Secretary’s Report - June 2022

Greetings to you all. In my May Secretary’s Report, I asked members to let me know if they would be able to attend
a Boat Race Dinner on August 20th. A number of you have replied to my request, but unfortunately, only a small number of you. To be more specific, only 8.7% of the membership replied, and only 2.9% of the membership thought they might be able to attend on August 20th. There is no way we can go ahead with such paltry numbers, and we have therefore had to withdraw our August 20th booking at the RVYC. Consequently there will be no Boat Race
Dinner this year, for the third year in a row. We are, however, in the process of getting our ducks lined up for a 2023 Boat Race Dinner. This, if it goes ahead, will be held much closer to the race in the UK, and will feature screens
showing the four races.


Nonetheless, it would be remiss of me not to comment on the appallingly low response rate to my May query. VOCS is its members. Other than the Boat Race Dinner, your board does not exist to put on a succession of varied and interesting entertainments for the membership. The board, instead, provides the tools through which members may organise activities which appeal to them, and communicate those activities to the membership as a whole, thereby forming a group of like-minded individuals. During the early COVID period, we helped members form a very successful book club, and an equally successful movie club. As a result, new friendships have been formed between members who otherwise might not come into contact with each other. I believe this to illustrate the primary purpose of a social organisation. The impetus for both these clubs, however, came from individual members, not from the board.


So if you have ever idly wondered whether there is anyone else out there who is interested in the same things you are, please let us know. We can easily and quickly push out a note to the membership, and can help you collate responses.


When you joined VOCS, you completed a little activity survey. I can tell you that out of a membership of 344, 184 of you ticked the hiking box, 101 kayaking, 86 each for cycling and sailing, 46 for bridge and 34 chess. But of course, there is no need to limit yourself to the activities in the survey. I have no doubt that there are VOCSians interested in everything from astronomy to zoology, with all stops in between.


With the country finally starting to open up a little, and with the summer weather upon us (apparently), now is the time for VOCSians to come out of hibernation and meet some new, like minded people. Enough of the navel gazing, it’s time for action!! So go ahead, email me at vanoxbridge@gmail.com and ask me to push out a notification of a VOCS SUP group, or a VOCS ultimate frisbee group, or even a VOCS quantum mathematics group. VOCS is what you make it, and if you find it irrelevant to your life, think about ways in which it could become relevant. Then do something about it.


Enough of my rant. You will not be surprise to hear that I believe there is a wealth of potential in VOCS and I find it hugely frustrating that we are barely scratching the surface.


And now for something completely different. May I remind you that the VOCS Summer picnic will take place on Friday July 15th, with a 6:30 kick off. The venue is Spanish Banks Central Parking Lot, Spanish Banks, Vancouver V6T 1X8 (the same place as last year and the year before). As with last year, this event is weather dependent, so please check your emails on the day. Last year, we were forced to cancel (because of rain) less than a couple of hours  before our scheduled start. We no longer have any COVID related formalities.


Attendees are to please bring their own seats / blankets, as well as food and drink. For previous picnics, because of COVID, individual groups supplied their own food, with no sharing. Now we are able to share, so I would ask you to bring larger quantities, so some sharing is possible. It would also be helpful if individuals bought their own plates and cutlery. As for wine, I think we’re not supposed to drink (openly, at least), but this rule seems more honoured in the breach than otherwise. Children and pets are welcome.


Please reply to me at vanoxbridge@gmail.com and let me know if you will be coming, along with the number in your party. I will put this information on to a spreadsheet, from which any cancellation emails (or any other email information) will come. It will also be good to have an indication of likely numbers.


Finally many thanks to those of you who volunteered for a board position. We have already appointed three new board members (look on the board memebrs page to see who they are!!) and have another couple in the pipeline. All organisations need an inflow of  new blood, and I am very pleased to see younger generations properly represented on the board.


As ever, I look forward to hearing from you,

 

Simon Taylor (VOCS Secretary)