The Chairman's Letter
by Austin Meares

As published in the July 2012 magazine

Having completed nearly three years as your chairman, this is my final note before leaving office on 6th October. Under our Constitution, I am obliged to stand down at the forthcoming AGM.

I would like to place on record my grateful thanks to all the elected officers and committee for their enthusiastic support during my tenure as chairman. Good teamwork is essential for the success of any organisation and there is no lack of this within PISG.

Our meeting at the end of March was one of the best for some years – a joint gathering with members of the Captain Cook Society and a very good attendance. It was a memorable event with several excellent speakers on a variety of subjects which goes to show just how diversified the Group has become these past twenty-four years.

Like so many societies, we have experienced highs and lows in the past few years. In 2010, coinciding with the memorable London International Stamp Exhibition, we welcomed several of our American PISG Friends who were able to make the trip to London. This resulted in some worthwhile discussions on the future direction of the Group and a good dialogue was established which continues. However, sadly during the same period we have witnessed the demise of two very prominent committee members in Alan Game (Treasurer since the foundation of our organisation) and Maurice Allward, a staunch supporter and great friend to the Pitcairn Islanders. Then in August last year came the news of the death of the Revd. David Ward (founder Chairman) without whose inspiration the UK Group would never have come into existence.

You will recall from my last letter in the January UK Log, I wrote about the committee's desire to widen the future scope of the UK Group to include Norfolk Island whose history is so interwoven with that of Pitcairn. Although our American friends have decided to leave the name of the organisation as it stands, by an overwhelming majority of 5 to 1 the UK Group has voted to change the name to The Pitcairn and Norfolk Islands Society. Hopefully this will open up new avenues of opportunity for our society by encouraging additional members from the Australian Commonwealth to which Norfolk Island belongs.

Clearly the proposed name change will necessitate some amendments to our existing Constitution which will come up for members' approval at the AGM. We should all see this as an exciting time in the history of our society and it is encouraging that such a large percentage of our membership embraces the need for change. Our friendly relationship with PISG (USA) will continue as hitherto in helping each other in the pursuit of our hobby and our support for the Pitcairn Islanders.

I hope you have a pleasant summer and I look forward to meeting old and new members on 6th October.

Austin Meares

Number 45 • July 2012