Horological Association of Maryland, Inc.

December 2006 Newsletter

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NEWSLETTER, December, 2006


VOLUME 16, NO 12




President’s Message: December, 2006


Happy New Year!  As I sit here and write this, I’ve been thinking about what we can do to ensure the best year yet for HAM.  The answer to that question needs to come from all of us.  At the Board Meeting, we raised a number of issues that I plan to discuss with you at the first business meeting of 2007.  To give you time to think about your suggestions for how we proceed with regard to these issues, here are the things we need to address on January 8th:

  1. At a previous meeting we discussed changing the number of people needed to have a quorum (so that we can vote on proposals) from 11 to 7.  The Board agreed with that change and the general membership needs to vote on a change to the HAM Constitution for final acceptance.


  1. Does anyone have ideas for other locations in the Ellicott City area for future meetings and workshops?


  1. Should the club buy a basic tool kit or two for use by beginners at our workshops?


  1. How do you feel about having a structured learning process for both clock and watch repair?  We would have a technical talk at our business meeting followed by hands-on practice at the next workshop.  Of course, one is not obligated to follow the syllabus.


  1. We used to have a business meeting every month and changed that to every other month, last year.  If we agree to a structured learning process and a concerted effort to bring in more speakers to our business meetings, should we change back to a business meeting each month in addition to our monthly workshops?


  1. Would you be willing to be on a speakers committee for bringing speakers to our meetings and for bringing in special workshops?  The committee would also look at setting up one or two field trips during 2007.


  1. At the next meeting Stan will talk about the text he will use for the watchmakers program and perhaps give a technical talk from same.


That should keep us busy!


See you ALL very soon for what I believe will be a very important meeting.








Secretary’s Report

Board of Directors Meeting December 3, 2006


In attendance were: Stan Craig, Dan Spath, George Painter, George Tresansky, Jack Kennan, John Reilly, Dave Grau, Earl Knight and Bob Rothen and Al Takatsch.  The meeting opened at 4:10 pm at Bob Rothen’s home in Hagarstown.


This was Dave Grau’s first meeting as our new president.  It was an interesting format.  Dave, being use to directing professional meetings, had an interesting approach.  To begin there were about a dozen topics that were presented for consideration.  Since we were not likely to get to all of them, board members were given 5 pasty dots and asked to put one on each of 5 topics of most interest to them.  By adding up the dots on any one topic the top five issues were determined.  We would take them first then if time permitted progress to the others.


The first topic was Membership.  Why do people come to meetings and why don’t they come? Reasons for coming included: To hear a good speaker, camaraderie, commitment and workshops.  It was a little more difficult to determine why dues paying members don’t come since none of them were there. Some suppositions were: that the newsletter needs to do a better job detailing upcoming events so members have time to schedule for a topic of interest to them. Of course, we need to know in advance what the schedule of events will be in order to publish it and doing that is a priority for the upcoming year.  It was decided to put some of the projects that members worked on at the previous workshop in the newsletter in the hope that it will pique member’s interest to attend.  Overall we made a commitment to try to obtain quality speakers and to spend some money to do so.  George Painter is going to write an advertisement to put in the Horological Times and NAWCC Mart and Dan is going to forward this ad to the HT and NAWCC Mart editorial boards for inclusion in upcoming issues. Dan will also ask AWCI if they will stuff one of our pamphlets into any of their information mailings.  At some point Dave will draw up a survey regarding member’s interests, reasons for attending or not, etc, and also include a resource list that would have the names of persons with expertise in certain areas. This list would include internet sites of horological interest and it could be used to contact speakers for meetings and workshops. We also had some interest in having more trips during the year, perhaps to the NAWCC Museum again, or perhaps the Hermele Clock Factory in Virginia or visit one of the clock dial-painter’s shops in Philadelphia.


While on the topic of meetings, we discussed the present schedule of meetings and workshops.  We will continue the discussions at the next meeting to see if there is interest in returning to our format of meeting once a month instead of every other month.  We also discussed having a theme for our workshops (theme to be decided) as in times past so that the speaker for the meeting before the workshop could direct his/her remarks to the workshop theme.  We may use the Bulova watch manual as a guide and have talks and workshops follow the same format as for training new watchmakers or we may use Laurie Penman’s clock book to do the same for clockmakers.


Jerry Kincaid mentioned at the last meeting that he invited the AWCI National to have their annual meeting – three years hence – in Maryland.  We need to know how formal that invitation was, to whom it was made etc. Questions arose as to whether we want to do this at all and if so, who will spearhead the effort, and who will work on what committees?  This will certainly be a topic for an upcoming meeting, as already six months have passed since the invitation with nothing done. We need to commit or withdraw our invitation soon!


We will bring up the subject of changing our meeting place when our present contract runs out.  Most members felt that the floor of the present room at St. Johns church is too unstable to do accurate work, that the lighting is not good and the space is marginal. It is however, central to most members and safe.  Any suggestions for a new place keeping the above attributes in mind would be appreciated.


At the January meeting we will vote to amend the by-laws (article 111 section 4).  This section calls for 11 members in good standing and one director to constitute a quorum to transact business for the association.  John Reilly made a motion to reduce the number from 11 to 7 so that business can be conducted when fewer than 11 members show up.


We proposed buying a basic set of tools for new members to use until they can put together their own set. Maybe a set or two for watchmakers and one for clockmakers would do.  Perhaps we could get a discount from Casker after we decide what should be in it.


It was a long meeting so the jest of matters was summarized here.  The details of many topics will be the subject of upcoming meetings.


We would like to extend our thanks to Bob Rothen and his wife for inviting us to their home and for the goods eats at the break.


Happy New Year! John Reilly

Horological Association of Maryland, Inc.
Secretary Kevin Casker kcasker@gmail.com
Webmaster David Grau dg33@verizon.net