After 3 months or so since the idea was conceived, fertilized and germinated, the Association of Barbel Fishers’ ‘birth’ was confirmed to the angling public and the membership was opened on 19th November 2010.
Whilst some of the original invited participants were becoming a little anxious that things were not progressing, there was an awful lotof hard work done behind the curtains. Our technical/admin guys, Conrad & Paul, were making sure they ironed out most if not all the bugs & idiosyncrasies of the Word Press ‘engine’ as related to your Forum. We all, collectively, drew up the association rules, guidelines etc., clarified and cleaned them up to a point where they were acceptable to the original members and then pushed the button.
We were admirably supported by BFW and at their suggestion posted our announcement on the main board, where to date it has had >10,000 views and 150+ replies and a very, very good reception from most, generating a membership acceleration to 100+ in the first week.
We need to hopefully maintain this momentum during the coming weeks, through the festive season and into a bright new year, so that we can start to programme in some of the already suggested activities which may generate further interest in our venture. It is reassuring to note at this time that although there has been some ‘anti-activity’ to the venture, we all have refrained from becoming involved in internet jousting with the detractors. This was one of our agreed stated aims and should remain there, high on our list of ‘things-to-not-do’.
We did consider holding an inaugural meeting to coincide with the public launch but agreed that this was maybe too onerous a step at this time of the year. It is now a probability that we can and should organise such an event to follow the season end in March 2011 and possibly during the better weather of April, better for travelling is what I mean. This meeting should also be deemed as our initial Annual General Meeting (AGM), for the members, which could be held immediately prior to the ‘inaugural’ meting for all-comers to meet us.
In addition to the proposed meeting(s) and now we have attained 100+ members it may be prudent to consider the ‘ways-and-means’ of instituting the desired nomination & voting system, to allow the membership to select the candidates/nominees for the Committee positions, to replace the original management team. Some of the team I am sure may be willing to continue if selected and some may wish to handover their responsibilities. Conrad has already hinted that he has ideas for the process but we will need to programme the process to meet the requirement for an elected Committee to be in place by November 2011.
I have already started the search for waters where we can either become affiliated with owning clubs/associations or waters that may be or become available in the near future, where we can budget for acquisition/leasing.
I believe the ‘Away days’ initiative, whereby members can arrange exchanges with colleagues, appears to be self-starting on the Forum. Let us not allow it to stall but promote it among ourselves so that it becomes an attractive feature of the association. I know it is not
really an opportune time at present, with the current adverse weather but there may be plenty of occasions between January and the end of season to get involved. These ‘Away days’ are not intended to be large parties, just members getting together in small groups, one-on-one or a couple or so at most joining up with individuals or colleagues with little or no organisation required.
The ‘Fish-Ins’ will be the association functions where we can make ourselves highly visible to the angling fraternity and these can be both ‘open’ and ‘closed’ affairs. The ‘closed’ type fish-ins are probably more suited to something organised for the relative newcomers to the sport of barbel fishing, of which there are possibly a fair number in the membership already and to come. The ‘open’ type will probably be more suited to promotion of the association to those who could become valued members, by inviting them along to meet us.
The ‘Fish-Ins’ are also considered to be the likely source of funding for the association intention of support for charities/deserving causes. These recipients are to be selected by the members and will not assigned by any individual desire.
We would appreciate any views any member has on any of the above points and such views can be posted on this thread or by PM to me,should anyone wish to initially retain some privacy.
To those new members I have missed a ‘welcome’ to, please accept this news update as your own welcome as well as a big ‘Thanks’ from me for joining us,