President’s Report for the 2019 AGM
My term of office as President of this Guild is coming to an end. A president may not continue in office for a 4th term and so my 3 years are up at the AGM on May 18th when we all meet at Gorran. It is only the role of President which is time limited but it is a principle to which the Standing Committee should give some thought when they consider their task of re-writing the Guild rules.
Please do come along to Gorran for the AGM. I know meetings are generally boring but this a membership charity and dependant upon all of you to drive the committee and those who keep it ticking over. We had a couple of doggies at last year’s AGM which I thought improved it immeasurably along with some very helpful heckling from members of the Eastern District who were sitting in the front. Additionally, Gorran is a very lovely place to visit and if you don’t leave with a view to checking out available properties on Rightmove I shall be surprised.
You know that I am going to revisit highs, lows, any other excitements and thank people. That’s the way it should be and not only because I have had a blast thanks to all of you. I don’t know how many towers I reached in the time but out of 133, over a 100. Without fail I was warmly welcomed, mucked in, had some good conversations about all sorts of things including ringing and had an excellent evening. I left knowing that any other visiting ringer would have been made as welcome by all the ringers led by the tower captains and secretaries. Thank you one and all.
Attending practice nights come under highs as do attending district practices and improver’s practices where they are held. The one topic everyone has in common is concerns over recruitment and teaching and these practices provide the warmth of camaraderie and an opportunity to ring anything from rounds to surprise methods. Everyone has a chance to ring within or even to stretch their capabilities a bit and to get to know other ringers. Where these practices do not happen I for one think it a great shame as we are in the business of ringing. Hopefully the results of a renewed interest in the teaching guided by the Association of Ringing Tutors (ART) in the Western and Central Districts will result in group practices.
Amongst the other highlights have been finding a few young ringers on my travels; the hallowing at St Winnow and at Lanivet; the small shift in emphasis from 1/4 peal weeks to Ringing Performance week which is so much more reflective of our dual ringing heritage; driving from Perranwell to Crowan for a 1/4 in dense fog George Stevens navigating and to this day having no idea how we made it; Royal Wedding ringing; Ringing Remembers (baptism of fire for Jane PRO); An Clogh being such a great read every time (thanks Ian), Kevan and Owen Borlase taking diversity to new levels by teaching aliens to ring and the website.
And yes, there have been sad moments. In the 3 months surrounding Christmas 2017 I attended 10 funerals. There were more during my 3 years, each and every one being a new sorrow. All of our ringers have been given a farewell befitting a ringer and where I have been invited to ring it has been an honour just as it has been to listen to the ringing. May they rest in peace and may we always remember them with a smile of pleasure.
To those who keep this Guild ticking over, namely the District Officers and in particular the secretaries, a huge thank you. You’ve kept me informed, you have kept your districts in ringing activities and you keep at it. To you I raise my metaphorical hat and I salute you. There are others of course: all the Guild officers also work really quite hard on our behalf, not every day but at times and it has been a privilege to work closely with them when required. Thank you, all of you.
Last but far from least there is the one person without whom this Guild would not function. I refer of course to the Guild Secretary, Robert Perry who has my everlasting gratitude for without him I could not have done the job.
6th April 2019