Teams are incredible things. No task is too great, no accomplishment too grand, no dream too far-fetched for a team. It takes teamwork to make the dream work.
The year is half over, and we are gearing up for the start of our photography season again. Our board—Bob, Dennis, Ian, Jason, Margaret, Rilla—and I have really been coming together as a team. We have been working hard and working together all summer and have accomplished a lot for our club. We have done many exciting things to keep our club interesting, entertaining, and educational.
Hybrid meetings are back this fall. We discovered our members really like them. Our remote members, some of whom live on islands in the Strait of Georgia, especially appreciate them. Our meetings for Competition and Members’ Nights at Norway House are scheduled and we are planning a Christmas Party at Norway House, too—the first in a long time.
We are happy to have Bill Green back to do Street Photography. This topic has been hugely popular with our members, and we are excited to have Bill to lead it again.
We got our picture in a few papers published by Black Press (The Oak Bay News, The Saanich News, The Victoria News, and a few others!) I am sure a lot of you have seen it. This is a big plus for our club as it boosts our image in the community. Black Press wants to do more stories on us later in the year and next year. They will probably cover at least some of our 80th Anniversary activities.
The 80th Anniversary is on track and coming along nicely. We have four events planned. One will be “A Day in the Life of Victoria.” We will ask club members to go out any time from midnight to midnight on a specific day and capture the life of our city. I am working with local media to get it covered and written up, and I am working on getting a TV station to do a video story on it. Stay tuned.
Other projects are on the go; you will read about them in messages from the board to the membership.
I must talk about an issue that won’t go away—our membership numbers. We were at 250 when I joined the club about 3 years ago and that number has not moved much since then but is in fact slowly declining; we are losing a member or two every couple of months. New members are joining all the time, but a few more than that are not renewing their memberships.
We on the board are concerned about membership numbers because finding volunteers to help run all our club activities is becoming a struggle. We had to phone a lot of people this year to fill all the positions that needed filling. Many club members have volunteered for jobs over many years, and they feel they have done enough. We cannot expect the same people to step up over and over. Recruiting new members will help us find the new volunteers we desperately need. New members will also enhance our budget and help us continue to offer workshops and other special events.
I set a goal of 275 members for this club for several reasons—and, really, it is not to be the biggest club in Canada—although wouldn’t it be fun if we were! It’s just to have a goal to strive for. Goals offer inspiration and unite people. To quote Robert Browning, “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?”
I think I speak for the board when I say that, for us, the club comes first. We hope you will help us grow this club and make it even bigger and better than it already is!
James Dies – President – Victoria Camera club.