It’s been my pleasure to serve as your President and Chair of Council over the past 12 months. Over that time, we have successfully addressed several matters on your behalf including the following:
As a matter of safety, we reviewed and updated our Incident Report and clarified the process for its completion and submission when any event participant incurred an accident or injury requiring some form of medical attention. We also purchased mini first aid kits and distributed them to each of our event leaders.
In order to recruit experienced members to lead our outdoor activities, we addressed several options with varying degrees of success. However, our Hiking Committee Chair, Louise Gibson, directly appealed to several individuals and as a result has developed a sizeable number of names.
While on the subject of hiking, we appreciate the initiative and special effort undertaken for informal Tuesday morning events this summer by both Lester Earle leading longer, more distant hikes, and Tony Arnold leading more casual easy hikes around our local parks and waterways.
Outdoor activity committee chairs were kept quite busy all year scheduling a significant number of hiking, cycling and paddling events taking place both locally and outside Lambton County. While we didn’t have ideal snow conditions for winter activities this year, we hope to schedule several events this winter.
Our amazing website has continued to evolve under the leadership of Chris Richmond. We’re pleased that the vast majority of members now depend on it for current news, upcoming activities and most importantly to pay for membership renewals and certain social events using its easy credit card facility.
Our e-newsletter, has also developed very nicely with timely stories and colourful pictures. I thank Mike Tanner for his dedication to that publication as well as Tony Arnold for proofreading it. Of course, to produce a monthly newsletter, content is required and therefore Mike would welcome your contributions.
Another significant development was the redesign of our logo which can now be more effectively used for digital applications, including our web site. This new logo was also used for the development, design and printing of new business cards and descriptive rack cards to effectively promote our Club.
Promoting our club and its activities has been helped by free weekly inclusion in the community events pages of local newspapers based on information provided by Lori Clancy, as well as by Terry Syer posting items and pictures on Facebook. Terry also arranged for new LOC apparel including toques and ball caps.
After many years of looking after our membership records, including renewal activity, Larry Suffield thought it time to retire from that important role. Thankfully, Phil Vallance agreed to assume that responsibility. I would like to thank both Larry for his significant contributions and Phil for taking over the membership role.
I would also like to thank Sharon Crowe for stepping up to Chair the Social Committee as well as for successfully organizing our AGM. The committee has also been busy arranging for our annual Christmas dinner to be held again at Olive’s Casual Cuisine on the evening of Sunday, November 24th. Your opportunity to register for this event as well as select your dinner options will soon be available on our website.
Recognizing the importance of providing relevant education to our members, we scheduled a Wilderness Training course organized by Shaun Antle held during the summer at Camp Attawandaron. The annual Bicycle Workshop coordinated by John Lovegrove was well received. Another very successful program enjoyed by many was the Paddling Film Night organized by Judy Mahoney and held in May at Theatre 41 in Sarnia.
The Cycling Committee chaired by Cynthia McNeil scheduled many events as well as an online Cycling Survey organized by Mike Tanner in order to identify rider preferences with regard to destinations, duration and time of the week for future consideration.
We addressed a number of issues to minimize potential liability to LOC related to our various outdoor activities, including having a lawyer review the printed waiver form we require non-members to sign before participating in LOC outdoor events. We also now require minors under age 18 attending our outdoor activities to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian who must sign the waiver form for them.
Since we rely on event leaders to operate as efficiently and safely as reasonably possible, we felt it important to provide them with adequate training, including a Training Course recently organized and presented by Chris Richmond, Louise Gibson and Donna Suffield.
I would like to recognize and thank several other members including Nico Van Dyl who agreed this year to assume the vacant Vice President position adding another experienced voice on Council, as well as Rod Richmond who for the second year as Treasurer has maintained our financial records in exceptional shape as confirmed by our previous Treasurer, Mike Elliott, who once again audited the records.
A very special thanks to Joan Elliott who has continued to fulfill the very important and challenging role as our Secretary. Anyone who has taken notes of a wide-ranging discussion at meetings, and then organized all the material in order to publish a concise accurate report will appreciate the difficult job that Joan has done so well over the years.
Finally, I would like to thank each of our Council members including the various activity event committee chairs for all their time and efforts during the last 12 months, and I look forward to working closely with them during the next year.