Amateur astronomers in Charlottetown are paying tribute a long-time member of their star-gazing community with a special memorial.
Keith Cooper, founder of the Charlottetown chapter of Sidewalk Astronomers, died last October.
Friends and fellow astronomy buffs have placed and dedicated a bench in Victoria Park in his honour.
"He was the original sidewalk astronomer of Charlottetown," said Chris Vessey. "He was the first guy to bring his equipment out and say, 'Hey people, have a look through.'"
The bench is near the spot where Cooper often set up his telescopes, beside the cannons and up a short incline from the boardwalk. Over the years, he shared his view of the cosmos with thousands of passersby.
A small plaque on the bench describes Cooper's passion for astronomy.
"Keith never charged a single cent for looking through his equipment, nor for his skilled instruction," the message reads. "Both local and visitors from far away enjoyed his good humour and vast knowledge."
Cooper also spearheaded an effort in 2014 to put telescopes in schools and libraries across Prince Edward Island.
Cooper's family is touched by the commemorative bench.
"Anytime we're feeling a little sad or we want to get closer to dad, we can always go down to Victoria Park, and sit on the bench and we'll know that he's around," said son Aaron Cooper, "It's very heartwarming, this bench. We really appreciate it."
Sidewalk Astronomers is a world-wide movement of amateur star-gazers who make a point of sharing their hobby with the public. In Charlottetown, their social media group and has more than 600 members.
Other astronomers often joined Cooper in Victoria Park, especially on warm summer nights with clear skies. During daylight hours, Cooper used a solar telescope specially designed for viewing the sun.
"He just loved sharing his knowledge and seeing people's reaction. Whenever they would look into the scope, you could see in their eyes, 'Like wow,'" said Aaron.
"Just to have a plaque and a bench to honour his legacy so that people can remember him, that's pretty cool."
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