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Douglas Award 1986

[1986] All the members of our group aware of the fact that Larry Manuel has contributed significantly to the R. A. S. C. - Kingston Centre over the past two year. He is the type of amateur astronomer whose work and dedication are too often neglected but need to be recognized. The criteria for the Dr. A. Vibert Douglas Award states that it may be given for service to the Centre or Society and/or an astronomical achievement. What Larry has done could be categorized as both a service to our Centre and an achievement. Restoring the Centre's 10-inch telescope by completing a handsome Dobsonian mount for it and making it much more useable than it has ever been is an important accomplishment in line with what many astronomical groups are doing to increase observing time for themselves and the general public, and it is a service to our Centre whose members have long had a good telescope but one which had been virtually unusable because of a faulty mount. It was Larry who had the initiative to undertake a project that was completed very successfully. Unless he had done it, our scope would probably have remained in its former condition for many more years, and that would have been pity.

A recent presentation to our Centre of Larry's personal project to build a 3-inch refractor also represents a considerable achievement. It has been a long time since our Centre had a member who has been involved in a telescope-building project of any real significance and the expertise which Larry is gaining first-hand is also a service to our Centre because he has shared his learning experience with us and is always most willing to talk about the vast amount of information he has gleaned in this area - one that is often shunned by many astronomers today, who usually prefer to buy everything off the shelf and neatly prepackaged. Larry indicates that his refractor-building project is only the first of several. This initiative is something that promises to make a good many of our future meetings very interesting as we follow the construction of increasingly larger refractors. There seems to be something about such projects that is inherent in the way that true amateur astronomers were meant to practise their craft. The members of the Kingston Centre are, therefore, most proud to make the second presentation of the Dr. A. Vibert Douglas Award to Larry Manuel.

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