The first group, which focuses on a local ghost townsite, the Granite Creek Preservation Society (www.GraniteCreekBC.ca), I have been a part of since its inception. In fact, when I helped form the group I suggested the head executive position be called Chairman rather than President. That was roughly at the time I was nominated and elected to that position. I’ve held many seats in local non-profits, and usually President or Vice President so I just wanted to shake it up a little and go with the term ‘Chair.’
The afternoon AGM (Annual General Meeting) went well and I was returned to the Chair for another term. The position is far from difficult in my mind as I have a solid Board of Directors around the table and we all work very well together. I often joke about having the main role of “steering the ship” while everyone else does most of the hard work. I know that’s not entirely true, but with a good board it really does make the Chair’s job much easier.
The second group, the Princeton & District Museum & Archives Society (www.PrincetonMuseum.org), I have a much longer history with. About 15 or so years ago I volunteered Sunday afternoons at the local Museum. Over the years I owned a local newspaper I spent many hours in the building either researching stories or taking photos of activities for stories. Last year I was elected as a Director to the Museum board.
The evening AGM also went well. Only this time around I was elected President of the Society. The Nomination Committee more or less surprised me with their recommendation and they assured me that should I get elected to the local Town Council in October, there was a plan in place to fill the seat should I have to vacate it for civic politics. I have been active in a couple of committees within the Museum Board and I have a good grasp of what they are doing.
March 15th turned out to be a rather interesting day for me. I’m very happy to still be involved in two very hard-working local non-profit groups. Both of them have accomplished a great deal in the past year and past few years. As a result I am not looking at conducting any major changes outside of the normal phases either group will encounter. I’m just a little amazed and somewhat humbled by the fact that these volunteer groups have so much trust and faith in me.
This leads me to my point. I am a firm believer that the cultural fabric of any community – big or small – is the responsibility of local residents to build, preserve and share. This requires volunteers stepping up and getting involved in various capacities. I have been a volunteer for many decades. Although I have had many frustrations along the way, I have also learned a lot about myself and others through volunteering. If you haven’t already done so, give some of your time back to your community. It’ll do you and your neighbours some good!