As many of you know, last year at our annual meeting Jonathan said that because of his heavy work schedule and family obligations, he could no longer be the president of the Nutmeg Chapter. Peter Yeomans & Elizabeth Robertson also thought it was time to retire. We all are thankful for their Service to the Nutmeg Chapter.
At every meeting this past year, these positions were announced and printed in the newsletter, along with a detailed job description. No one came forward for any of these positions. The Bylaws of the ATHS require that a Chapter must have a President along with the other officers. The Nutmeg Chapter was two months from being out of business. In January 2019, Tom will send our financials to National along with a list of our officers and members. If we could not meet these requirements, we would not have the insurance that is required from National for our Brooklyn Show. After thirty five years, these are some of the harsh facts that faced the officers and the Board.
Our problem is not unique to just our Chapter. Recently the ATHS Twin-Tiers Chapter in NY has disbanded because of a lack of enough membership to hold a truck show. ATHS Long Island Chapter President Denis Ryan has held that position for over 22 years and it is alright with him if someone else takes over. Friends of Autocar is considering a merger with Classic Autocar Group ATHS because the leader of Friends of Autocar is 90 years old and can no longer do it. In Massachusetts, the ATCA New England Chapter did not have a truck show at the Bolton Fairgrounds this year. The reason was that only a handful of workers were available and they were worried about rain and not being able to repair the field after the show. This show attracted over 400 trucks in 2017 and many people missed it this year and hope it will be back next year. Recently, Bill Mitchell, president of the ATCA Yankee Chapter (Bethlehem CT Show) said he will retire after this year’s show. Time will tell who will replace him.
By the nature of our hobby, antique and historical trucks, we tend to be older folks. Aging comes with a lot of physical problems and limitations. It is a known fact that if aging people stay active, that it is a good for them. Being an active member could be good for you and the Nutmeg Chapter. The Nutmeg Chapter has about 160 members, but active members are considerably less. We are in good financial shape and our annual truck show drew 234 trucks in 2018. Our problem is the lack of members who can volunteer at all levels.
Unlike recent elections where multiple people ran for an office, we did not have anyone step forward to express an interest in taking any office. You will note in the lineup of officers for 2019-2020 that most officers are doing more than one job. Example-President/Editor; Treasurer/Membership; Member-at-Large/ Webmaster. This is not the best way to run the Chapter. No one should have two jobs until everyone has one job. It is not good for those doing multiple jobs either, but that is what we had to do to keep our Nutmeg Chapter going.
To make this work, the membership has to ask these officers and chairmen “what can we do to make your job easier”? As a suggestion, try to pay your dues now or mail a check during December and January. We do not have the manpower to call you or chase you down to remind you that your dues are in arrears. Consider contributing something to the Newsletter; inform the editor about cancelling or continuing your ads. When a subject comes up that needs some research, offer to do that research and bring your findings back to the officers and membership. We always need volunteers before, during and after the Brooklyn Show. Commit ahead of time to a time that you can work, so the workload can be shared. Any ideas for activities that the Club can do would be welcomed along with ideas for meeting locations.
Our truck show is always the Sunday after Father’s Day, how about asking your son, grandson, family member or family friend to work for an hour or so in your place at the show. We can always use some strong younger men to setup on Saturday and clean up when the show is over.
The Nutmeg Chapter is at a fork in the road. One Direction is that we can all work together so we can enjoy many more good times together enjoying our common interests. The Other Direction leads to a dead end. The question is “does anyone care”. I think we do. We need more members to be active participants. The membership has to show that they care to keep the Nutmeg Chapter going.
As your new President I pledge to continue the ATHS mission to preserve the history of old trucks and the history of trucking. I am confident in our Chapter’s officers and with your support we can make this a model chapter.
Please come to the January 13th meeting at Foskett Equipment in Woodstock CT. Working together we can keep the Nutmeg chapter going on down the road for many years to come.