Apollo-11 44th Anniversary celebration and Reunion

Sat 20th & Sun 21st July 2013 in Canberra Australia

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Back in Sep 2012 I wrote the following to the committee for the Canberra Centenary celebrations: See http://www.canberra100.com.au/

It was called "the defining moment of the 20th century" when over 20% of the entire population of the earth watched Neil Armstrong's first steps on the surface of the moon.
It is not really well known that those first steps, and many other Apollo events, were sent out to the world from here in the ACT. The Honeysuckle Creek tracking station was purpose built for the lunar phases of the Apollo missions, and was ably supported by the station at Tidbinbilla. The Parkes Radio telescope was also involved specifically for the television event on that and a few other missions. See www.honeysucklecreek.net for much more information.
Apollo 11 was a major event for all mankind, and it seems a pity that successive ACT governments have not really seemed to be concerned that some might consider it to be one of the biggest events in ACT history.
The Centenary of Canberra seems to be the perfect time to celebrate those momentous events which occurred on the 21st July 1969 and the date falls on a Sunday next year.
There are still quite a number of people here in Canberra and around Australia who were deeply involved in the Apollo-11 and other missions. If I receive a response from you that agrees that the event should be celebrated - I will contact many of them via our mailing list and suggest that we get involved in organising an event. I might also try to interest one of the national institutions to support the event.

I eventually received a reply from a member of the committee which said that if we cared to hold an event - we could add it to their Calendar.

So the search for a suitable venue started - we really wanted something central and high profile - on the Lake if possible. That took a while but eventually after several discussions - the good people at Questacon (www.questacon.edu.au ) agreed to host the two day event which runs from 9am to 15pm on both Sat 20th and Sun 21st July.

Even though the event will be called 'Apollo 11 - Canberra's vital role' the event was open tor all current and ex - 'Steely eyed space trackers' and all interested in space exploration.

Click Here for the Detailed Schedule.

I felt that the event went really well - so on 23 Jul I sent out the following message

Despite the appalling weather I was more than happy with the turnout, specially Col Power and Joan down from MUCH warmer Port Macquarie and definitely to Ed (Video) von Renouard all the way from the heat wave in U.K.
It was great to catch up with many of our friends from those days -I'm not too sure how many of our friends attended. But we did hand out a total of 23 badges to well qualified ASK ME explainers.
A particular thank you should go to our presenters - Mike Dinn, Bryan Sullivan/Hamish Lindsay, Colin Mackellar, and Glen Nagle. Very impressive and thoughtful presentations well received by the assembled multitudes. Made my puny PowerPoint look rather dated in comparison. It's nice to know that they obviously spent many hours preparing for the presentations. And Glen Nagle should be particularly thanked for bringing along a huge selection of memorabilia from the massive archive at CDSCC.
From outside the 'Space biz' were Trevor Dalziel from Geoscience Australia who produced an ultra reliable and fascinating Apollo-11 Seismic data replay system with a mini memorabilia display complete with relevant AG voice of the deployment etc. Great work Trevor and for manning your exhibit so faithfully which meant you could not attend the movies or presentations.To Evan Burton from Nowra who lent us some of his best memorabilia (and he's the only person I know who has a spacesuit in his collection :-)). And very special thanks to Jared Wilkins and Patrick Helean from Questacon who put a lot of time and effort into the weekend despite my various petulant Emails and phone calls - I get the feeling that they were seriously hampered by the dead hand of bureaucracy. Many thanks again Jaden.....
I think that is most people thanked but in particular my long suffering better half  Betty was talked into taking a bunch of pictures on Sunday. As usual she has already posted them on her web site at  https://picasaweb.google.com/mrsbsaxon it's the first album at the moment.
Best wishes to you all. JohnS
P.S. The 45th next year - definitely not my job!


John Saxon 30 Jul 2013