The Astronomical Society of Albury-Wodonga (ASAW), under the enthusiastic encouragement of Mr Rob Hammar (a local radio DJ) began in 1974.
Around a dozen people attended the first meeting held at the Scott's School in Albury. Rob was duly elected president and was ably assisted in the early days by Joan Dick as secretary.
Scott's School had an observatory housing a 9" reflector and this was frequently made use of. There were a variety of activities carried out with a very strong mirror grinding section. One of the Society's existing 8" reflectors was built at this time.
One special event was a Halley's comet party in 1986 for all those who had also seen the comet in 1910. Due to the success of this event public viewings have become a regular activity of the society.
The society is fortunate to have amongst its members, the notable Australian amateur astronomer Robert Price. Robert has a domed observatory at Bethanga and an extensive collection of observing and photographic equipment. He has published articles in well known astronomy magazines both in Australia and overseas.
Sister Society - Cape Fear, USA
In September 2004, Robert Price, Albury-Wodonga, suggested to Sam Bissette of the Cape Fear Society the possibility of creating a “Sister Society” (informally called a Sister Club) relationship be explored by the two organisations.
Sam Bissette and Robert Price have been friends since they collaborated on an astronomical research project in 1995 consisting of a photographic survey of the Northern and Southern hemispheres, using Bissette’s unconventional observing method called astromicroscopy.
When the “Sister Society” idea was presented to both societies, the response was very positive and preparations began to quickly establish the program that is now functioning.
February 2005 marked the formal beginning of the “Sister Society” relationship. Guiding principles are to establish a comprehensive program of joint astronomical activities. Both societies are enthusiastic about building a meaningful and continuing interaction program that will benefit astronomy in general as well as the members of each society.
The Cape Fear group, located in Wilmington North Carolina, was formed twenty-one years ago and now has a membership of sixty with a very active program using a large array of telescopes and observing equipment. It is a member of the Astronomical League of the USA.
Today, ASAW has more than thirty active members, with an impressive array of telescopes and specialized equipment. ASAW is very active with public outreach - promoting astronomy, and science in general, to the general public.