Winter '04

From the President

By David G. Barber

This time around, I'm going to report about the society itself.

Your board of directors met in Billerica, MA on October 10th for its annual meeting. The meeting began with the report of the nominating committee by Bob Schmidt reporting that the slate of director nominees had all been elected for a three-year term. They are Linda Barth, Dan McCain, Lance Metz, Robert Schmidt, Bob Sears, Roger Squires, and Terry Woods. Dan McCain of Delphi, Indiana is new to the board. The others are continuing their service. Bob Schmidt then reported that all of the present officers had agreed to serve another year and moved that they be reelected. The board voted in the affirmative.

Reports were then given by the recording secretary on the last meeting, the president, and the secretary/treasurer/membership chairman. On membership, it was reported that our numbers are declining. This is significantly impacted by the loss of distribution of membership materials by Bill Shank who had sent them with his book business.

Copies of the final, approved constitution and bylaws were distributed. The president reported that the next step would be to apply for incorporation in Pennsylvania and that the application would be submitted in the next month.

It was then noted that Linda Barth has been doing a great job editing the last few issues of American Canals. She will conclude her work with the pending November, 2003 issue. Paul Bartczak of Eden, NY will take over the editorship with the February, 2004 issue. All members are urged to create and send him lots of articles, maps, and photos about canals and especially about canals in their neighborhood.

The president, supported by the treasurer then noted that our supply of "Support Your Local Canal" bumper stickers is nearly exhausted. These are a popular item and cars do get replaced. The costs of a reprinting will be investigated and consideration will be given to replacing "Support" with "Restore".

Lance Metz then outlined a program of the National Canal Museum to make their web site the prime source on canals especially for school students and requested financial support. After discussion, the directors voted to provide up to $ 2,000 on a matching basis. The match will be for funds contributed by state and local canal societies. The National Canal Museum will be responsible for the solicitation of the other societies and for providing the treasurer with documentation of the other contributions.

The meeting then adjourned so that all could participate in a weekend smorgasbord of talks, walks, and other activities in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the opening of the Middlesex Canal and the 25th anniversary of the Lowell National Heritage Park.

The next directors' meeting as well as a membership meeting will be held in St. Catherines, Ontario in early June, 2004 in conjunction with the World Canals Conference. Details will be furnished when available.

More recently, in November, the Directors voted to elect William Shank and Arthur Sweeton, III, to the honorary position of Director Emeritus in gratitude for their many contributions to the society.

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