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The Commodore

A New Course For The GLAA

At this time of year, I usually rethink the programme and success of the past year of the GLAA and what changes we should make for the future. It is easy to get into a rut of doing the same thing for next year as we have done in the past. This year has been different. Whether it was the re-valuation in the world economy, or the too busy lifestyle of most of us, I do not know, but I have been very pessimistic about the future of the GLAA. We have tried to provide some value for the membership fee and have concentrated on 3 areas, cruising, racing and technical materials with a newsletter for communication.

This year, we have had two very competitive boats retire from the race fleet, had a difficult time getting interest in a Chesapeake trip (but we did have a really good contingent of nine enjoy some great wind and a good weekend there, in spite of one vehicle written off by Nature’s best efforts and fortunately, no personal injuries) and so racing looks as if it needs a rebirth if we are to continue that part of our programme. If you have any inclination to race or want to crew, please contact me.

The balance of the programme was my real concern. We have an executive that spends considerable time organizing the various events and the response has been minimal at times. We cannot continue to expect the organizing without some satisfaction that someone appreciates it. Costs are continually escalating and catching us from the other side as well and with postage rates again increasing, newsletter rates are up as well. With this in the short term view, I called the November executive meeting to review the future of the GLAA.

We are now on a new course, and it is a course that will take some of us oldies some adjustment time. I have made it clear to the executive, and now you, that I will not be Commodore for the next elected term. I am out of ideas for the moment as to how to continue this organization but fortunately, your executive is not. It has been an executive decision that for the GLAA to continue, the communication system is about to change to modern times and that means via electronic means. The GLAA website has been completely redone by Randy Litchfield and our newsletter will be there for all to read and print it yourself if you want to have it in hand. The goal is to make a part of the website system interactive so that you can e-mail questions in and get replies back. This makes for a more interested and interesting resource for most members. We will still organize cruises for one or two events per year, and we do want to maintain at least the international races but both of those categories require participation to continue. Events like the Annual General Meeting are a necessity, and in the past we have tried to go to dining rooms that have been nautical and reasonably priced. We have had to commit so much time to recruiting members to get above the minimum required to avoid room fees, we have changed that policy now to go to any reasonably priced venue.

We will try it for a year to see your reaction and re-evaluate things again next year. If we do not have willing members to take on executive positions at that time, we will have only one major decision to make and that is the viability of the GLAA. As for our position at the end of 2008, we have had two quite well attended cruises in Lake Ontario this year, three race events, but with only 4 boats at the last Great Lakes, and our finances are reasonably sound with a cash position of just over $2,000.00 and a small inventory value for things like race flags and burgees. Come out to the AGM on January 17 for a further discussion on this organization and a website update.

Photo of Don Campbell, Commodore