Reflections on being elected Life President
A once in a lifetime email popped into my inbox a few days ago. It informed me that the Executive Committee (wife Alison abstaining) had elected me to be the next Life President of the Guild. I must admit to it being something of a shock, something I’d never ever considered. I’m still in a bit of a state of shock, but it is indeed a great honour and privilege to be elected to this prestigious position, especially following in the footsteps of such a distinguished man as Tony Bradford.
Tony was a key player in the formation of the Guild and did much to ensure its success in those early years. He was also a talented writer whose work was much in demand. It’s a great shame that poor health prevented Tony from being active in recent years but his interest in the Guild remained undimmed nonetheless.
I think the question on the minds of many will be ‘What is the role of the Life President? What does he or she do?’ It’s something I’ve pondered a lot since being appointed.
Essentially, I see the role of that as a trustee; not in the legal sense of managing assets on behalf of a third party, but more in the sense of someone who ensures that the Guild stays true to its constitution, and always acts in the best interests of its members and of the industry we serve.
Also, I think the President should be someone who can be a point of reference and advice to the Committee, and to individual members, when required. A person who understands and has the best interests of the Guild at heart. A person who can represent the Guild when required, either at functions, or in relation to dealings with third parties.
During my 14 years’ membership of the Guild I’ve served 10 very active years on the Committee and held all positions apart from Treasurer (I’d be hopeless at that). I’m therefore hoping that this experience will stand me in good stead for the road ahead and I thank the Committee for putting their faith in me.