Ordinary Meeting and Exhibition Meeting, 2005 June 25
The Lydia Brown Medal and Gift
The Lydia Brown Award was this year to be presented to Dr Nick Hewitt, whose services to the Association, the President felt, had surely been surpassed by few. A member of over 25 years' standing, Dr Hewitt had held the Directorship of the Deep Sky Section for twelve of them, between 1992 and 2004. Simultaneously, he had also served as President between 1999 and 2001, somehow combining this extraordinary commitment to the Association with the professional demands of working full-time as a General Practitioner in Northampton. After stepping down as President, he had gone on to serve two years as a Vice-President, and a further two years as Meetings Secretary – perhaps the most stressful job in the organisation. In this final post, he had been responsible for instigating the highly successful series of Observers' Workshops, and the President recalled that Dr Hewitt had served well beyond the call of duty, willingly stepping in at the last minute to present standby talks when other speakers had had to cancel at too short a notice for any alternatives to be found.
Following the applause, Dr Hewitt thanked those members who had nominated him for the award. With modesty, he stressed the importance of teamwork in the administrative side of the Association, adding that he would have been quite unable to achieve what he had done without the support of many others. He wished to thank all those who had offered him the huge level of support which he had enjoyed throughout his Presidency, and all those in the Deep Sky Section who had assisted him during his tenure as its Director. He felt that as Meetings Secretary, he had perhaps needed more support than in any other rôle, and he thanked all those who had so ably assisted him, especially Mrs Hazel Collette, whom he wished the very best of luck with taking over the job in the coming year.
Before proceeding to the afternoon's talks, the President wished to make one further presentation. Miss Patricia Barber had served the Association as Assistant Secretary in its New Burlington House Office for 18 years, but in April had decided to move on to new pastures. In recognition of her long and valuable service, he presented her with a small token of appreciation on behalf of all the Association's members, to which there was applause.
Finally, Mr Boles invited the organisers of the 2005 Nightlife Event to make a brief advertisement. It was announced that this event would be held at Portsmouth Naval Base on July 9, and feature a line-up of distinguished speakers including Dr Allan Chapman. However, tickets needed to be booked in advance, and fliers and booking forms would be available after the meeting.
The President then, with a hint of trepidation, invited Mr Martin Mobberley to present the latest instalment of his Sky Notes.