Bulletin 10 - March 1980: Chairman's Report

Chairman's Report

by Bish Brown

The past year has been in many ways a success but in some ways a disappointment.

Monday evening meetings have been successful with good attendance at all our meetings. We open the doors at 7:30 pm to enable members to have discussion on any topics that interest them. This, we hope, will lead to groups of people with similar interests getting together for joint work.

During the year we have had 22 evenings made up of:

  • 13 on Emirates Natural History or History Topics
  • 2 on Neighboring Countries Oman and North Yemen
  • 6 on other country travelogues
  • 1 on a foreign specialist subject (Gardens in UK)

All except three speakers were members.

At this point, I would like to thank all our speakers for coming along and especially for the hard work sorting, preparing and writing up their talks.

Also Terry Donohue for setting up the equipment and a special thanks to the ladies who watch over the coffee urn, the Christmas cake and other refreshments at every meeting.

The Bulletin thanks to Editor Rob Western has appeared three times, on time, namely in March, July and November. Articles have been written by the regulars but more encouraging recently have been a few articles from new writers. Many have been write-ups of trips made to the Liwa and such places in the Emirates. Not all have appeared to date but we hope to include all in due course as space permits. My only message to would-be writers is "write it" - you many not get into print first time but it will give you a good record of your trip. A special thanks to the two companies who generously help us with the printing of the Bulletin.

The great disappointment of the year has been the lack of support for the Recorders, as you will no doubt hear later. We seem to have three types of members:

  • Type A: the pay a subscription but keep away type
  • Type B: the Monday evening type who get their enjoyment form the slide shows
  • Type C: people who are actively involved in one or more branches of Natural History

All are very useful in their own way. (A) Make us feel we have lots of members. (B) Make up the large audiences we claim. (C) Make the collections, write record forms and probably write articles for the Bulletin. It is my opinion (biased of course) that this is the group getting most from our activities. We would very much like to get all our members into group (C).

Although we are an amateur group, there is a lot of natural talent in our membership. The problem is how to motivate it.

We have issued recording forms in their apparent thousands but we receive very few back.

We should really be seriously recording all the changes in the environment due to urbanization, re-afforestation, dredging and devastation of natural environment. We are not a conservation group as similar groups in other countries. We can give our opinions if asked but otherwise we are guests in someone else's country. This does not mean we should sit back and do nothing. In future years, the young people of this area may be interested in what the environment was like in our time. What better epitaph to any of us than a detailed survey of the flora and fauna from 1976 to 1980+. It will be in English but as our membership changes it can be done in Arabic, too.

I ask you all to help us leave an overall picture of the area - not by collecting everything that comes to hand but by forming useful master collections of specimens and photographs.

To this end we have the beginnings of a Library which we hope the new Committee will make available through the Recorders. We have a quotation for necessary equipment to start us off. All we need are the volunteers to come forward and offer to help.

In closing I would like to thank all members (whatever their type of membership), recorders, volunteers and other helpers for giving us their support. My thanks also to the current members of the Committee for their support and assistance during my term of office.

As a final duty I would like to announce my Chairman's Honor List. These go to members who have not received a presentation tray for speaking, but who have given a special service to this Group. In spite of women's lib:

  • Ernestine Munsey (as Joint Secretary and Bulletin typist)
  • Richard King - for his work on the computerization of the Bird List. This is coupled very much with Phyllis who I know has given him excellent support in the form of hard work.

May I wish the new Chairman and Committee a successful and productive year in office.

Bish Brown


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