Wednesday, 6th April
As you hopefully will recall from our last issue of Leading Edge, we had been looking at a new way of ensuring the structure of Propeller Club Liverpool is fit for purpose, and for the future. There have been many big decisions over the 8 years or so of our existence. Not least was the decision to create the Club in the first place, building on the legacy of “First Thursdays” which had been started by Anneley and her company Shiptalk, so many years ago.
It was felt back then that the enthusiasm and engagement of so many deserved something more, and we looked to wrap a more professional, engaged and formal structure around our activities. That was when, prompted by Jim Bellew’s experiences in America and London, we decided “The International Propeller Club of the United States” was the route for us.
We duly completed all the paperwork, installed Jim as our First President and jumped through the US hoops, and were proudly granted membership. There was real pride in receiving our Charter, and of being welcomed to the fold. Alas, that didn’t last long and it was soon felt that their US-centric approach, and the fact they wanted far more in payment than we could bear, meant that it was ultimately time to spread our wings as an independent club.
So we did and have set our path. What we did inherit though was a structure, with a “President” role as a figurehead, and some semblance of a committee doing the heavy lifting. While that may have got us to where we are today, it is felt that to be relevant in the future that we need to rethink and reassess how we manage the Club, how we engage with members and how we embrace more younger maritime professionals into the fold.
The message from many of the younger professionals we have spoken to is that the old structures of many clubs, not just ours, do not appeal. They don’t like the dynamics, they are uncomfortable with the formality and the titles do not resonate or have relevance.
Which has meant something of a rethink for the Club. Instead of the more traditional approach, we have decided that a new structure with a management board and with member Ambassadors is the path that will allow us to get all the things done from an organisational and administrative perspective, but with sufficient engagement and support to be able to promote and push Propeller Club Liverpool forward.
We have been so lucky, particularly through COVID lockdowns and the subsequent reopening, as so many members have rolled their sleeves up and helped us to keep growing and developing.
As stated and communicated to members through the Winter 2021 edition of Leading Edge, we were looking to reward and recognise these champions as our first cohort of “Ambassadors”.
This also allows us to maintain the working structure, with Sue Henney as Port Secretary, Anneley Pickles as Membership and Treasurer, Adam Whittle leading our ongoing governance requirements and Steven Jones on Comms and publications. Though this does mean we will be retiring the office of President when Adam steps down during our April 2022 lunch. We are so grateful for all Adam has done to keep the Club afloat during what has been a most difficult time – he has done so with humour, energy and good grace. We would not be where we are today without him. Thank you Adam!
So it is a time of change and we are evolving to make Propeller Club Liverpool more inclusive, more embracing and welcoming to those members who want to be a closer part of the structure.
We will be announcing the 2022 Ambassadors ahead of our lunch, and look forward to welcoming many of them to the event.