IWA’s AGM looks to the future

IWA’s Annual Members Meeting, held on 30th September in Langley Mill, was an inspiring, forward looking event outlining IWA’s vision for the future.

In front of 116 members, IWA’s Marketing Committee Chairman, Peter Johns, previewed the Association’s five year objectives which will be announced in detail to members over the next few weeks.

He demonstrated the powerful role that IWA can and will play in the growth and development of our waterways through their promotion for the benefit of All.  He made it clear that IWA can lead thinking about the regeneration of the system, championing the benefits and driving national awareness by being pro-active in all aspects of the waterways.

Attendees of the meeting were offered a preview of IWA’s new logo which will be launched to the wider membership and beyond from 1st November.  Trustees felt it important to show the new design to members before it is presented to the wider public.  Those present raised interesting questions about the changes proposed but were generally supportive of the developments as the new identity reflects all aspects of the Association including Waterway Recovery Group and Essex Waterways Ltd.

The meeting was opened by talks from Chris Howes (IWA Peterborough Branch) and Geoff Woods and Mick Butler (IWA Northampton Branch) who discussed the detailed work going on at local level to increase funding and re-open closed navigations on Anglian Waterways and improve the Northampton Arm of the Grand Union Canal.  Both presentations made clear that grassroots campaigning and volunteer action and work parties are the very essence of the Association.

The grassroots success of the charity was reflected in the annual Awards ceremony.  Volunteer effort and support is recognised through the award of Richard Bird medals which this year were received by Lynda Payton, Tony Dunning, Janet Dunning and Christine Carter.  The Branch Achievement Award was awarded to IWA’s West Country Branch and the Association’s premier award, the Cyril Styring Trophy, was presented to Chard Wadley.

The Awards ceremony was completed by the provision of a new award – Honorary Life Membership of the Association for members who had supported the charity for sixty consecutive years or more.  Eighteen memberships were eligible for this award and two were presented on the day to Mr Peter Duckworth and Mr Geoff Bayley.

The AGM itself was led by Les Etheridge, presiding over his last AGM as IWA Chairman.  He announced some changes to the trustee committee.  Mike Palmer, Chairman of Waterway Recovery Group, has returned to the committee after a break of eight years and Paul Rodgers, WRGie and member of Marketing Committee was elected for the first time.  Ray Carter returns to the committee as a nationally elected trustee as does Paul Strudwick as London Region Chairman.  Two new Region Chairmen, Verna Smith (South East) and Chris Howes (Eastern) were also disclosed.  They join at an exciting time as focus turns to the development of plans to support the delivery of the new five year objectives.

Members attending the AMM were treated in the afternoon to a choice of a walking tour of Langley Mill, where the Cromford Canal meets the Erewash and now derelict Nottingham Canals or a two hour cruise on nb Birdswood, the Friends of Cromford Canal trip boat.

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.