Last autumn John Dickson asked me to join the OSFN Board of Directors. Although I refused for several weeks, he persisted and I was parachuted into the role of Vice-President; and now I am your newly-minted President.
I am not sorry!
I was involved with the OSFN at its inception and for many years derived great pleasure from the wide array of activities and opportunities it presented. Spending time with friends like Lorraine Brown, Nels Maher and Malcolm Kirk enriched my life immeasurably and I miss them sorely.
The OSFN represents a deep well of knowledge with such diversity and wisdom in our membership and the broad scope of programs presented, both indoors and out. There is huge virtue in this shared communion with nature that brings us together as a club. Now, maybe more than ever, knowledge, support and care for nature is needed on the ecological front but also the psychological front. Knowing nature better within our own club is enormously valuable, but it may be a bit like preaching to the choir. In our increasing community of urban citizens the need to touch, hear, smell and see the natural world is enormous. We are learning that there can be grave consequences for living in isolation from nature. Sharing our passion and knowledge is a vital service we are uniquely capable of providing.
My attention was diverted away from the club for several years, much to my own dismay. There are still only 24 hours in a day and I was swamped with other demands. Thankfully some of the pressure has eased.
Some years ago I was working with a group of highly educated and strongly motivated people on environmental concerns. Lacking their education and talents I asked myself out loud at one of these intense meetings “What do I bring to this effort?” One of them answered: “Enthusiasm!” So that’s what I bring to the OSFN. Enthusiasm!
I am proud to be part of this group, glad to have a strong Board of Directors to guide me and excited to see what the next two years will bring!
Kate McLaren, President