State of the Reunion

 

I am at the moment working on setting up the next meeting, to take place during the last week of
October.

At the first meeting, we got to know each other and established a general direction. Among other
things, we also identified that our biggest challenge would be locating as many of the alumni as
possible. We also achieved a clear consensus that, if at all possible we would like to try and make
this reunion a little more than just a get together for drinks and chicken and talk. Although talk would
remain by far the greatest element. (For more on this subject see Michel Girodo's "Full Monty" on
Rick E's Feller site. This is what we would like to try and achieve and I believe it can be done. Like
Michel says, "If we build it, they will come".)

At this next meeting I'm hoping that we will be able to initiate a structure, including the establishment
of smaller committees to parcel up and work on different aspects of this project. The first item of
business will be the formal establishment of a chairman and other officers. We should also be able
to set up banking arrangements and advance the creation of a master list of all Feller alumni to help
with the search efforts.

Our biggest and ongoing challenge is the location of alumni. This will remain a major objective and
preoccupation right up to the actual reunion itself. More people have become sensitized to this
imperative and an encouraging number of people have been located since our first meeting. Not
everyone located has actually had their names added to the list yet, so the real number is a little
higher than the official list on Rick Elger's site. If this pace can be kept up or even improved (nudge,
nudge), we should have a respectable percentage of the alumni located in time for our reunion.

At the first meeting there was some discussion about possible avenues of free advertising and
publicity. Michel Girodo undertook to compose a letter for this purpose but nobody was really
tasked with taking it any further, as we only had so much time. There have been excellent
suggestions on this subject from different sources including Rick Elger and Vincent Pons, two
individuals who each have a lifetime of experience in television and broadcasting from two different
aspects. I'm hoping this next meeting results in some kind of Search/Advertising committee with a
specific mandate to explore and exploit as many avenues of publicity as they can. (There's more
information on this subject on the Yahoo site)

We will also need to determine how we will go about funding the expenses of these reunion planning
activities. I believe that most of you would agree that those members contributing time and effort
should perhaps not also be expected to personally bear the expenses incurred in the process. Any
suggestions on this subject would be appreciated.

Many people are ready and willing to contribute. Some are working individually on their own
initiative, others are waiting on standby, "they also serve", perhaps waiting for an overall plan to
emerge. We're not all that organised at the moment but hey, we got started and I think that in itself
was a huge step. Hopefully, at this upcoming meeting we will be able to put some structure to this,
identify the major challenges we have to face and get committees started on strategies for dealing
with them.

One challenge that's concerning some people is the fact that we don't know how many people might
come to the reunion. Unfortunately, unless we can find someone to tell us the future, we're not
going to, either. We could determine how many we have at the moment, but then hopefully,
everybody is going to keep working, expressly to keep changing that number as time goes on, with
no idea of where it might finally get to. But, I believe we should and can find an approach that will
enable us to keep adjusting to the changing numbers until as late as we possibly can and then at
that point take an educated guess, commit, and finalise the last details. If we set up and organise all
the aspects that will be essentially unchanged by the numbers, and as much of the rest of it as we
can, namely, check to see how late we can keep our options open for different size halls, and find a
caterer who can give us flexibility as late as possible, we should have no serious problem with the
unknown numbers.

Stated in a more corporate manner, I'm hoping to convince the group that if we can get all the rest
of the ducks lined up, the mechanisms and available options all laid out, and we have only the
changing quantities to accommodate, we should be in a good position to 'bring it home' to
everyone's satisfaction.

This may be my last report as Chairman, but one way or the other there should be more information
here early in November.
 

                                           Ian St James
                                            class of 62

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