Waverley Model Railway Club has the potential to be an outstanding club. It has some really good hearted people in it.

The committee are all volunteers who serve the club. Each should be commended for stepping up to their role. Each serves, not to benefit themselves, but the club as a whole. I really appreciate those who serve this way and hope that every member pays them respect and honour for the hours of selfless toil each readily gives.

There are some who have made me most welcomed… and I thank them for that. Those with great attitude, a desire to be helpful and to be friendly. Sure, there are some grumpy ones who bathe in lemon juice I’m sure, but they too add flavour to the mix that makes up any club.

Personally, I enjoyed meeting you all, building and maintaining the new website, helping wherever and whenever asked. And I did really enjoy the rare visits to Electra Ave on a Monday night. I hope I’ve done my part to be a person to add value to the club.

Due to my new work committments this year, I’ve been fairly disconnected with the club for some time now.  My work commitments happen to coincide with the only times the clubhouse is open… simply unfortunate.

It has been fairly discouraging not to be able to attend within the timeframes the clubhouse is open. No access at times that work for me, means I can’t even pop in to read any news on the notice board (and the lack of email communication, minutes, etc of late has made it even more disappointing – still waiting for the AGM Minutes & Financial Report – just sayin’).

Running trains isn’t really my favorite thing. I enjoy watching them run and asking questions… but I now know that those running them don’t really like talking while operating – I respect that and get it.

What I really desired to be involved in was building layouts, to apply my skills and to learn from others or at least learn together. The guys at Electra Ave did make me feel welcomed. I like that.  But always found it hard to get to Electra Ave on a Monday night. My only day off is on a Saturday or a Sunday arvo, but no one else seemed to be available to open up at those times.

I’m sure I could have tried harder to see if anyone who has a key might have considered a few hours on a weekend or another evening. But that’s just it, it’s too hard.  This is a barrier the club will need to work through to survive.

While on the topic of club survival, may I offer these parting thoughts.

  1. The club mean age is increasing. This means that if the older generation does not become inclusive and ushers in the younger generation, the club will die within a generation. WMRC is on the brink of that right now.
    As an aside, I absolutely commend Bob Henson for the way he engages with those making enquiries via the website too – he does a stirling job! But it needs to be backed up when visitors come – everyone should make visitors welcome and willing to be inconvenienced with the relentless questions. Remember, we all had to start somewhere. We must embrace and encourage new members as they bring freshness, challenge the status quo and ultimately injects new life into the club. And with out them, eventually there is no club. Remember the Goldern Rule: Treat others as you would have them treat you.
    And for anyone to say the club should be no greater than the dwindling 70-80 members because we would be too crowded is short-sighted too.  What if the club had 300 members, a 1,000 members? Imagine how alive, vibrant and what it could do then? More options, more physical locations, more things for all to participate in, more knowledge, more visitors, more members… growth, healthy and assured survival. The club needs VISION for the future.
  2. Willingness to openly share knowledge to ensure that it is passed on to as many as possible – especially the next generation. If holding back knowledge is to feed pride or ego, it is short lived. What use is it when the guru dies?
  3. As a club, the Exhibition is the greatest source of gaining new Members, raising funds to invest back into the club activities and builds comradery. The club could solve several issues by doing the following:
    • Do ONE Exhibition Layout build every year and display it at the Exhibition. This will bring together all members in comradery and a single determined focussed purpose throughout the year culminating in joint presentation.
    • Sell off the old Exhibition Layouts. Keep only the latest 3 layouts. As a layout is displayed for the third time, have it up for sale. You could be creative in selling it too; you could run an auction or a Silent Auction, or take it to other exhibitions to display and then sell with a “we deliver to your place at the end of the weekend”. Even giving it away in a $20 a ticket Raffle Draw would be a stunning drawcard.  This would solve the ‘freshness’ of displays to the public each year, release storage space, increase working area, improve member skills, be a club in demand. The opportunities around Exhibitions are endless.
  4. Everyone must pitch in and add value to the club; that’s everyone. From those with talents to lead and administrate (committee) to those who have know-how and readily share it to raise the level of expertise of others.  And if none of those, maybe a new member just starting the journey in Model Railways, you can give a word of encouragement or a thank you to those around you.

I would love to be a part of a club like that. At the moment, its not happening. I’m not able to ‘put in’ as I would like to. If I’m unable to be around to pitch in, then I’m not adding value to the club. That’s not healthy for me, nor the club.

This is an open letter so everyone knows clearly why I resign from Membership, and as the WMRC webmaster, as of today.

The remainder of my paid fees are a donation to the club. All online software I paid for is released to the club. All the website security access, passwords, documentation, etc., will be forwarded to the President, Vice President and Secretary.

My hope is that I have left the club better than when I joined.

I resign. It is time.