I would like to present the president’s annual report for the year July 2020 to June 2021.
To state the obvious there have been few activities possible in the last year because of the Covid lockdowns in Melbourne.
The two fairs have been cancelled, one just as we were about to hold it. Thank you to Wendi Bradshaw, Edwin Jewell and Garry James and David Harris for the planning and preparatory work they put into this.
There has only been one Show & Tell meeting with limited to 10 attending due to Covid requirements. Thank you to Edwin for managing this.
The symposium, annual dinner and outdoor picnic all had to be cancelled.
We ran the usual renewal process albeit by email where we could and had a reasonable response. We did not chase the memberships of stallholders. The current membership situation is:
- 160 paid up members;
- 23 of these are in Vic country;
- 37 are interstate;
- And about 50 are lapsed in the last two years. Some of these may come back when we hold the next fair.
The membership fees have remained the same for possibly 10 years and don’t actually cover the costs of the publications.
I count in this section: Facebook, Instagram, website, newsletter and journal.
Facebook – we have about 1600 followers, not many in Facebook land and it is not as active as say a Facebook group. It would be good if someone else felt like livening this up and trying to build some value from it – more members or more people attending the fair.
Instagram – Mimmo Cozzolino and I think Eamon Donnelly have expressed an interest in getting this platform into our suite of activities – with the same aims.
The website is chugging along and recycles the newsletter stories and other pieces, Some people aren’t keen on publication on the website, but we get a good range of different people reading and commenting here. We had 730 visitors many of whom looked at more than one story. 80% are Australian, 10% USA and 5% UK, rest made up from many different countries.
The newsletter has had a good kick along thanks to the energy and efforts of Wendi Bradshaw and Susannah Low. We are I think still finding our feet as to the best mix of content but interviewing members seems to be a good option and Wendi is working on these.
The journal is always in the pipeline and thanks to contributors and also Mimmo Cozzolino who of course brings the ephemera and so the journal into a class of its own. We always need material for the journal so please come forward with ideas, collections.
- Other activities
The committee has met when it can and provided a useful source of ideas and as a sounding board for others. Thanks to Garry James, secretary, Edwin, treasurer and symposium organiser, general members David Harris, Debra Parry, Mick Stone (and Annette Shiell who usually offers advice outside meetings).
Debra Parry and I both managed to speak at Rare Books Week last year and spruiked the ESA there. (Our aims are not just membership but increasing awareness about ephemera.)
- Future plans
We always have these.
The ESA committee would like to see responsibility for the activities spread a bit more widely:
- Debra Parry has agreed to work on the next symposium with Edwin with a view to taking that over;
- Edwin has agreed to take over the Show & Tells from me;
- Wendi Bradshaw will I think consider joining the committee and the taking over more of the newsletter.
I would like to finish as president in the next couple of years and Edwin has a similar plan.
I would also like to hand over more of my activities to others. The ones that are readily available include and need not be a one person job include:
- Organising the fair;
- Publicity for the fair;
- The Website;
- Reviewing and advising members about the journals we exchange with other societies – the US and UK societies, the Cartophilic, the Art Deco, The Book Collectors – the alerts to content would go in the newsletter and website;
- Organising the annual dinner;
- Acting as treasurer.
BUT yes there are new things too, I know everyone is not a fan of zoom, but it is a way of keeping our interstate and country members in the loop. So, my plan, and newer project, is to ask our symposium speakers to return and make the same presentation via zoom to any members interested. I have email canvassed that part of our membership and there is interest in talks every 8 weeks. They would of course be open to Melbourne based members.
Thanks for your support, interest and collecting.
Mandy Bede, current president of ESA