Well, with the AGM just over a week ago, and our final meeting of the season now over, that draws to a close my first year as chairman of the club.
It’s certainly been a busy year. It seems that club business is never far away. If it’s not planning meetings, it’s contacting guest speakers, before during and after their visits to us. Planning next year’s meetings – I am the current programme secretary in the absence of any volunteers form the club, just two of the roles we currently hold vacant – then there’s the website updates, reports on meetings, judges scores to upload, and every thing else involved in running a club.
It’s been a year of highs and lows really. We’ve had a great bunch of visiting speakers. 2013/14 seems to have been a great year for wildlife photography. We’ve had some excellent speakers and seen some truly inspiring photography, from the likes of Paul Beastall and his zoo photography, to Simon Hawkins and his visit to the land of polar bears, and ending up with Tom Way, a young photographer who truly has a bright future ahead of him, if his photography to date is anything to go by. The lows have perhaps been the low number of members attending some meetings.
I’m pleased to say that both Simon Hawkins and Tom Way have agreed to come back and show us their latest work next season.
I was keen to increase the club membership. Letchworth is one of the oldest photography clubs in the country, if not the world, but we are also one of the smallest. This does have its benefits but I think it’s important to grow the club and open it up to more people, especially the younger generations, wherein lie the future of photography. This is ‘work in progress’ and I hope to be able to work on attracting new members, after all, with more members, we have more cash available to do bigger and better things.
At the start of the year I ran a member survey to fnd out what members wanted from the club. One of the most popular comments was that people generally wanted less speakers and more hands-on photography. This is something I have reflected when planning the 2014/15 programme, which is almost complete.
One of the changes I wanted to make during my tenure was to move the AGM. Historically, it has always been at the beginning of the new season. As our programme for the following season is printed in May/June, this has meant that it is instantly out of date in terms of the club officers, almost the moment it is printed, since the officers change within a few meetings of the print date.
So this year we have had two AGMs, one last October and one in June this year. Next year we will see the AGM coming at the end of the club year, meaning the officers are selected before the time the programme is printed.
Talking of AGMs and club officers, I was pleased to be able to welcome four new members of the team. Andrew Harris has taken over as Club Secretary and we have 3 new Ordinary Members, Dennis Anguige, Judith Duddle and Yvonne Connelly.
Andrew Foden has resigned from the Secretary’s post and Nick Railton and Steve Pullinger both resigned from the committee. My thanks to them for their work in the previous year.
So that’s it for my first year as Club CHairman. It’s been an interesting year. Now that things have bedded down a little, I’m looking forward to the next year and hopefully to bring in some changes to make everyone’s experiences at the club a little more interesting.