I’m sure our RAC president must be feeling a lot like the captain of the Italian luxury cruise liner The Concordia.
Having struck a rock a few meters off the coastline some months ago, the ship listed and sank with a large loss of life never to sail again. The captain was tried and found guilty of abandoning ship.
Poor Geoff Bawden must be asking himself when would be a good time to swim for shore when it comes to the good ship Radio Amateurs of Canada.
And I’ll be honest here, it’s not all (or even mostly) Geoff’s fault. I can remember the very early days when he assumed the helm. We had a long telephone conversation with me on my cellphone pulled off the highway and him in Manitoba.
I was already really really pissed with RAC and the hijinks of some of the people I found myself working with on the board and national executive. Somehow after talking with Geoff I managed to convince myself to stay on and see if I could help change the toxic working environment but I wasn’t able to hang in there and I quit.
And I am very glad now that I did quit.
A short scan of either RAC’s crumbling old website or the partially built, incomplete new site show vacant position after position in the RAC and ARES lists of volunteers.
Look there is a need for a national organization when it comes to dealing with Industry Canada (which rumours suggest are heavily invested in only dealing with one organization when it comes to Amateur Radio issues in Canada) and international interests like the International Amateur Radio Union and several other international governing and consultive bodies.
It’s time to build a new boat.
I used to work for the Ontario Electrical League and at one time I ran the headquarters office while the president was off on sick leave. We represented the interests of all the provincial electrical players. We were loosely affiliated with the Canadian Electrical Association which represented the big manufacturers and other big industrial interests.
Maybe that’s RAC’s future. Represent ALL Canadian Amateur Radio Operators to our national government and international partners. RAC could throw an annual conference leaving the day-to-day work to provincial associations. And ARES, which always has been a ground-up run organization might just survive and even thrive.
It wouldn’t be perfect but it would beat lying here on the bottom of the ocean waiting for rescue that never comes.