Report from the Chair…

Well! What a year! - or is it two years? Certainly, we have been disrupted by covid for most of the last two years at BMUG, but more for you all personally, I am sure. I guess the best thing is to celebrate that we have managed to live through the messiness so far and hope everyone is well and safe.

We, at BMUG, have only managed two face-to-face meetings this year. That has made it very hard to stay in touch with everyone and certainly very difficult to plan events which usually give us a great contribution in terms of behind the scenes chatter. We all miss that.

Despite the difficulties, we have had more members' support us this year for which we are very grateful. The toll has been that the Committee has found it hard to work up enthusiasm each month knowing that our members and participants are not as keen as in the past - well, the far past more than the recent past, in fact.

The Committee is tired and we think perhaps the mission of BMUG is tired. Those who want to do something with computers usually find a way by checking in Google or with their supplier - so we have helped a few people with problems but we cannot maintain a group membership for so little direct benefit. We have tried to introduce new things that can be done in this era of digital technology but in the end, as with all new technologies, they become part of the furniture and we lose interest in them as technology.

The Committee has been quite busy making sure the group has a good archiving system, a good financial system, and we even have a fairly healthy financial position. We have tidied up our banking procedures, in particular thanks to a lot of work done by Peter Poteralski. Our newsletter is a collaborative effort and hopefully of interest to you. We see that a number of people are accessing our website and feel it is worth the effort it takes to ‘feed’ it. What we don’t have is much involvement of our members. We would like BMUG to be a thriving hub of conversation and friendship, so we have to make some big decisions.

When the current Committee stepped up, it was to try and keep BMUG alive. We have worked hard to do that but think it is time now to charter a new future. If some members would like to step forward to give traditional BMUG a go, please do! If it is left to the current Committee, hopefully with the addition of some extra members (female please!), I think there will be a change of pace.

Winding up the group with our current account balance of over $4000 would mean simply transferring those funds to another not-for-profit and closing down. We don’t want to do that. So what will we do? Well, we are hoping for suggestions from members and will consider them at our AGM on September 14. For a start, there is my Bellarine MUGs suggestion (see below).

I would like to thank each of our Committee members for their time and care - Peter Poteralski never misses anything - he is a wonderful Secretary and also does work cheerfully for other office bearers. Peter, it’s actually fun working with you! David Dixon has been the Treasurer, taking over from John Rosbach - not the job that many people want but we are not big wheelers and dealers, after all! Thanks Guys. Peter Cross and Ken Grinter have been very helpful and easy to work with too - thank you to both of you!

And to you, our members and participants: please keep cheery and safe and let’s hope we can be together one way or another in the future.

Liddy Nevile
AGM, 2021.

Bellarine MUGs?

A Bellarine MUG session in the future might consist of a participant at home or in a combined space, filling a mug with tea, coffee or even beer or wine, and a conversation between two interesting Bellarine people. It would be good to listen for about 40 minutes and then chat with the conversationalists afterwards in a sort of Q and A session. There are ever so many people doing so many different things in our region, and getting to know them and what they do is usually very worthwhile. The topics of conversation need (should?) not be computers but life, in its many interesting forms. The changing focus is less on the actual technology but more on how to actually use it and enhance our lifestyles. The sessions could be recorded and available for enjoyment after the scheduled time, as a podcast. We expect to have to use Zoom for a while longer but the sessions would of more general interest than in the past, so household companions might like to join us.

another idea is to have Let’s …. sessions

Let’s sessions, such as “Let’s Make a Photo Album” or maybe “Let’s make Chestnut Ice-cream”, would involve someone recording themselves doing an activity and then showing it to the session while being able to answer questions about how and what ….

Please, if you have ideas, let us know asap so we can canvas them before the AGM.
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