Any regular readers of this blog will be fully aware that I am a member of my local Lions club - that is Brighton Lions Club. Any member of a Lions club can keep him/herself as busy as they want as there is always something that can be done. I have two particular roles within the club: I manage the web site and I edit the monthly newsletter, Jungle Jottings. I have also taken on the role of District webmaster for the next year or so. This latter role is causing me grief at the moment. I have rewritten (if that's the word) much of the web site in an effort to make it less cumbersome and easier to use but there is still some way to go. The problem I have is that I have been quite unable to access the server to upload the new pages. The outgoing webmaster has given me the address and password etc, but it doesn't want to work for me. I've emailed him again asking him to tell me what I am doing wrong, but getting an answer from him can take an age. Meanwhile, I will try to get help elsewhere.
One project is almost at an end. Brighton Lions celebrate their 60th anniversary later this year and I took it upon myself to produce a history of the first 60 years of the club. The manuscript is now in its 5th or 6th version - the final version, I hope - and I am just waiting for the incoming Chairman of the Council of Governors for our Multiple District to supply the foreword. Once I have that I can get the whole thing to the printers.
Which will allow me the time to start another project. I ran a piece in the last issue of Jungle Jottings suggesting that maybe it would be a good idea for club presidents to serve for two years, either consecutively or coming back after a break of a year or two. I don't propose to go into the whys and wherefores here: anyone who is remotely interested can read the piece here. Even though I wrote that piece, I'm not at all sure that I fully agree with the idea. My aim was to get people thinking and possibly, just possibly, to start a discussion. That issue was sent out almost two weeks ago and, surprisingly, I have received two responses. Unsurprisingly, neither is from a Brighton Lion. But brief chats with one or two other Lions, especially our current President, have given me food for thought and I have come to the conclusion that the root of the problem (if problem it is) lies with the lack of training, mentoring or what have you that vice presidents receive in our club. Hence the possible new project - a handbook for vice presidents to help them prepare for taking on the role of president in Brighton Lions Club.
For several years now, another of my pastimes has been family history. I have a large collection of people in my family tree, but there is a gap in the background information between the 1901 census and first- or second-hand knowledge. The 1911 census became available to search sometime last year, but it has only very recently been uploaded onto genealogy web sites in a form that can be searched by name. I hope shortly to take advantage of this to find out where my grandparents and great-grandparents were and how they were living then. It might also help me track down my late mother-in-law's family which has remained a mystery to my wife and I for many years.
So what with those projects, plus this and other blogs and the continuing "work" for the Lions, I should keep myself pretty busy over the next few weeks or months. Actually, some of those newer projects will probably have to be put on hold for a while as on Monday I start jury service. I sincerely hope I don't catch a case that lasts weeks or even months!