Saturday, 23 February 2008

The tree savers grow up to community proactivety

Some idiot wants to cut down the trees on Aylesbury Road!

Did that put your back up? A similar case got my mother campaigning many years ago – the Tel-Aviv city hall wanted to widen King George Street. I think I was about six or seven when she put a petition in my hand: “Get as many signatures as you can”. The truth is that I did not appreciate what it was all about and I was annoyed I could not stay at home and read. Those trees were planted almost together with the corner stone for Tel-Aviv and they are still there, but for one that was killed by a terrorist bomb alongside several men, women and children.

It seems very British to get all worked up about saving trees. In fact that is probably the issue that got most community activist going in the first place. Holding back the chain saw hanging over the Aylesbury Road trees was the community spark the resulted in the Wendover Society in 1965.

The Society had its AGM yesterday. The guest speaker discussed another community body: The Wendover Community Trust. Both organizations have done lots of good and continue doing so. I went to the AGM mainly as a show of support. I admit I was also curios to hear about the proposed constitution as the Wendover Cycling Group (temporary name) is grappling with its own.

I did notice the same names being mentioned in connection to different organizations. This was accentuated by the fact that there was no new face nor any change in office proposed at the AGM. Don’t get me wrong. Well done to them all. Most of the people in question did a very good job up to now and I expect they will carry on in the same positive spirit. I just want to point out that there is this clique of people who are doing a lot for Wendover, fighting our corner, propping up those who need support and doing good in general. And you’ll encounter almost the same faces in what ever meeting you go to. I suppose that this has something to do with the fact that most people are just engrossed in the fight to keep their head above the white rapids of life.

Once you volunteer your sense of responsibility is awakened. It feeds on your activities and drives you on to more in an ever strengthening feedback cycle. You start noticing things. You start caring. And worse of all, each time you hear of a position that is not filled YOU feel guilty for not putting your name done or worse you say you will do it even if you are over committed. I never realized this before. I have now more respect than ever for these unsung community heroes, but it would be nice to see more new faces. Not only to spread out the burden but also to introduce novel ideas and approaches. Naturally I would prefer if they were not conservative (with and without capitalization). For now I count myself as a new face.

To end in a positive note: I have put myself forward for the elections for parent governors at the John Hampden. I was delighted to here that six parents are ‘fighting’ for the two open positions. That bodes very well for our community.

By the way, check out the new Wendover Society website or even better take part in the discussions in the forum.

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