Are We Having Fun Yet?

The corollary to the title is the beating will continue until morale improves.

So what should be the prime directive of any non-profit hobby-related association?

Might it not be to serve the membership?

So are you being served by your national Amateur Radio association here in Canada?

You paid your $50 and what did you get? My guess is most of you can’t answer that question with any assuredness.

In fact I’m reading emails and hearing from members of our Canadian association who are saying that maybe we should sit back and let the whole darn thing collapse by itself?

We can guess that programs and projects have either been cutback or not implemented in an effort of stanch the unsustainable economic bleeding which was taking place over the last few years.

This is a good thing and shows good management practices are being put into place.

But vague suggestions that better days are coming (which we’ve been reading in director’s emails to the masses for years) does little to inspire or reassure.

So does the inability of the leadership team to recruit new members into the executive fold or to engage the membership in any meaningful way (See CQ Canada for a tutorial on what to do and how to do it.) and thus earns the derisive description of being an “old boys’s club”.

Evidence of this malaise can be seen in the pages of The Canadian Amateur where virtually all of the current directors were either elected by a handful of votes or simply acclaimed as no one else wanted the job. Photos of executive members come and go with such rapidity as to warrant using Polaroids if such still existed.

Same thing with the membership numbers which are stuck around 4,000 and some say are in rapid decline. Since we don’t know the real numbers all is speculative.

A new supportive membership category has attracted a few hundred subscribers and while I appreciate their zeal I question the worth of supporting an organization whose very structure is questionable at best and self-defeating at worst.

The greater concern is we’re saddled with an executive structure (and have been for years extending back through equally secretive societies and associations that came before) which mistakenly is able to withhold embarrassing information from the membership with impunity and over the years has shown little understanding of how to involve the membership in the decision-making process in any meaningful way.

How sad it is to contemplate what we’ve become but how tragic to think of what we could have been.



This entry was posted in RAC by Peter West. Bookmark the permalink.

About Peter West

I am retired. I'm invested into bike riding, guitar playing, yoga and Ham Radio. I am a former photojournalist, newspaper and magazine editor and public relations practitioner with national, regional and local experience. A long-time member of Toastmasters International and an active Amateur Radio (Ham) operator here in Canada I am taking on new challenges.

3 thoughts on “Are We Having Fun Yet?

  1. Peter, you have hit the nail squarely on the head. The masses have spoken, its time for a change, with a New National Organization that could work with the provincial Emcom groups instead of working against them.. I know many Ec, DEC, and above that have left our National Organization, because they are frustrated with the old Boys Club that keeps everything inside, like a secret conclave. We all have to work together and be transparent. Not for Profit clubs are supposed to be open and not a closed. This is one of the major reasons, clubs fail..


    A train-wreck cannot move forward until the track clears.
    Give up the internal politics and the secret blind loyalty.
    Restore public trust and support in a National structure.
    Build a new open and transparent Organization with pride.
    One that embraces all Provincial EMCOMM resources and
    treats all members and volunteers with dignity and respect.
    Canada`s Amateur Radio Community deserves nothing less

  3. Morning… I can tell you that my last membership is indeed my last. I cannot believe the nonsense and idiocy currently taking place. Back in the 80’s I was an Assistant Ontario Director then a Vice President for CARF. We had a few problems then but nothing like we see today in the leadership of RAC. I recall working on the Question Bank with an Alberta Ham back when the place we sent our material to was the Department of Communications, and we did NOT get paid for our 5 months of work.
    Some of the questions we created are still in the bank today.
    Well, bye-bye RAC… Can’t say it has been a pleasant ride. Cheers. – VE3MEW

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