I am already a week into the job, and it feels like a lifetime but my intention is to be open and transparent in my work for the BCA and keep in touch with UK cavers, not forgetting the miners, and I had better also include the scientists (hope I haven’t forgotten anyone) fraternity. That openness will have its boundaries in discretion and good taste so do not expect warts and all; an acquaintance of mine stated “Everything with good grace,” which is a nice mantra. It has been a steep learning curve so far, in fact, so steep I could do with a fresh set of prusikers, but I’m looking forward to it.
As a display of my openness and transparency, copied below is my first message to the BCA Council sent this morning (23rd May). There is nothing contentious in it, and is more a reflection of the strange times we live in trying to organise a meeting, and it saves my typing finger on the keyboard explaining how I got here. I have also added a CV of my credentials in support of my nomination for the Secretary’s position when it comes up for election:
“Good Morning Council Member,
You should by now have received Matt Ewles’s final message to you relinquishing his position as BCA Secretary and informing you of myself stepping into the Acting role by agreement with the Chair and Treasurer for the interim period up to the AGM.
About a month or so ago after reading Matt’s resignation post, I realised the Association may have problems recruiting a replacement and found myself in a position to step forward and offer to help. Initially, this was with thoughts of picking up on the “donkey work”, the admin of a Secretary’s role but subsequently with the intention of running for the position at this year’s AGM. I have received a nomination and second from my Club, the Craven Pothole Club, Chair and Secretary, Paul McWhinney and John Helm respectively which has been submitted to the outgoing Secretary together with a “CV ” of my credentials which I attach for your perusal.
Clearly, I am in at the “deep end” but look forward to your support and forbearance whilst I come to terms with the requirements of the position. Matt has briefed me on the essentials and I have an action plan to work from. One priority is to organise a meeting of the Council possibly in June/July which will be “virtual” on a conferencing platform to be decided yet. My own Club have been meeting regularly in a virtual pub and also convened committee meetings on Zoom. It has worked well with up to 20 of us on occasions although how we manage a larger number will be an interesting test. I would suggest that for the Council meeting, we agree to refrain from imbibing our favourite tipple as I’ve noticed our meetings get more verbose as the evening goes on, probably because I’m the main culprit and we do need to finish! I’ll keep you informed of developments but any suggestions of how we may facilitate this are more than welcome as I guess it will be a first.
Finally, I would welcome any comments, observations or advice in general, you may wish to give me; the one about being mad has been done!
I’m looking forward to working with you
The last paragraph is particularly relevant as I extend that invitation to everyone.
Yours caving forever, Russell