LETTER: Reminded of observatory’s potential

Volunteerism is one of the pillars of democracy

An amazing celestial event was seen by University of Victoria astronomy PhD student Claire Higgs. She was fortunate to have been at the Los Campos Observatory in Chile when a first ever witnessed collision of two neutron stars took place.

This phenomenon occurred on Aug. 17 of this year and was recorded in the Oct. 8 edition of the Vancouver Sun.

Upon reading it, I and I’m sure many other Mission residents, were reminded of the near complete Mission Observatory.

Two years of development guided by Mission’s Heritage Park Association was made possible by grants, donations, and volunteerism.

The HPA had financial plans for the completion and sustenance of the observatory.

But then, along came Mission’s mayor who ignored the HPA plans, took over the running of the park, declared that its business operation was inadequate, and reportedly (according to former Mission Mayor Ted Adlem) stated that HPA was too far to the left and was going to do something about it.

And so, purportedly to save Mission taxpayers money expended $13,600 of their money to have the observatory demolished.

In ignoring the HPA plans, he also ignored the value of the observatory volunteerism.

Volunteerism is one of the pillars of democracy and, Bob Ingram in his Oct. 6 letter in the Mission City Record suggests in detail how the mayor is making decisions over which he has no jurisdiction and which will adversely affect volunteerism.

It was Joe Biden who said, “The worst thing is abuse of authority.”

There is no doubt that volunteerism would have continued to be a valuable factor in the operation of the completed observatory.

A great many people have effectively lost an opportunity to experience the wonders of our universe.

Brian Harvey

Mission

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