Number 49 • July 2014

The Chairman's Letter
by Paul Burnett

As published in the July 2014 magazine

Another six months have elapsed, but whilst life goes by all too quickly at least we now have another edition of our UK Log to enjoy.

Your committee met in January and I believe we have arranged a good programme for you for 2014. Our member’s Spring general meeting got us off to a good start with two class member speakers. In the morning we were treated to a splendid presentation by eminent philatelist David Murray Brown. The afternoon session speaker was Maurice Bligh, our good friend and descendent of William Bligh.

David’s topic was Odds and Ends plus a personal appreciation of Roy Clark. The odds and ends were anything but, for he displayed and spoke about the “no stamps available” cachets period, the New Zealand Postal Agency era, and it was followed by a display of examples of original artwork by Jennifer Toombs and by Victor Whiteley. As always some amazing material. David’s presentation about Roy Clark (Postmaster on Pitcairn from 1940-1960) was enthralling. David had been in correspondence with Roy for many years prior to Roy’s death in 1980 and he has a wealth of information about Pitcairn over the period. Over one hundred letters and cards are in his personal correspondence. David even produced an audio cassette of Roy’s voice which we were able to listen to. A delightful and fascinating morning. A special thanks to David who donated to our archives a valuable and rare official report regarding “Operation Pallium” (The Bounty Bay landing jetty development project 1976-77).

The afternoon session was a splendid Powerpoint presentation by Maurice Bligh entitled “The Forgotten Tahiti” (see our UK Log number 48, January 2014, for a full account). As always with Maurice his subject was thoroughly researched and ably described. His talk prompted many questions and some lively debate! To close the meeting we had our usual auction handled professionally by John Smith and Alan Fillmore.

Returning to our committee’s efforts to provide good speakers and interesting topics it is perhaps pertinent to note that although the members who attended the Spring meeting thoroughly enjoyed the day, the number who turned up was smaller than expected. Sadly this is becoming a disappointing trend. For those members who couldn’t manage to make the meeting do please let us know if it is because the topics which we are offering are not appealing. We welcome suggestions. This leads me to mention that overall membership remains static and we really do need to source and encourage new blood. Consequently our Society finances are not as healthy as they used to be. We must avoid a diminishing returns situation developing.

I use this opportunity to thank the committee for their dedication and efforts and in particular thank David Sleep our Secretary who always goes well beyond his remit. Thank you also to David Ransom, our Editor who never fails to excel with this fantastic magazine. Alan Fillmore who has put in many hours of his time to keep our accounts in good order also deserves our gratitude. Felix, John, Graham, Tony and of course Jennifer all deserve special mention too for their contributions. The Society is blessed with a committed team.


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