This Spring Equinox edition of the POVG Newsletter has another great collection of news, views, reviews and previews prepared by our talented and enthusiastic “vollies”. I trust you’ll enjoy these articles: we certainly get a buzz to know our efforts are appreciated.

What’s great about volunteering with POVG is the flexibility to study and travel between commitments, provided of course others are willing and able to fill in and support key roles. The generosity of our senior members allowed three of us to travel to the United States in August to see the much publicised Total Solar Eclipse. Scattered across the continent we had Ed Jones in Madras, Oregon and Ted Williamson in the Mid-West, while I watched through a break in the clouds over Charleston, South Carolina. A truly memorable event for everyone, with Ed’s adventures and technical talents captured in a great presentation he shared with us at our recent monthly meeting.

Back on the hilltop the Winter Program throughout June, July and August included not only the well-received small group Night Tours but new Inspirational Talks, as well as School and Adult Day Tours and excursions, all keeping our volunteers busy and our customers engaged. On a clear night in mid-July, we were thrilled to welcome Neil de Grasses Tyson and his family to an impromptu “vollies” meet and greet and tour through the domes. The excitement among those of us who could be there was palpable and captured by Roger Groom’s photos shared on social media.

In late August we also welcomed a new group of volunteers, each one keen to learn more about the southern skies and share their knowledge and interest with the public. They come from near and far and have a range of skills and experience to offer as they progress through their training. After 4 weeks of theory and practice, the next phase will be on the job training and mentoring throughout the busy summer months.

Volunteers and their families will also be gathering for a special event this weekend to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the formation of the POVG in 1996. A typical back to the 90s party is planned, complete with decorations, retro music, frivolous fashion, memorabilia and karaoke!!. What a great opportunity to relax, reminisce, enjoy the beautiful surroundings and admire the new sculptural amphitheatre delineating the back lawn from the surrounding bushland. Keep a lookout for photos on Facebook, Instagram and other social posts.

Looking forward, there’s a busy School Holiday Program about to start, the Kalamunda and districts Spring Festival throughout October and Halloween’s Dress to Impress Night Sky Tour in October.

So we look forward to seeing many of you up on the hilltop soon, as a volunteer, member or participant in one of our many activities and viewing events.

Diana Rosman
(POVG Chairperson)