Thursday, 12 January 2012

Steve Rawlings

I'm stunned, and so are many members of the astronomy community. Rather than hearing through the grapevine I just happened to read this article on the BBC site this morning about how Steve was found dead yesterday.

Steve was a good friend and was a regular UKIRT observer. I supported many of his runs and we spent a lot of time together both at the summit of Mauna Kea and having dinner and beers in Hilo. Steve stopped coming out to Hawaii a few years ago mainly because we switched to survey operations and had fewer visiting observers, but he always complained that when he visited it always snowed and he never got any observing time!

Steve will be missed by his many good friends at the UKIRT and JCMT and I'm sure around the world. He was a wonderful person and lots of fun to be with. We once talked about arranging a cricket match in Hilo against the local softball team and he was going to bring his cricket gear out and also arrange to get the game onto the local news! Unfortunately it never happened, but my main memory of him was us having fun, especially on the soccer field! (Scroll down to the report at the end of the newsletter - in the picture Steve is second from right in the front row and there's even a rare shot of me - front row centre in the blue top kneeling down).

I know everyone at the JAC, both current and ex-employees, send their heart-felt condolences to Steve's family and friends. This is such a shock.


Beep said...

I'm so sorry you have lost a friend. I think what you wrote here was a wonderful tribute to him.

Beep said...

P.S. I'm just reading the BBC article now. What a terrible thing to happen. (((hugs)))

Hilary said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Tom.

Tom said...

Thanks Hilary and Pam. I still quite can't comprehend what's happened although it's looking more as though this isn't a murder case but a tragic incident.

alice said...

Condolences, Tom. I just got back from being away from the internet for a few days and was sad to hear this news.