Scottish Astronomers Group winter meeting review

On Saturday 1st of December the Scottish Astronomers group met at the Mayfield Centre in Stirling the host for the day Stirling A.S.

Before the main business of the day commenced which was the was the Annual General Meeting, we were given a talk titled 'An African Odyssey 2001' by Russell Cockman of AFA. Russell was invited along to give his account of his solar eclipse adventure to Zimbabwe this summer. Setting the seen, we were shown slides of the scenery and wild life encountered on his journey through Zimbabwe followed by the observing site, a dry riverbed close to the Mozambique border.

Then the slides of the eclipse, Russell had been planning his photography programme weeks in advance and the results were a good advert for forward thinking, he captured the Diamond ring at both second and third contact, also the spectacularly bright corona with prominences. One slide taken from behind showed Russell and his wife Marian looking up at the eclipse at totality gave an impression of calmness, but the scene must have been quite hectic as Russell attended to the three cameras he had set up.

The next part of the meeting was taken up with a discussion on the way ahead for the Scottish Astronomers Group. Topics such as the SAG website, the importance of the Internet, the lack of a constitution, the contents of the meetings and how often they should be held were all covered. From these discussions it was decided that a constitution should now be put in place. The current twice-yearly meetings should be increased, so that there are three meetings plus the SAG weekend held in September.

After a short interval for refreshments the A.G. M. started with reports coming from the chairman, secretary and treasurer. But most significant was the resignation of two long-standing and important committee members, Alistair Simmons (President) and Ken McKay (Secretary). Both Alistair and Ken have served on the committee for many years and are standing down due to other commitments. The SAG MAG editor and Webmaster Jeff Lashley also resigned due to work commitments.

Mark Pollock currently Vice President filled the position of President. A new position of Information Officer was created to set up a web page; Bill Ward filled this position. Positions still to be filled are Vice President, Secretary and SAG MAG editor.

The Association of Falkirk Astronomers in the Laurieston Old Peoples Welfare Hall will host the next meeting in February or March.

As Bill Ward says, 'Sometimes the best bit of meetings like these, is meeting friends and having a good old natter over dinner afterwards'.