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November 3rd, 2005

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Jhb Organisation: Part One

Hi all

This is the first part of a two-part update about the re-organisation of the Joburg Club.

Briefly the club is reconstituting, finally, after a constitutional void of roughly two and a half years. There’s a draft document in circulation that describes the proposed Articles of Operation, and if it’s adopted, it will govern the club’s organisation and activities onward. If you haven’t seen it, (a) you didn’t come to the meeting on Tuesday and therefore missed the overview that was provided, and (b) I suggest you let me know and I’ll send it to you.

This (first) post will cover the background in brief, providing a canned overview of the events leading up to the drafting of the proposed Articles of Operation. The follow-up (second) post will describe the Articles of Operation themselves, touching on some of the less obvious points, and define the (hoped-for) process of discussion, voting and adoption of the Articles, as well as mention the events that will necessarily follow.

Part One: The History

About two and a half years ago, the Johannesburg Club ran into difficulty, partly the consequence of confusion between the Club and SAGA about roles (some members sharing roles on both bodies), partly due to the loss of equipment in a foreclosure that we were merely innocent bystanders to, partly due to our venues dropping like flies, and partly due to a general ennui and malaise affecting the entire world as it realised that we were really going to be stuck with George Bush, whether we liked it or not.

At that time, the club suffered the unexpected loss of its sitting officers and club administration disappeared like weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Regarding the club as effectively de-constitutionalised, Tristen Taylor and myself stepped into the vacancies, collecting cash, keeping books, organising tournaments and trying to re-equip the club. We weren’t elected and while we organised the recovery, we formalised no roles. We just did it (R0.01 to Nike, for the use of the phrase.) The result of this was the continuity of the club to the present day.

In June last year I went in to retreat and some of you may remember that around that time, in an effort to be more representative, we gathered at Emmarentia dam and semi-formally agreed that Dave Gale, who’d been helping all along, would be recognised as the new general factotum, grand pahooney and organised loon. That worked too.

During this period, Dave and Tristen and I, and a variety of other people, whom we drafted on an ad-hoc basis, defined the current club. We learned quite a lot in the process. Now for reasons shortly to be outlined, we are ready to re-constitute the club – that is, to give it back an organised structure and a regular rota of faces in official positions. What we hope to do at the same time, is incorporate the lessons learned over the past few years into the club, in the hope of keeping the current ‘can-do’ approach. Hence the Articles of Operation.

Why do this now?

Firstly, on principle alone, the Club should have some explicit rules of operation, and these should be rules that the Club members agree with, and are happy to be bound by. Otherwise, working or not, it’s a crock.

Secondly, one of the problems we’ve identified in the past is that practical knowledge about club activities and organisation tends to accrue to a small group of members only, and that puts the club at risk in the event that they stop coming, die, emigrate or evaporate. Formal rules for the rotation of roles through the ranks of club members is one way to try to have knowledge and experience distributed.

Thirdly, Tristen and Dave are tired and want to run away. I’m leery about stepping in again informally. I’d rather we did this right.

Lastly, the Club needs to be properly constituted in order to be recognised by SAGA, according to their constitution.

(More to follow in Part Two)

Posted by dael in Joburg, News

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