We have a truly great club. And your Board, Jack, Graham, Andy, Greg and Michael (our advisor) really do care for our club, and literally put “heart & soul” in to making it so much fun. They are a pleasure to collaborate with, and really make my role very simple. However, when it comes to writing my annual report, they make my task very difficult – because really they do all the hard work. Hence, their reports contain the real stories of progress, and the fun we’ve had this year.
So what can I say?
I’m going to talk about 2 opposing concepts that I think relate to TEMAC: I’m going to talk about how much has changed in 2014, and also how much has stayed the same. And bear with me, but I’m going to try and explain why I believe that the way TEMAC manages these 2 concepts is at the heart of much of our success.
So what’s changed? You only have to read Jack & Graham’s reports to see how much we’ve done this year. It’s hard to imagine some times, that in the summer of 2013 we only had a grass runway! Just take a little time to think about all the woes of nose-overs, tiny wheels going nowhere and all our hand-launch planes! Compare that to the fun we now have trying to line up on our runway, touchdown with the perfect flare, and taxi back to the admiration and applause (OK, maybe that’s too much) of your buddies! And I don’t think anyone has really, truly seen any negative impact.
All the “field helpers” need to take credit and thanks for our 2 field clean-up events. Remember when getting up the drive in 2012 was almost impossible, and parking on the field was a complete gamble in spring? This new “tradition” that lots of you contribute to makes it possible for us all to have fun sooner in the year, and longer in to the season – I appreciate that! Our loo! Don’t forget the loo! I for one now feel much happier inviting friends and family to join us at the field due to our new addition.
Don’t forget to thank Bill too – Bill, who was on the Board for most of the year, did a wonderful job with all the field improvements. I would like to personally thank Bill for all his leadership and support during that time.
Speaking of new traditions, what about the President’s BBQ (perhaps more aptly named the CFI’s BBQ). What better way to just mingle, socialise and get to know our new members and new flyers than having a BBQ at the end of the season? It’s great to be able to say thanks to our instructors (who all volunteer their time) and to reflect on the fun we’ve had during the training season.
How about our new events and activities? How does Jack do it, to come up with new ideas and ways for us all to have fun together whilst enjoying model aircraft? Racing triathlons (read: carnage), EF1 demonstration races, scratch build classes and Fun Fly, visits from the press (remember that?) indoor flying, float flying at “our own” private pond and even just new events at the skills challenge. And we mustn’t forget the new look MAAC zone meeting that we hosted. I think that sets the bar very high for future meetings and, again, let’s hope it’s started a new way of doing things.
It takes great imagination and vision to keep up the pace of these organised events that we all enjoy, so please take the time to say thanks to Jack.
So what’s the same? What didn’t change? Well, all the things that aren’t broken!
Those summer Fun Fly events with the BBQs – who doesn’t love a hot dog or 2? We had a fabulous Annual Fun Fly this year, and the Skills Challenge is still a firm favourite. Mike, Frank and our Instructors were able to build on the success of the Flight Training program that Mike implemented in 2013, and the club welcomes many new pilots this year as a result of the comprehensive, safe and fun training system. We’re well into our 3rd season of the scratch build courses, allowing novices and experienced builders to both share in the job of creating their own models. Learning the tricks and knacks to build strong and (hopefully) great flying aircraft, and even race winning Piker class racers, is a phenomenal aspect of our club. Speaking of racing, it was a great pleasure to be part of the exciting and fun Piker Class Club series; the friendly competition and passion of participants is fantastic.
Our financial health is excellent, thanks to the excellent stewardship of Andy (and remember, no fee increase again for 2014!) and yet we’ve still been able to continue improving our field, and plan to do more in 2015.
Then there’s you. Every member of our club. Our community. I was talking with Les (my wife) about what I could say in this report and the recurring theme and single biggest thing that I love about TEMAC is our comradeship, our support of each other, the encouragement. And that doesn’t change.
Please pause and reflect on all the circumstances and ways in which the TEMAC community supports you. At the pilots meetings, over dinner and drinks, sharing a laugh and a joke, chatting about our next plane (Q: Do we always have a next plane lined up?); asking about the best glue to use, or how to bend torque rods. Reading the Tickler, perhaps when the weather is bad, or work is too busy; seeing all the happy laughing faces and antics at the field – it keeps us motivated. Bumping into each other at Pinnacle; finding out what we’re building or planning to use as an egg-drop at the skills challenge. Our on-line community, our superb website and forum: it keeps us all connected – through the winter nights, the lunch breaks, after a great day at the field – it’s literally “always there for you.” And of course the time at the field, whether it’s mock dog-fighting, helping maiden a new plane, sharing the walk of shame, or just admiring each other’s models – we have great fun together. We are TEMAC!
So, why talk about change and stability? Because I think that’s our winning formula. At TEMAC we keep the good, we build on firm foundations and strengthen the things that work. Yet we’re not afraid to try new things, to experiment, to accept change and stay fresh. It keeps our community and kinship strong, and allows us to have great times and great fun, sharing our love of model aviation. Please, continue to participate, to share and to get involved and we’ll all continue to see the rewards of our great club.
I wish you all, and your families, the very best health and every happiness as we leave 2014 and journey in to 2015.