Executive Committee into a Board of Directors and the transition of the Society's National Council into an advisory body. The Society's new By-Law is available in the Member's Area at www.rasc.ca/system/files/private/By-Law_1.pdf (note that you must be logged-in to view this content).

New RASC Policy Manual

As part of the National Council meeting held on 2013 June 28, the Society adopted a new Policy Manual which came into effect on 2013 July 1. The new Policy Manual covers:

  • Operational policies, standards and procedures
  • Committee mandates, composition and operating rules
  • Board policies, procedures and guidelines.

The new policy manual is available at www.rasc.ca/system/files/private/RASC_Policy_Manual_2013.pdf (also members-only).

Election Results

The Board Transition Committee election was concluded. A total of 470 ballots were cast for three available positions, which represented approximately 12% of the Society's membership. The elected candidates were:

  • Paul Gray, Halifax Centre
  • Dr. Paul Schumacher, Victoria Centre
  • Francois van Heerden, Toronto Centre

Congratulations go out to the new Board members and appreciation to the other candidates: Craig Levine of the London Centre and Andrew Blanchard of the Hamilton Centre who stood for election.

The winning candidates were formally appointed to the new RASC Board for a one-year term at the Board's first meeting on June 30.

Award Winners

The following members were honoured during the RASC General Assembly:

  • David Lane, Halifax Centre received the President's Award for Service to the Society
  • Jim Hesser (Victoria Centre), Dietmar Kupke (Toronto Centre), Brian McCullough (Ottawa Centre) and Larry McNish (Calgary Centre) received the Society's Service Award for exceptional volunteerism in service of the Society.
  • Alan Whitman (Okanagan) received the Simon Newcomb Award for astronomical writing.
  • Robert Duff (London) received the Qilak Award for astronomical outreach.

New Honorary President

Dr. John Percy (Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto) succeeded Dr. James Hesser of the Hertzberg Institute as the Society's Honorary President. Dr. Hesser served the Society with distinction during the International Year of Astronomy period from 2009-2013.

Executive Positions

As one of its first official acts, the Society's new Board reappointed the Society's Executive Committee members to their roles for one-year terms ending 2014:

  • Glenn Hawley, Calgary Centre, Society President
  • Colin Haig, Hamilton Centre, 1st Vice-President
  • Chris Gainor, Victoria Centre, 2nd Vice-President
  • James Edgar, Regina Centre, Secretary
  • Denis Grey, Toronto Centre, Treasurer

National Advisory Council

The Society's new National Advisory Council held its first meeting on 2013 June 30. As one of its first official acts, the Advisory Council appointed Roger Nelson of the Calgary Centre as its Co-chair. Chris Beckett, President of the Regina Centre is the new body's first Recorder. Society President Glenn Hawley also serves as a Co-chair of this newly constituted body.

Additional information on the proceedings of the 2013 General Assembly, including photos and other information will be made available over the next few weeks on the Society's Web site and in the RASC Journal.

Mark your Calendars!

The 2014 RASC General Assembly will be held from 2014 June 27-29 in Victoria, British Columbia. Mark your calendars now!