Friday, 11 June 2010

The projects mount up

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!


#1Nana said...

I continue to be surprised in the blogs that I read how much I have in common with people all over the world. Though we are thousands of miles apart, we have much in common. I will assume the vice president duties in my Lion's Club this year...and I have not a clue what those duties are!

I am also serving on Jury Duty this month. So far I have not been called to actually serve on a jury. I hope to serve at least once before my term is over...I need material for my blog!

Uncle Skip, said...

The biggest issue I have with the leadership roles within Lions is the reticence on the part of club presidents to delegate... or in some cases seek support. Even worse than that many clubs just roll over and let one individual take charge and make decisions that should be group decisions. A handbook to help the club vp prepare is a good idea only if he reads it. There is a great deal of information available and accessible, but it helps only if it is used.

Brighton Pensioner said...

Nana - I will be more than happy just to sit in the jury room reading for a day or two, then be sent home! What I don't want is a complicated case.

Skip - there may well be much material already "out there", but I think each club will have its own way of doing things and that, in part, is what needs to be got across. Perhaps this is something I should really be airing 'Under the Pier'?