Memories of District 24 in 1992
I can remember well when Monica Drake (the retiring District Secretary) first asked me if I would stand for her job at the forth-coming Election as there was nobody wanting to take it on. Well, having been a member for twelve years and always doing some job in the Club, I was thrilled to be asked, (not really knowing all the work that was involved.) I agreed that I would "Go on District." I was Secretary to Edna McCready, for that first year. Well I soon realised what I had taken on when I went to Clacton to pick up the boxes of folders and cases etc from Monica, there was an absolute boot-full of them!
In those days we had 40 Clubs in District 24, with nearly 1100 members, and remember all letters and forms were done on a typewriter and photocopied, so it all took a lot of time. As well as Clubs, all District Officers, past District Chairmen all had a copy. I am sure that we had a lot more forms then, it seemed that there were forms for everything, even changing clubs.
The Executive Meetings lasted all day, and each of us had to take it in turn to host them and supply a cooked meal for all ten members attending (only the secretary did not have to as it was felt that she had too much to do!). We even had morning Executive meetings before any District meeting that was held. It was my job to do all the bookings for every meeting and event, which District held, booking all meals, speakers, doing table plans etc. etc.
I do remember that we held boxes of cards, in alphabetical order, for every member who took Office in Club as well as District, and they were constantly brought up to date every year, recording every office they held so that we could see if they had the necessary qualification for the position they were standing for. Names were removed if members left or died. Things were really done by the book at that time! We also usually had to have elections for some of the jobs. (Not like these days, when we are only too happy if someone is willing to take on a job.)
I can remember that I had to send a copy of every set of minutes to the Association Secretary, Jane Dobson, and after the second set I sent I had a letter from her telling me that I should write "Overseas Service Organiser" every time and not just Overseas Organiser. We were really in awe of her, and at that time I think all of the District Officers were in awe of two Past District Chairmen, who would often stand up at District Meetings and say something to criticise someone or something. (So nothing changes!)
Another thing I remember is that, so the District Chairman could have a mobile phone in case she needed it on her travels, all District members had to pay 10 pence per year to cover the hire of it, and it was the size of a brick, and weighed as much too, and it had a huge battery pack that went with it.
Canvey Island was just being formed, during that first year, so it was very exciting, having to also attend all the meetings with them, leading up to their Charter Presentation, which really was a grand affair.
Everyone who went to the Association Conference wore hats, and even at our own District Rallies we all wore them too, especially those on top table. Mind you I think that it did make you feel special, and added a lot then to the prestigious organisation that it always has been.
Well, I really did not realise all the work involved, but looking back I would never have missed it, as it led me on to do 14 very happy years on District in all, and making so many really wonderful friends, all over the District.
President, Inner Wheel Club of Wickford & Past District Chairman