When the club was started in 1961, I was still a kid in Manchester and hadn’t even started school yet. So I never met most of the original club members. But I did meet some of them eventually – nearly 50 years later. They were obviously quite old by then, but 50 years earlier they had occupied responsible positions in the newly formed club. One of our first Presidents, John Spronk, was still in his thirties at the time. This group of people started the flying club, and a year later they started the airshow. Then in 1966 and 1967 they really got the airshow going to celebrate the centenaries of BC and then of Canada.
I think it is time that we made a definite effort to lower the average age of the people responsible for running things in the club. We all have a stake in the future of the club, but some of us are older than others, and our stake will simply not last as long as that of others. So it is logical that the club’s strategic direction for the future should be directed by those Members more likely to be around to keep things going.
We have at least one very valuable part of the strategic plan already in place. It is the lease relationship for the hangars with the airport, which will last until March 2045. We are putting in everything necessary to provide the best hangars we can, and this will benefit us by keeping the hangar tenants in place, all the hangars rented, and a reliable rental income coming into the club. Hangar tenants deserve to get a good product in return for their rental payments. This reliable income is a huge asset for a club. It can be used to pay for new building and airplanes. So we need to make sure we preserve the excellent arrangement that has been set up for this.
2045 is a long time from now, but I expect the club will still be here. What will it look like? What will we have achieved between now and then?
We need long-term strategies around the club’s other activities and interests – the clubhouse, growing the membership, aircraft ownership, events, etc. At present we do not have any such long-term strategies. Some of the things we do are good, and there is no reason to change them. But some things are not so positive, and continuing to do more of the same will not reverse undesirable trends, so there are some things we need to do differently.
I believe that the expertise and talents to find more effective ways of thinking are already present in the club. They reside mostly with Members who have not yet got involved with running things.
This month is May – the month when I will form the Nominating Committee for the Board that will take over in October. I need to hear from Members who want to have a say in the future of the club – Members who have ideas about how we should do things, and are willing to help make things happen, without fear of change. If this is you, please contact me. Or if you have ideas about which other members you would like to see involved, let me know who they are, and we will talk to them directly. As we all know, it can be difficult to find candidates for the Board, but is in everyone’s interests to help identify good candidates, and then elect them.
Immediate Past-President and Chair of the Nominating Committee