Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Barry's Blog 21

We are fast approaching that time of year when we look back on the current one and forward to the next. For the EBU and me it has been a year of discovery….

I have discovered that working for a membership organization can be very difficult. My staff, the Board and I have tried very hard to improve things – with a reasonable measure of success. However, there are huge numbers of things that remain to be done in order to make our organization sleek, efficient and worthy of the 21st Century. Naturally that requires change; unfortunately, change in any area of our workings seems to be anathema to many people.

Of course, for the latter half of the year many of us have found ourselves immersed in the proposals for changing the way that the EBU funds itself. After seventy seven years it was no surprise that there is resistance to change from some, especially the noisy minority. Whatever happens next year our members should remember that this is the first time EVER that the EBU has consulted its membership, has listened to what they have said and absorbed as many of their suggestions as possible.

The shareholders who are representatives of the counties will eventually determine the way forward after they have consulted their county’s membership. What is sure is that whatever they agree for us to do, we will not please everyone; but it will be the shareholders that make the decision, not the Board but the shareholders. This is why we have embarked on another round of consultation and enquiry with our clubs, through our counties, and this will result in a decision being made on June 4th 2008 at an Extraordinary General Meeting that will be held specifically for that purpose.

So next year promises to be full of discussions and decisions that will affect the future of the English Bridge Union and to a large extent organized bridge in England. With all of the emotion that this will create I want to say please remember that everyone does care, each in their own way, each for their own reason, but we all want to improve things for all of us.

At this point in the calendar I would like to wish season’s greetings to all of our members, to all of my staff and especially to all of the volunteers who work at all levels of bridge administration and without whom not much would happen.

I look forward to a happy and healthy new year for all, and above all, I wish for harmony and tolerance in our decision making.