Saturday, 19 May 2018


Now little more than a distant memory, but these awards are so important that I thought it worthwhile to remind everyone of the winners from 2017. Awards are made each year with additional commendations being made during the year. Any crewmember can nominate someone for a commendation and full details can be found in our handbook available from the LIBRARY on our website.

Junior Member Of the Year: Sandy Joe Reid
Sandy may be our only cadet but he is a delight. He attended the Klingon Banquet with us and takes part with crew members and contributions to our newsletter. He may be only five years old, but he does so much to enhance the membership with his input. He has contributed so much to the station and its crew with his interesting stories and artwork. He's a fine cadet and really deserves this award. Well done, Sandy.

Enlisted Member Of the Year: Kevin Hightower Baker
Kevin has stepped forward to host the second get-together, which is something to be admired. Well done, Kevin, for taking the lead on this. He also posts in the Jupiter Lounge regaling us with tales of Jenny.

Officer Of the Year: Holly Bowler
For dedication to the Centaurian and the station. Her production of the Centaurian magazine for the chapter is amazing. She has far exceeded the CO's expectations, imprinting her own style on it to make it a truly wonderful addition to the Centaur Library.

Department Of the Year: R&D
A lot of excitement and fun on the Centaur takes place around the Research and Development department. There are always new experiments and things happening in there, with interesting posts by both Tony Burr and Ian Moore. It shows how important trial and error is to true science. There's an air of mystery in that department, of things unknown, questions about the truth of reality.

Leadership Ribbon: Colin Barrow
Colin has excelled in his Leadership skills. He took the lead with regard to the vessel readiness program and brought it to fruition. And let's not forget that he keeps the CO on the straight and narrow.
"He listens to me when I'm in a quandary and helps me to make the right decision.”

Academic Achievement Award: Tarin Breckin Teague
Tarin has very quietly taken a good number of exams in the Academy and has achieved some very excellent results. Well done, Tarin.

Federation Ribbon: Tony Burr
Tony has supported Centaur from the very beginning. He thinks of things from angles the rest of us have never anticipated and is a valued member of the Command Team. Thank you, Tony.

Diplomatic Ribbon: Anni Potts
For sticking up for the chapter and crew when it was needed. She is a true leader... and if she is ever wrong she will admit and learn from it. She is always there when we need her and always has the Centurion's best interests at heart.

Morale Ribbon: Erika Stroem
Erika feels like the emotional glue that holds us all together. She shows how much she cares for everyone on board and always makes herself available to talk when you need her. She's supportive of all the crew and regularly makes encouraging comments and posts that make people feel welcome. She's great for laughter and fun, which is always essential to good crew morale.

Centaurian Recruitment Award: Holly Bowler
For introducing new members to Centaur and promoting the ship at every opportunity.

Saturday, 12 May 2018


By LTJ Holly Bowler

The SpaceX launch of Falcon Heavy was a moment in time I’ll never forget. I was chatting with Emily Jane when Josh hollered up that the launch was about to happen, so I joined him at his laptop and kept Emily close by on Messenger while we watched history unfold.
There’s something absolutely breathtaking about watching such a sight, remembering that we humans are still searching, still striving, still trying to find our way out there in the universe, despite the backwards turn many would have us take. So much effort, thought, focus and resource invested in a single moment, with the ringleader standing wide-eyed and waiting, expecting this crazy endeavour to be met with failure yet still holding onto hope. I can’t image what must have gone through the minds and hearts of Elon Musk and his crew when they watched their gigantic baby take its first
All I know is the feeling of experiencing the countdown, the unity of humans taking part throughout the world, excited and just waiting to exhale, watching the powerful rise of the gargantuan rocket, the almost perfect return of the boosters, the images of this beautiful vehicle and its driver clearly not panicking as Starman was ejected into the vastness of space with an endless journey ahead. To see our beautiful world from afar, from ‘out there’—the profound epiphany of being. Let us hold out for hope still.

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Poor Klone

A true story by Cmdr Erika Stroem

Klone was a black cat, who was an offspring of another black cat who used to live with us; hence the name.
We were at the vet, for hopefully Klone’s final check-up. He had contracted some sort of unknown disease or poisoning that attacked the brain, which had baffled the vets. I had lost so many of my loving pets through it: Ozzy, a very young long-haired kitten, Tipsy and Topsy my daughter's two rabbits, Blue the parrot and Shera, my beautiful twenty-eight year old tarantula. The vet said that it may have been coincidental with Shera as she was very old
and on her last two legs, so to speak.
But Klone was the only one of our pets who caught this killer disease and actually survived it. However the vet did say that he would more likely to be left with some brain damage. Although I felt happy that he was on his way back to better health, I couldn’t help feeling guilty and embarrassed.
While most people transported their cats in up-to-date cat baskets, all I had was a cardboard box. I could not afford many things in those days and had to suffice with what we
had at home.
While sitting in the waiting room, with the box on my knee and being an hour early, as the next bus would have made us late, Klone got a bit restless. It
was a long time for him to be stuck in his container, especially not being able to see anything, so I opened the lid, just enough for him to pop his head out. I saw his eyes smile at me with gratitude for not making him have to suffocate any longer in his limited space. Having nursed him for so many weeks, I had become so close to him in a spiritual way, as though I had touched his soul and him, mine. I was unconditionally in love with him and so grateful for his survival.
We sat for a while, just staring at each other, when we got distracted by someone laughing. It was a lady who was accompanied by two children and a pink
toy poodle and she was pointing in our direction. Maybe she was referring to Klone with his head peeking out of the box. I suppose it must have looked quite funny. But how dare she point when she is the one with the pink dog, for crying out loud.
We watched as other people and their pets went through for their appointment with the vet, waiting eagerly for our turn. New batches of people came in and
as soon as they sat down in the waiting room, they also started pointing at Klone in his makeshift cat basket. One woman even went into fits of hysterical laughter. I smiled back at her, thinking, “I agree it could be cute, but surely not that funny.”
As time passed, people came and people went, who all pointed. They giggled, laughed out loud or tittered to themselves. One guy even asked if he could take
a photo. Another lady who had already been in to see the vet, deliberately grabbed the vet’s arm for him to come out of his consultation room to have a
look; who in turn beckoned the receptionist to come and see.
By then my smiles turned to frowns, as I was confused and paranoia was just about to settle in, until one abrupt lady came and sat next to me.
“I don’t know how you could,” she said, raising her eyebrows.
“Could what?” I replied anxiously.
“Have you not seen what is written on the front of the box?”
I hadn’t, as I’d just grabbed the first one available out of the porch. I gingerly turned the box around and when I saw it, I closed my eyes in disbelief. I wished for a hole to appear for me to make my escape. However, I at least then understood why people had found it so amusing. Nevertheless, it would have been better if it had not been written in such huge red letters. I cringed when I read it ... MEATY DOG FOOD.
Poor Klone!