It’s with a very sad heart that I write to inform the members and friends of the Gisborne Astronomical Society that Huon Chandler, our long-standing treasurer and public nights star, passed away recently. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Carol (Huon’s wife) and their children and grandchildren.
Huon did so much for the Gisborne Astronomical Society. Few know that he paid the monthly power bills out of his own pocket when the society was at its ebb. He also regularly mowed the grass around the Cook Observatory for years and painted over graffiti as soon as it appeared on the observatory. In addition he ran public nights every Tuesday night for about 25 years – where he would give a talk and then take people up to the dome for observing. The Cook Observatory was, if I may say, like Huon’s second home. He was very saddened when it was closed due to it being an earthquake risk. On top of all this, Huon would faithfully pay the society bills and prepare the financial accounts for each AGM. There are undoubtedly many other things that Huon did for the society and observatory that even I don’t know. Huon didn’t really like the lime-light, but preferred to quietly work in the background. Having said that, his talks on cosmology and others aspects of astronomy were legendary. Huon was one of the few speakers that I know who never said ‘um’ or ‘ahh’. His knowledge of astronomy will be sorely missed.
Farewell my old meteor observing buddy, may you shine like a star in your new abode forever…