AGM September 2021

At last: might it all be over? At two of the clock, on Wednesday 8th of September, 2021, we had our Annual General Meeting. And we had it inside Hockham Village Hall, invoking a sense of normality, albeit with a little trepidation.

It has to be said that we did not have as many members turn up as we had hoped we might get. Habits change, situations change and people change. One of the subjects touched upon at the meeting was the fall in membership. It seems that there are several clubs, not necessarily gardening clubs that have faded away in recent months. Is the pandemic or the fact that the internet can provide a much wider diversity of interests that can have an active membership… worldwide? Well, I think we will have to have a bit of a recruitment drive.

Not many people at the AGM? It’s sad to say that a lot of people don’t attend because they are afraid they might get stuck for a job. Unfortunately that is the reality of operating a club, some people have to do stuff. People get older, people move away and people have just been on the committee too long. Too long for their own good and too long for the club to have vibrancy – fresh ideas needed. Either the club gets supported or it’s gone. So why not come along and support your village club. Our speaker at 14:00 on the 13th October at Hockham village hall will be Dr. Ian Bedford, who until recently had been head of entomology research at the John Innes Centre. He will be talking about BUGS. How can you resist? You do not have to be a member; you can just turn up as a guest and see how it goes. We are a friendly bunch (mostly) and are not necessarily fixated on gardening. At the AGM we had a quiz that was so easy that everybody got everything right – and not one question on gardening.

As I mentioned, some people have been on the committee for so long they are feeling like a change. One of those who feel they have been at it too long is Jane Dalton. Jane was a founder member of the club and has held every position there is on the committee, and for extended periods. She has hosted club events in her home and on those occasions has made wonderful cakes. No one has worked longer and harder for the club than Jane and although she will still be a member, she feels she would like to step back and have a little more time to pursue one or two other interests. I know the other club members will want to join me in giving Jane a heartfelt thank you, and wish her all the best.

We are also losing Matt and Sue Cunningham. They are moving way out of area and we will miss them.

Another vacancy on the committee is my wife, Prue. She has been treasurer for fourteen years and that’s too long for anyone to be in any one job that long so it’s a big thank you to her, too. But there’s a little more to it: things have been bought to a head because stepping down has, in a way, been forced upon us. Prue and I are moving. Basically our half an acre is getting too much for us. As the saying goes, we are not getting any younger.

And now, the end of all the hard work may be near and we may be facing the final few months at Green Gables. It has become clear; we’re certain; we have to move house. We've lived a life that's full, but now it’s becoming too full. So now we are travelling each and every highway looking for something with a lot less work. Regrets, we'll have a few, but if we don’t move on before too long, we’ll have too many to mention. To be frank, we want to do what we want to do, not what we have to do.

See you next month, Ed.

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