E. Cliffton (Cliff) Carr, a Life Member of, and major benefactor to, the RASC's Toronto Centre passed away unexpectedly on October 27, 2011. Mr. Carr made a substantial donation to the Toronto Centre that led to the founding of the Carr Astronomical Observatory (CAO) near Thornbury, Ontario and will be greatly missed by his many friends in the Society.
Mr. Carr joined the Society in 1988 and became more actively involved in astronomy after his retirement from the Canadian Forces where he worked as a tactical helicopter pilot. He was passionate about astronomy and developed his own personal observatory on land located near the CAO shortly after his retirement.
In 1996, Mr. Carr approached the Toronto Centre and offered to donate a house and 43 acres of land for the purpose of establishing an observatory. In a "giant leap" the Centre was transformed into a much more active observing Centre and the property became the focus of building and observing activities that have led to its transformation into one of the finest amateur observing facilities in North America.
Mr. Carr was not only a benefactor he was also an active participant in the programs offered at the observatory complex that bears his name. Since 1997 the CAO has hosted thousands of people who have enjoyed dark skies, comfortable accommodations and first-class equipment. Thousands more will have an opportunity to discover or enhance their appreciation for astronomy as a result of his generosity and foresight.