Club secretary Ian and wife Liz are on a year-long trip to Australia, where one of their sons lives, and are travelling around. This has not stopped Ian from oiling the communication wheels of the club back home in Bradford.
A key success factor is the hybrid meetings established during lockdown, Thanks to a Rotary Yorkshire Lincolnshire District public image grant during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Club purchased equipment to enable a transition from online-only meetings to hybrid ones, and this has been used with success for the last year. It now means that Ian can Zoom in to Bronte’s breakfast meetings, starting at 7.15 am UK time, which currently equates to 4.15 pm in Sydney, Australia. Other members have been able to join meetings from Romania and France, and this has proved vital for keeping the Club together, despite the vagaries of the pandemic and the situation in Ukraine.
The Club has agreed that all Council Meetings will be recorded on Zoom, so that Ian can minute them from afar – even if for some reason he can’t attend.
Of course, emailing across the globe is well established. So, Ian receives all the usual Rotary communications, even if he looks at them when his fellow members are fast asleep. Then he forwards them to Club members as usual, and they can read them at their convenience. Phone calls between President, Secretary and Treasurer are probably less common than in many Clubs, but WhatsApp messages are constantly flying back and forth, so that everyone is consulted about decisions and kept up to date with all that’s going on. In fact, Ian even uses WhatsApp to take orders for breakfast, and then emails the venue to let them know. Face to face communication is also possible via WhatsApp and Messenger, allowing a cheap way to ensure understanding and resolution of issues as they arrive.
The Bronte Charter Celebration, booked for 13 October, may be a new challenge: Can it be a hybrid event, so that Ian can attend? That remains to be seen, but where the pandemic is concerned, something good has come out of it!