Let me start this message by talking about our excellent experience in Woodstock at the NBSRT AGM. It was so wonderful to see everyone getting together in-person. We had some fun but also got a great deal of work done. We passed our 2022-2023 Budget, approved 10 of the 11 recommendations brought forward by the Executive for our Strategic Plan (one recommendation was postponed to next AGM). We also had Dale Weldon from Johnson Insurance bring us up to date on changes to our plan and he responded to a number of questions from the delegates. I am proud to say that we accomplished a lot in a short period of time.
Huge thanks go to Carleton-North York President John Wetmore for hosting us and to his awesome Organizing Committee under the leadership of John Irvine. They made us feel welcome from the first moment at registration. They put together an incredible list of tours, held countless draws for door prizes and hosted a really enjoyable social evening the night before the meeting. The Woodstock hosts made the three year wait between in-person AGMs almost worth it.
I thought of the Woodstock experience when I attended a Branch AGM and lunch in Saint John today. There were about 75 people in attendance at their first big in-person gathering in a couple of years. The lunch was great, and the meeting went very smoothly but the thing that struck me was how these things always seem to go so well. People were set up at the entry to collect luncheon tickets and sell 50/50 and door prize tickets. The agenda and minutes, and budget were printed, and copies were at each table. A member led us in Oh Canada followed by grace. The Branch President presided over a meeting that included committee reports, a reading of the names of members we have lost since the last AGM, and a brief presentation by yours truly.
Many of you would ask, “So what is your point Bob? That is pretty much what we all do at our annual meetings.” And I know that. I have already attended branch meetings in Bathurst and Moncton this year and will attend three more Branch AGMs in the next couple of weeks. The agenda was and will be similar, but it isn’t the meeting structure or the meals or draws that I want to highlight in this message.
As I sat waiting for the meeting in Saint John to get underway, I reflected on the organization and leadership that we all take for granted. Think of the people who keep our branches operating. Those dedicated people who have served on multiple executive positions, set up breakfasts and luncheons and invited guest speakers. Think of the people who have organized road trips and zoom meetings and who initiated things like branch Calendars and Newsletters and home visits to our older and more vulnerable members.
Now think of your own Branch. You probably know people who have been organizing and doing things for your members seemingly for ever. We all know people who served as President or Treasurer for years. We can all think of people who have committed hours and hours to keep our branches going. Think of how lucky we are that those people are around and willing to do so much for us.
Please take a moment, as this year winds down, to thank the incredible people who are giving up their time to keep our branch activities flowing. They all work very hard for us and are deserving of our sincere appreciation. They would probably also appreciate some help. Consider offering to help out with something in your Branch. I guarantee any offer of help will be quickly accepted.
Finally, I invite you to take a few moments and go to our website to see the videos related to the NBSRT AGM. One of the videos presents the recommendations related to the Strategic Plan and explains the rationale for each. If you take a moment to check the recommendations you will see that our major area of concentration will be on growing our membership.
Membership growth is our number one priority. We have to grow if we want to have greater relevance and influence. In order to be successful in achieving this goal, we need everyone to help. We know that most people join NBSRT because of personal contact. They join because someone actually invited them to one of our events and maybe even gave them a member registration form.
You can help by asking a friend or former colleague to become a member.