The first Stellafane of the new century was historic in many ways. Stellafane, and the Springfield Telescope Makers, have continued to support the North East Region of the Astronomical League. Friday afternoon saw NERAL conduct its Annual Business Meeting. Here we decided several things, mostly in the realm of trying to increase communications between the various MALs and Societies of the North East Region.
Friday evening saw us at the Oriental Palace celebrating a NERAL dinner with John Dobson. John was a wonderful dinner guest, speaking to the waiter and waitress in Chinese, quizzing us on the definition of a calorie and discussing the days of his youth.
Nicely sandwiched in between David Levy's talk and the keynote speaker on Saturday night at Stellafane, NERAL Chair Maryann Arrien and Regional Secretary Doc Kinne presented the first NERAL Walter Scott Houston Award plaque to Anna Hillier, a Member-at-Large of the Astronomical League from the Amateur Telescope Makers of Boston. Doc got up and said a few words thanking Stellafane for the support they've given NERAL in the past couple of years and how important it was to make sure our history as Amateur Astronomers is not lost. Maryann then came up and brought the Award Plaque to show and to read:
Walter Scott Houston Award
of the North East Region of the Astronomical League
In Recognition of her many years of ongoing Service and Dedication
to the Astronomical League,
her Observational Contributions to Project Moonwatch in the late 1950's,
and her substantial efforts in Preserving the History of Amateur Astronomy in the Northeast Region
by her work establishing the Archives of the ATM's of Boston,
we hereby present this Award to ANNA SUDARIC HILLIER, HISTORIAN.
Presented this day, August 18, 2001 at Stellafane.
In fond remembrance of Legendary Observer, Writer, League Organizer and ATM Historian.
Then, right on queue, Anna came out of the darkness to accept the award. She commented, "Thanks to all those who participated in the decision to award me with this prestigious Scotty award. I hope that all of you out there would be ambassadors of amateur astronomy and treat everyone you meet as an individual unto themselves. Long life to Stellafane and may she prosper." A duplicate plaque will hang in the McGregor Observatory at Stellafane.
NERAL Secretary & Regional Representative
North East Region of the Astronomical League
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