The Chairman's Letter
by Austin Meares

As published in the January 2011 magazine

As I write this letter, the committee is reeling on learning of the news of Alan Game's sudden death. It is hard to comprehend that he is no longer with us and this will come as a great shock to all members.

Alan died of a heart attack on 2nd November on returning from a business trip to the Middle East. His funeral took place exactly two weeks later in Oxford and was attended by Joyce and Graham Ford, David Sleep and myself. A large number of family and friends attended demonstrating all too clearly that Alan was much loved and admired in his lifetime. Elsewhere in this edition of the UK Log is a tribute to Alan and all that he meant to us.

Just days following our October meeting we heard of the death of another prominent member. Roy Ellender passed away on 30th September following a long illness. Roy, along with his wife, Rachel (who predeceased him) were prominent and enthusiastic supporters of the U.K. Group. The Club's condolences have been forwarded to Roy's daughter, Rebecca.

A top priority for the committee is to find another treasurer. If PISG (UK) is to survive, this position needs to be filled and quickly. Inside this edition of the UK Log is a flyer prepared by our Secretary, David Sleep, asking for someone to come forward and offer this service. It is vitally important that we maintain continuity in this field and hopefully someone will volunteer. If it is of any help, the role which Alan performed at our live auctions can be divorced from the position of honorary treasurer.

At the Annual General Meeting on 2nd October all the officers and committee were re-elected unopposed and I am reminded of all the hard work which each member plays on our behalf. We are indebted to them for all they do to enrich our interest in Pitcairn. During the course of the day, we were fortunate in having Paul Burnett display his magnificent material on the Pitcairn New Zealand Postal Agency period. This was followed by new member Claire Stringer's presentation on the Henderson Island Restoration Project carried out on behalf of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (see note below, Editor). It was a memorable day with a varied programme.

This time last year, we had the London 2010 International Stamp Exhibition to look forward to and to meeting our American partners in P.I.S.G. This year, the position is rather different. In the circumstances in which we find ourselves we have to take stock of the situation and find a way forward. Every organisation goes through periods of ups and downs and it is up to us to make it work.

I which you all a prosperous New Year.

Austin Meares

Editor’s note: Claire Stringer wrote to David Sleep after the meeting to thank the Group for the opportunity to speak. She said that there is a chance of some commemorative stamps related to the project this year and added “We had some great news yesterday – Defra have announced that they’re going to give us an additional £200,000 in support of the project! So our total raised now stands at £1,285,000, and we have £415,000 still to raise. At least that second number is getting smaller!” Further information can be found here (this will open as a three page pdf document containing questions and answers).

Number 42 • January 2011