WHEN the historic Baker telescope needed to be repainted, have a new drive fitted and the room it is held in needed the floor resurfaced the floor, and a new observing platform constructed, it looked like an impossible dream but thanks to the generosity of individuals and community groups the dream has become a reality. On Sunday Judith Bailey, from the Ballarat Municipal Observatory and Museum, welcomed guests to the observatory for a special thank you.
“It’s very satisfying to see this project come to this point,” she said. “This project has been a collaborative project – a number of individual donations and assistance and Ballarat West Rotary Club provided $2000 towards refurbishment of internal walls.
“The Observatory has always had community support, right from the very start, so the continuation is an integral part of the Observatory’s future, as it is with any observatory in Australia.” Long time BAS member Bob Terrill said the works, as far as he was concerned, had been a labour of love. Mr Terrill spoke about his early days with BAS and the early days of space exploration and formation of groups, such as BAS, around the world. “Around here in the early 60s it was a very interesting group and of course I didn’t know much about astronomy, my interest was in radio and electronics,” he said. “Early last year Judith said ‘we have something coming up here and we want to get the a radio telescope here by August’ and I’m thinking to myself… anyway the message went out and various guys responded and said we can locate some of these telescopic poles and do what was needed.” City of Ballarat Mayor Cr Des Hudson was called upon to officially reopen the refurbished and upgraded radio observatory. “Knowledge and progress are at the heart of our community and this observatory is still an enduring example of Ballarat’s rich history innovation and progress,” he said.
“The radio telescope is a fabulous example of the collaborations that exist within science and of course our community. “The city of Ballarat is committed to ensuring that facilities such as the Ballarat Municipal Observatory and Museum are maintained and enhanced, which allows for the preservation of the rich history and looks to the future.”