It’s hard to believe summer is almost over. I’ve barely been out of the house, but at least I’ve had more time for ham radio. Many members of our communities are now faced with not just the usual challenges of returning their kids to school, but the additional worries of doing so during this pandemic. While no one knows for sure how the gradual return to normalcy and the colder weather will affect the virus, the club must maintain a great deal of caution to protect our members both young and old.
In view of this, our meetings will remain virtual until further notice. We’ve had 3 successful club meetings and 5 board meetings using web conferencing, and for now that will have to do. Many companies feel the same way. The downtown banks are not returning to their offices until 2021, with some companies already planning to hold off until May, and those that are beginning to open now have strict safety measures in place.
The pandemic has spawned our very successful club net, the YRARC Health & Welfare net on our repeater network VE3YRA and VE3YRC/UHF, which has been held more than 150 times with over 100 amateurs, both members and non-members, participating.
We have also welcomed new board members this year, namely Mike VE3BWV, Sandra VA3SWD and Pablo VA3HDL, replacing Rob VE3RQB, John VA3JI, and David VA3LLT. I’d like to thank the departing board members for their service to club. Our new board members have jumped right in, with Mike taking over as Vice-President, Sandra as Secretary, and Pablo as our new treasurer. I’d also like to thank our new directors for stepping into the fray so readily.
We are very fortunate that our club funds were in good shape when all this started. With the cancellation of the hamfest and public service events our expenses will exceed revenues this year, but we will be able to withstand the shortfall. Organizations that the club supports with public service communications frequently make donations to the club, but with the suspension of large events through the summer these have also dried up, and unfortunately, almost every charity in Canada is facing financial difficulties right now.
The new board is already working hard to organize the club’s activities. It will be an unusual year, but with new challenges come new opportunities, and I’m hopeful that the current situation will provide the opportunity for us to step back and reflect on we can build a better future.
President, York Region Amateur Radio Club