This is quite unbelievably my ultimate column; ultimate, an adjective chosen carefully not only to advise the last but also hopefully the highest and most fundamental.
As etiquette obliges there are many thanks that I must record over the course of my presidency, however,I want to begin with the most poignant issues and associated progress over the last two years.
Every past President wants to leave a legacy; it’s not just a case of adjusting the Institutes “nuts and bolts” or indeed turning up in the right place at the right time. These are both essential (naturally), however there are higher functions to which the President aspires; increasing membership, providing training, creating a successful National Conference, new branches etc. All things which ensure a vital growing Institute with sustained relevance.
Consequently I have been mulling over what my own particular legacy will be and the answer (in my own head) intrigued me.
I wanted to create a new website and bring the Institute’s web presence under one umbrella, this has been achieved, although I am the first to accept that this is still somewhat a work in progress and I intend to continue the site development as Snr Vice President.
Is this my legacy! Well no, the intrinsic legacy for any President is to pass to his successor a strong Institute such that the next incumbent has equal opportunity to leave a legacy and therefore I have to thank the last five decades of Presidents who have given me this opportunity. As I pass the reigns to Keith sure in the knowledge that the Institute is indeed in a strong position, I am also assured the Institute is in the care of very safe hands.
Reviewing the progress over the last two years; we’ve created a new website, introduced SAGE, reviewed and rationalised membership, reintroduced the National Dinner Dance and are in the process of creating an electronic library of all the Journals dating back to 1972.
There are further initiatives to which Keith refers in his column; a membership sub-committee focused on obtaining new members and naturally retaining those already reading this column and a peer review panel to ensure the quality of technical papers submitted to the Journal.
For my attention there is still the creation of an e-Journal and appraisal of ease of use for those on the go in the i-portable world.
So now for the thanks; Jayne Woodhead (Secretary & Treasurer), always determined to get the best deal for the Institute; Ian Gould, IT consultant “par excellence”; Paul Bottomley & Dave Woodhead, the “Past” Presidents who’ve helped me steer; Sam Franklin & Trevor Staton for the training day initiatives plus all those who keep the Institute’s gears running so smoothly.
It is also important for me to thank DSF Refractories & Minerals and specifically Managing Director Mr Neale Parkin who has supported me throughout the last two years affording me both the time and financial backing; advertisements, prizes, exhibition stands etc all of which are invaluable contributions to the Institute.
This leads me to a further vote of thanks to all those companies and individuals who support the Journal, the National Conference, Golf Days and Dinner Dances, your contribution is greatly appreciated.
In October I will officially hand the chain of office to Keith; whilst in some ways this will be a great weight off my shoulders (literally), on reflection though it’s been a very rewarding and unique experience, you cannot repeat it, there’s no practice runs, what has occurred has occurred. A metaphor for life in some regards, only in this case you get feedback!
Lastly I would like to thank you all for the opportunity of being your President, I hope that I’ve represented you all appropriately and please be assured that I will continue to support the Institute for many years to come.
My best regards to you all.
Finally I have the sad duty to inform all Institute members of the recent
passing of one of the Institute’s former stalwarts, Brian Traynor. Brian was for many years our Secretary, Treasurer, and Journal Editor. At this sad time, all at the Institute send their sincerest condolences to his wife Margaret and her family.