BOOK COLLECTORS’ SOCIETY OF AUSTRALIA
SYDNEY PRESIDENT’S REPORT 2004-2005
THIS has been a difficult year for the Society, a watershed year in many ways, but it is very pleasing to be able to report that the problems we faced appear to have been overcome, and that the Society’s future seems to be assured.
Any voluntary organisation relies disproportionately on the work of a few people for its on-going viability and success. Inevitably, with the passage of time and the changing of circumstances, these individuals eventually retire from active service and replacements must be found if the organisation is to continue. This is not always easy, especially when those retiring have been responsible for doing almost everything required to keep the organisation viable. Such a problem faced our Society in February 2005 when Jeff and Betty Bidgood, our Secretary and Treasurer respectively, resigned from those positions after many years of service and countless hours of work on the Society’s behalf. Jeff also ceased his involvement in the production of Biblionews.
A Special General Meeting was held on March 5th to consider the future of the Sydney branch of the Society and the future of Biblionews. Very fortunately, several members came forward to offer assistance and I believe we are now back on a viable footing. Associate Professor Mark Ferson agreed to act as Secretary/Treasurer for the remainder of the year, Gordon and Janet Robinson offered to arrange for future meetings to be held at the Turramurra Uniting Church hall, and John Newland offered to take over responsibility for the technical side of Biblionews. I am very grateful to all of them.
The Society’s success over recent decades largely reflects the enormous amount of work which Betty and Jeff Bidgood have done, and for which we should all be grateful. Now, with their retirement and new volunteers willing to commit their time and expertise, our future looks assured.
The usual four meetings were held—three speakers and a show and tell meeting to which members brought items from their collections. Brian Taylor spoke at the Annual General Meeting in September 2004 on the influence of a German publisher on the production of King Penguins, Alan Ventress from the State Records Authority spoke to the March 2005 meeting on early policing in New South Wales as illuminated by a diary in the State Archives, and in June, Richard Blair shared his knowledge of cricket books and displayed some choice items from his collection.
Neil A Radford, President.
10 September 2005