Annual do­na­tion of wooden toys

Talk of the Town - - News - ROB KNOWLES

The Lower Al­bany Wood­work­ers Guild (LAWG) held its AGM at the Port Al­fred Ma­sonic Lodge on Tues­day evening and made it clear that pass­ing on the knowl­edge they have ac­quired over the years was a pri­or­ity be­cause, if they do noth­ing, their skills will be lost over time.

As has be­come an annual tra­di­tion at the guild, be­fore the meet­ing be­gan, chair­man Brian Ed­wards do­nated toys made by the mem­bers to Child Wel­fare in Ken­ton-on-Sea and Port Al­fred, which was rep­re­sented by Su­san Harty, man­ager and se­nior so­cial worker at the Port Al­fred of­fice.

“I would like to sin­cerely thank all the mem­bers of the guild for their gen­eros­ity. The toys will be given to the less for­tu­nate chil­dren in our area who al­ways en­joy them,” said Harty.

While it is un­cer­tain ex­actly when the LAWG was formed, by 1961 Brian Ed­wards, the cur­rent chair­man, joined the nascent or­gan­i­sa­tion, was elected chair­man in 1963 and, on Tues­day was voted in for his third stint in that po­si­tion. How­ever, on ac­cept­ing the role, he also said that this was the last time and that oth­ers must take over the or­gan­i­sa­tion when his term as chair­man ended.

Rob Moss was handed the Chair­man’s Award for the work he has done as a re­cent mem­ber of the guild. Roy Bramwell ac­cepted the po­si­tion as vicechair­man, Er­rol Par­sons was once again elected trea­surer as did Theo Hur­ford in the po­si­tion of sec­re­tary.

From 45 mem­bers to 39 in a year, the LAWG is now down to just 22 mem­bers, many of whom are not ac­tive. The guild is con­cerned that skills and knowl­edge will be lost if they do not pass it on to a new gen­er­a­tion.

“Spread, ed­u­cate and help,” was Ed­ward’s motto. “It is es­sen­tial that we share our knowl­edge and skills. “We are all get­ting older and, when we’re gone, who is go­ing to be able to use a lathe or a band saw? I am dis­ap­pointed that our mem­ber­ship is floun­der­ing and we need to take ac­tion to re­cruit new mem­bers.”

The guild mem­bers dis­cussed how pass­ing on skills could be achieved and played with a num­ber of ideas, one of which was to set up a hands-on demon­stra­tion and en­cour­age peo­ple to try their hand at us­ing a lathe, as sug­gested by mem­ber John Moss. Ed­wards was a lit­tle con­cerned about the safety as­pect, but sup­ported the idea of a demon­stra­tion on the lathe. Ed­wards also thanked Buco for the sup­port they of­fered the guild.

The meet­ing ended with Ed­wards say­ing that the guild would set up a demon­stra­tion in Fe­bru­ary next year at its first meet­ing.


FOR THE CHIL­DREN: As they have done for the last sev­eral years, the mem­bers of the Lower Al­bany Wood­work­ers Guild do­nated toys they had made to Child Wel­fare at the guild’s AGM on Tues­day. Su­san Harty of Child Wel­fare grate­fully ac­cepted the toys, which will be shared among less for­tu­nate chil­dren from Port Al­fred and Ken­ton-on-Sea

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