Topic: Memorial Telescopes

Topic type:

Telescopes donated to Masterton Library

In June 2011, two telescopes were donated to the Masterton District Library by former Masterton Intermediate School teacher Eric Blown. The telescopes were made by two former M.I.S. pupils Paul Hewson and Brett Barnes as Form Two students in 1975. Construction of the telescopes involved grinding and polishing of the mirrors and making the optical tube assemblies and mountings. The telescopes could not be completed in school time but Paul and Brett went on to finish their projects at home.Sadly both Brett and Paul were later killed in seperate accidents and the telescopes are to be known as the Paul Hewson and Brett Barnes Memorial Telescopes.

Brett and Paul's telescopes were refurbished by a later group of M.I.S. students and teachers in 1985 and were presented to the Wairarapa Educational Resource Centre for use by local schools. Unfortunately in 2010 when Eric Blown tried to track them down for on-going maintenance he discovered one was missing. An article in the Midweek newspaper soon saw the second telescope being rediscovered and both then underwent an extensive restoration including a donation of two Barlow lenses by Darrell Ramsay of Masterton.

The telescopes are now in excellent condition and a fitting tribute to the efforts and memory of Paul and Brett. They have been donated to Masterton Library to ensure that they keep being utilised by members of the public and especially children from local schools.