Hello everyone. This is Paul Howes writing from the St Augustine Genealogical Society (SAGS) and, in particular, the members of our Executive Committee listed below.
You will recall that over at least the past two years we have had occasional communications from the members of our Executive Committee (until recently, down to just three people) asking for volunteers to step forward so that the Society could continue. Well, at or shortly after our Christmas lunch at Vilano Beach, three of us stepped forward. We will do our best to kick some life back into things again.
In saying that, I mean no disrespect at all to Pat, Sue and Bob who have tried very hard to keep things going. We all owe them a debt of gratitude. The biggest impact on us and many other voluntary societies over the past two years has been the dreaded virus and the consequent restrictions on our movement, making it impossible for us to meet in person. Zoom calls can only go so far in keeping people together – they are a poor substitute for real face-to-face contact.
The six of us met a few days ago to try to formulate a plan for the future. We decided that:
- Not much can be accomplished until we as a Society can meet in person again. We need to prove to each other that interest still exists.
- Given the low level of restrictions in force in Florida we felt that we might be able to hold an in-person meeting in a month or so.
- We are currently looking for venues for a late February or early-March meeting, which will be an informal, social gathering. We are considering one or two venues in downtown St Augustine as well as the branch library where we have met for some years.
- Given the need for us to demonstrate value to you our members, so that you feel confident that it’s worth paying dues in the future, we decided to suspend dues for 2022 as well as 2021. We hope you agree that this is “the right thing to do.”
As and when we have a firm time and place for our first in-person meeting we will write again.
We still need some volunteers for a full Committee. The three of us will do what we can with continuation from the three current members for as long as they feel able and we hope that others will come forward as we progress.
Again, we thank Bob, Sue and Pat for their recent efforts and we hope to see everyone together again soon.
Paul Howes, Acting President
Charles Tingley, Acting 1st Vice-President, Programs
Georgia Horsley, Acting 2nd Vice-President, Membership
Bob Burns, Past President
Sue DiDomenico, Treasurer
Pat Tanner, Secretary