A short while ago, I received an email from Ernst Erb at RadioMuseum.org - as many of you who are members may have done also. Ernst is looking for someone to take over the running of the organization because of his own age and health concerns. Ernst’s email triggered thoughts of an even broader decline: the interest in and knowledge of vintage radio and its preservation.
Declining interest, reflected in active membership, isn’t something new to organizations that focus on some aspect of the “early days.” Amateur radio necessarily went through a metamorphosis, dropping or changing CW requirements, shifting its emphasis, and so on, in order to keep new members signing on. The same shifts are reflected in what are regarded as collectables. Attend any flea market today, compared to even 10 years ago, and the “vintage” radios for sale have moved away from the larger wooden, tube consoles to smaller plastic table-tops, perhaps as a reflection of the changing era of the average buyers childhood.
Which raises questions of our interests in vintage radio, in general, and in the Canadian Vintage Radio Society, in particular. The title of this post applies to both.
This year, the annual AGM is being held September 9, after the summer doldrums, rather than before. As in 2017, this year’s AGM will be held via conference call, with a toll free number for members to use so they can attend and contribute to the discussions. In my view, the most important order of business will be the election of new members to the CVRS Board of Directors.
The Board of Directors is where the vision for the organization develops and where the means to put it into action is determined. As such it is where the questions posed above get answered. At stake is nothing less than the future of the CVRS: the direction the organization will take in the future, and the action (or inaction!) that will determine its relevance, vibrancy, and continuance (or its slow decline as older members disappear along with the larger, wooden consoles).
This makes the election of members with a vision to the CVRS Board a vital part of September’s meeting. It also makes it vital that if you have a view of where CVRS support for vintage Canadian electronics should lie, you should consider standing for election as a director. The CVRS needs you for exactly the same reason that you and others interested in vintage electronics need the CVRS - to support our interest.
The reason for this post is to plant a seed, hopefully one that will grow during the summer months in time to bloom next September. Unlike Ernst Erb and the RadioMuseum, the CVRS is not asking for someone to take on the full role of management of the organization. We are simply looking for those who are willing to donate an hour here and there to help steer the CVRS into the future, identify and support initiatives, and ensure its continuing support for everyone with an interest in Canadian (or other) vintage radio and electronics.
Given the ease of connection provided by the Internet, the CVRS now can realize the dream it has had from the beginning: a board and administration that come from every geographical region of its membership. It doesn’t matter where you are located. If you have an Internet connection, and an interest in Canadian vintage electronics, you are qualified to stand as a director.
So think about it. Take July and August and consider becoming a director of the Canadian Vintage Radio Society for the 2018-2019 year. Think about lending your vision, knowledge, and experience to maintain and shape the organization into one that not only serves the interests of other members but also yours. Like every other organization of this nature, the CVRS is only what its members make it.