I think 2017 has been an amazing year; as I look back over my flying season I think it’s possibly been my best yet, thanks to the weather (I don’t think there was a time that I couldn’t fly when I wanted due to the weather) the new aircraft I’ve flown and seen at the Club, my lack of crashes (!) and the progress I’ve made in the aspects of the hobby that interest me. It’s taken me 6 years since re-joining the hobby in 2011 to know and be disciplined around where my RC interests lie – WW2 fighters, modern military EDF jets, fast pylon style aircraft and FPV. In 2017, I think for the first time I was able to resist many (not all!) purchases in other areas of RC aviation, which I consider both progress and a success!
But what about TEMAC? You generously ask me to lead our Club, something that I take very seriously, so I ask myself “has 2017 been good for TEMAC?” I think it has and I hope you do too. Why? Because TEMAC is TEMAC!
What? Has Simon completely lost his marbles, I hear you ask? Maybe, but bear with me…..
What is TEMAC? It’s a made-up word, the letters of which stand for, and make up our club. “T.E.M.A.C.” But it’s more than that, right? TEMAC is you, it’s your enthusiasm, it’s your involvement, it’s the way you all treat and encourage other members of the club, it’s the time you give and it’s the support you offer to keep our club going. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you all, for making TEMAC an amazing place to be and be part of.
So how does the Club manage to keep that enthusiasm and spirit going and so successful? Again, I think it’s because of “T.E.M.A.C.” Which, in this case stands for our Training, our Events, you, our Membership, our Accounts and finally our Culture.
Our Training program is not only people’s first taste of RC flying, it’s their first taste of our Club. The mood, enthusiasm and lessons delivered by our instructors shape the way new members interact and belong in our club. So in addition to having the responsibility to teach people to fly at TEMAC, our instructors have an awful lot of impact on the ongoing culture of our club. I’m not sure if our Instructors realise this, but I think it’s working and I’m very grateful for not only the time they commit, but the way they shepherd new members in to our culture. Massive thanks to Michael Rogozinsky for leading our program this year, and all our Instructors – you did an amazing job.
The Events program continues to evolve and strengthen. I think the recipe of having some Club organised events, in addition to some membership led events, ensured that we offered what you wanted. Big thanks to Greg Hazelton for giving us the club favourites like Warbirds day, Jet day and of course the hugely successful Annual Fun Fly. And big thanks to Bruce Weaver for the Cub day, and to Bill Quantock for starting the “BoB” tradition (was it 4 years ago now?) Why don’t you suggest and/or organise an informal fun fly for 2018? I am conscious that 2017 did not allow us to enjoy too much float flying, nor organised racing at TEMAC (although we had some amazing EF1 days in Orangeville, thanks to Ken Fluney.) I will work with the Board try to find a solution to your needs in these areas in 2018. We certainly seem to be winning with our Winter Events; who knew that we would sustain such an active club program during the dark, cold months of winter. I love getting together with friends to discuss all things plane related before our Pilot’s meetings, and then settling down to listen to (and heckle!) the guest presenters. Frank Van Beurden has done an amazing job, along with Robert Pike, Michael Rogozinsky and Bruce Weaver of creating a “culture of building” at the Club via our Build Nights, and we are very lucky to have Eric & Stephan Hagens, who broadened our horizons with an “Evil Quad” build this year. Thanks Guys!
Membership numbers have been fairly stable for the last few years, and it’s great we get some many new people joining each year. But every year there are some members that drift away from the club – some for a short time, some for longer. I truly hope that the reasons are not to do with how the club is being run, but if any of you do see issues, please don’t be afraid to raise them. It’s always great when lapsed members return, and when old members who may have moved away drop in for a visit, like “Naughty Ed”.
The Accounts are healthy. Very healthy. You can read the details in Andy’s report, but it’s great that money is not a worry. Andy does a fantastic job of maintaining our accounts and funds – please thank him when you see him. While we were uncertain of the land status (it did sell, but as yet we have been informed of no negative impact to the club), we delayed some field improvements. We will continue to review our infrastructure and maintain and improve it as required, but again, Graham goes above and beyond in terms of keeping our field looking and performing so great. I don’t think Graham ever goes to the field without doing something to look after the field, so again, please thank him. This year we were able to maintain our membership fees without an increase, and were also able to run some events where the Club provided the food and drinks. I hope you all feel that you get value for money from TEMAC.
Last, and certainly not least, our Culture. What I truly appreciate and marvel at, is our inclusiveness and lack of cliques. Many of you mention it to me, but I love how we all get on with and relate to one another. It’s a very positive atmosphere at the Club, which I think we should all be proud of. Each of us brings something unique to TEMAC and we all have our strengths and quirkiness, but it’s the way we accept and embrace these at TEMAC that makes our membership truly great, I think. Thank you all – please, help me keep TEMAC a fun, safe & courteous place to be in 2018 and for many years to come.
2018 is another milestone year for our Club; we will be 15 years old! Let’s make it a special year – over the next few months I will be working with the Board, and asking you for input on what we should do to celebrate this achievement. Let’s continue to make TEMAC the best RC Club in Ontario (maybe Canada? Maybe the whole world?!)
I wish you, your family and loved ones all the happiness in the world this Holiday season. Here’s to a great 2017!