..........and greetings from Heavenís Glory Observatories! The pages in this website illustrate a passion of mine since my Dad took me outside one evening in 1960 to watch the ECHO 1 satellite glide over our house in Toronto. I was only 5 at the time and remember going to the library weekly from that point onwards to read books on astronomy, telescopes, space exploration and machines. We were very poor therefore getting a telescope was out of the question even though I waited anxiously every Christmas for one. When I was ten I chanced upon a broken and discarded cardboard telescope that someone had thrown in their garbage can. What a treasure! I tinkered around with the objective and a couple of lenses I had removed from old "box" cameras that I had bought for 5 cents at a local Salvation Army store. Once I seemed to have a pretty good working combination I turned my first scope on the moon. It was an unbelievable sight! To this day few sights have been as awe inspiring.
The passion continued and through high school every project in my mechanical drafting and machine shop classes involved making some part for my telescope. Poverty did not escape our family however I was fortunate to live by a golf course and by working weekends through the summer as a caddy I earned enough money to buy telescope parts and optical grinding kits. I am indebted to two of my high school teachers for assisting me in design and machining techniques. Their enthusiasm and encouragement were liberating. In college every design and fabrication project conveniently centered around the current telescope project I was working on at the time. Needless to say school was never a drag. I drove my teachers and professors crazy because I was always racing to finish the standard curriculum to get on with my telescope parts! ...and save a lot of money in the process! They always seemed to be trying to hide a smile though. This is an expensive hobby but one of my driving passions is still making my own "stuff". This desire to save money and build my own equipment taught me a lot about high precision technologies.
In 1985, Sky and Telescope published an article on a 12.5" Cass Newt that I built, but from 1985 through '93 I was on a telescope making sabbatical, being very busy with family, church, running my own company and house moves. However that didnít stop my interest. Over the last 18 years though I have worked on a number of new scopes, facilities and multitudes of imaging and observatory accessories and am happy to share the excitement and joy this hobby provides through this website.
Heavenís Glory Observatories is dedicated to my Dad for his unknowing inspiration. Dad was a simple man who never quite understood my passion and was quite critical when he saw me spending hard earned money on mirror grinding kits or parts for making scopes...kind of like the "October Skies" movie story. As my career grew though he began to see how important it was. Dad passed away in 1999 however before he died I was able to show him some of the images I had taken through my 20" scope. We joked about how my "stupid" telescope passion had turned out.
Additionally I am inspired every time I look at the heavens and see God's handiwork in His creation. I work daily with scientists in many fields from astronomy to life science and high energy physics inlcuing some who have been awarded Nobel prizes in their field. The universe continues to be exceedingly more complex, and yet more organized with each new discovery. The bible verse from Psalm 19:1 " The heavens declare the glory of God and the on the firmament shows His handiwork" that highlights the historic "Pink Clubhouse" at Stellafane is very relevant to me.
As you look at the astrophotgraphs on this website and many of the construction and fabrication photos you might wonder how I found the time. As many of my colleagues are aware, there are many working hours between sundown and sunup and if it is your passion it becomes a question of priorities. I canít recount the times I saw the sun rise as I built my telescope equipment and accessories. ...and yes....my wife is an angel and without her patience and understanding this could never have been accomplished. My wife has her own passion for art design and by example and engagement our children have found their own personal and constructive passions as well.
The astroimages and photos of my telescope and observatory construction are for everyone's enjoyment and education. After all I only take pictures of what have already been made exquisitely beautiful. I hope you enjoy them and simply ask that you obtain permission first should you want to use any of these images for personal or commercial use.
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