Astronomy Benalla’ exists to promote the interest and enjoyment of amateur astronomy.  Through the provision of a venue with facilities and resources, we seek to foster a safe and enjoyable learning experience, whilst seeking also to engage the interest and involvement of the wider community of Benalla and district. PRESIDENT’S REPORT FOR 2018 Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another.  – Plato As President of Astronomy Benalla for 2018 it is my sincere pleasure to report on the club’s activities over the last twelve months. It is quite obvious to all concerned that we are small in number, but it may come as a surprise that our ‘reach’ has been significant.  Astronomy Benalla has directly impacted well over two hundred men, women and children this past year.  And this figure blows out substantially when we consider the countless number who have heard Rupe on ABC radio as he is interviewed each month by Matt Dowling on all matters ‘Astronomy’. As for our activities, we have hosted Viewing Nights for schools, for scouts and guides, and for the broader public.  - Over a dozen in all, plus the ‘Come & Try’ Days and visits of technical assistance.  In our own meetings we have listened to many stimulating and informative presentations, covering topics ranging from what we can observe in the night skies to specialist subjects concerning the Sun, physics, and current affairs in astronomy.  My sincere thanks to those who have actively ‘looked’ for matters of interest to us, and put in the time to prepare and present them. Astronomically, it has been the ‘Year of the Planets’.  For most of the year we have been treated to the visual spectacular of the five observable planets above.  This has been a real bonus for those groups we had conducted Viewing Nights for, and particularly for us too.  Our membership suffered last year with the resignation of Ed Roache.  Ed was almost one of our founding members, but had battled with debilitating health.  Our thanks particularly to David & Cynthia for the care they regularly gave Ed.  On a positive note, we welcome Gerard Reilly, who shares the same passion we do in studying the heavens.  There have been other expressions of interest through the year, but distance and time often prove restrictive.  To conclude my report I would like to genuinely thank all members of Astronomy Benalla for their friendship, mentoring and encouragement.  Particular thanks to Rupe, our Vice President, who gives so much of his time in this pursuit, and who I continue to believe would make a much better President than the current holder.  As we march into 2019, let us be reminded that we have done and do make a difference!  Which ‘doors’ will open for us, and how many will we step through?    -  Jeff Knight We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.  – Oscar Wilde
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Presidents Report - 2018
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