To members in recognition of service
This year at the AGM the committee was pleased to acknowledge service to the club by an individual and, for the first time, a team.
Elizabeth is standing down from the club committee this year, having served for three years. She has brought valuable insight to committee deliberations, particularly from the perspective of Supper Co-ordinator. Her many years of service in that role means she has a detailed understanding of what works best, and where issues might lie.
The year that Elizabeth joined the committee was also the year we first joined with Capital City (formerly Island Bay) club to hold a shared annual dance. Elizabeth volunteered as a member of the Annual Dance sub-committee in 2018 and continued to serve on that sub-committee for the next two years.
Elizabeth’s particular contribution involved co-ordinating the volunteer roster from both Johnsonville and Capital City, and supervising supper volunteers. Although the annual dance did not take place this year, it entailed just as much work, with extra decision making and re-organisation for the re-scheduled date.
Of course, Elizabeth has also continued in her role as club night Supper Co-ordinator, bringing the milk each week, organising the supper roster, training new volunteers and making sure we always get our cup of tea and a biscuit (Covid-19 permitting). As a committee member she was also involved in all the decision making surrounding Covid-19.
And finally, we can’t forget the amazingly creative suppers Elizabeth organises for our special theme nights – on a green theme for St Patrick’s Day at the beginning of this year and a very special supper evoking witches and monsters for the club’s recent Halloween celebration.
Thank you Elizabeth for everything you do for our enjoyment, and to build the club’s community spirit.
The Newsletter Team
In 2020 the newly formed newsletter team really came to the fore, keeping club members connected, engaged, informed and entertained across the lock-down period. It really was a fantastic team effort, and we all learnt a lot along the way, refining the process over time.
As the only one with Mailchimp expertise, Loralee initially set up the new Mailchimp newsletter template and was responsible for training John and Kristin. While John is now confident in his role as editor, Loralee continues to contribute dancing event photos and accompanying articles, design event posters for inclusion in the newsletter, and contribute her communications and marketing expertise as needed.
In its new format, the newsletter works hand in hand with the club website, which Loralee maintains. Over lockdown, she formatted and loaded Rod’s writings and diagrams, stories from members, photos, and more. This adds enormously to the newsletter, and at the same time builds a valuable permanent resource of dancing information, and a detailed visual and written history of the club.
As newsletter editor, each week John creates the new template, inserts content from Robert and Rod, photos as requested, and keeps track of other content. Once all content is inserted, he tests all the links, sends out a test version, and then makes sure we all get our weekly newsletter by keeping the mailing list up to date.
Of course, John also has responsibility for his own section ‘Dances Done’, recording what we dance each week, finding links to the instructions and suitable videos, and adding entertaining and informative tidbits. During lockdown he looked back over dances already done for the year, and brought us more in-depth information on them, adding to our enjoyment.
John also maintains the event listing at the end of the newsletter, giving us a comprehensive list of dancing events at a glance.
In his role as club secretary, Robert is the conduit for information from RSCDS NZ Branch, Wellington Region, other regions, clubs and organisations. Each week he brings this all together for us, alerting us to new events and those upcoming, making sure we can take full advantage of all that’s on offer. He is also the first point of contact for enquiries via the club website.
During lockdown, with no events on the horizon, Robert instead focused on things Scottish. He shared his knowledge and enthusiasm for places he’d visited in Scotland, with a special focus on Glasgow and its surrounds. His story-telling and photos brought these places to life, and gave us something to look forward to each week.
Over lockdown, Rod took on the task of keeping our minds in dancing mode, despite being unable to physically dance. He wrote about steps, formations, music and more. He drew diagrams, searched out illustrative dance videos, and (with the help of club members) demonstrated how to approach reels of various types by watching them on video.
Once the club was back in normal dancing mode, Rod was back to his normal newsletter content, giving us a rundown of how we went the week before and what is coming up. Each week he plans his programme so he can let us know in advance which formations he’ll be working on, what dances will be ‘briefing only’ dances, and which other dances he may do for those who like to check them out ahead of time. He is always helping us to learn, and his enthusiasm is infectious.
As president, Kristin has oversight of the newsletter content, with the aim of informing club members and building the club community. Her column each week draws attention to matters of significance to club members, within the club or in the wider community. She also writes about club events, club history and Scottish Country Dancing in general.
During lockdown, we needed to look for ways to retain members’ links not just with dancing, but with the club community. The section ‘Keeping everyone connected’ was added to the newsletter, as a way of helping members find out more about each other.
Kristin took on the responsibility of sourcing content for this section, by either writing it or encouraging others to contribute. It required quite a bit of ingenuity to find items each week to fill this slot and also ‘Out and About’ or ‘Club History’ slots each week. Kristin also edited contributed items, adding links and additional information to enhance them.
In summary, in lockdown, and every week of the dancing year, the newsletter team works hard putting together a newsletter packed with information and entertainment for the benefit of members and to build the club community.
Thank you John, Loralee, Robert, Rod and Kristin for the work you put in each week, the club is the better for it.
Photos: Loralee Hyde