#awordfromthewife [Pauline Campbell, Tangent]
It is, as they say, life. I had not the remotest thought about where the casual comment, “I think I might consider standing for the post of Region 25 Councillor’ would lead. I think I gave half an ear to the sentence and muttered encouraging words back… “go for it, you would enjoy it”. On reflection, I think I thought that as Dave rarely turned down the opportunity to attend a 41 Club event, he might as well formalise the arrangement. We were packing to go to the Bristol Conference at the time and in my innocence, I thought the post was a year long commitment.
When Dave announced, he had got the Regional Councillor post I congratulated him, but do remember a mild splutter over a glass of Sauvignon Blanc when he added ‘for 3 years’… which later magically turned into 5 years without my even noticing. It was then I thought that I should sit up and listen more closely and my hunch was right, as it was thereafter that the bug really took hold. Life became a social whirl, as Dave worked long hours for ITV by day, but travelled across the region visiting clubs and generally getting involved in all things to do with Round Table and 41 Club at every opportunity. He has always enjoyed travelling and during the tenure of his Councillor role was able to support liaison between the French and GB&I Boards; organising and supporting meetings and as one thing led to another he had the notion to work with his French counterpart on the other side of the Channel and established the Transmanche in the annual events calendar and has only missed one meeting since its inception!
It did dawn on me that this dream was getting bigger by stealth and when the chance to attend International events came along, my other half was there. He managed to sweet talk work colleagues into swapping time off to enable him to pursue his passion and apparently, the trade for ‘Golf time’ paid off. I suspect there is a Golf widow somewhere wondering just how ‘Golf Course’ time became so easy to acquire! Simultaneously with his membership of Westerham 41 Club my hero was a member of Sevenoaks Lions Club, where he held the post of International Officer, so I should have easily figured out where it was all going. Gradually the mist cleared and the time came when my hero attained the post of International Officer on the 41 Club Board. He managed a massive 60 overseas visits over the five years he held the post. This did afford me the time to go shopping when I wished, and attend events that I enjoyed, so all was not lost. I also took a leaf out of his book and joined the Tangent Exec. As IRO, Dave set about creating a ‘twinning map’, supporting clubs looking to establish International links and supporting 41’ers in other countries wanting to set up clubs, or join 41 International. Even though my professional career didn’t allow me the opportunity to attend a lot of the events, I admit to being impressed by the International scene. It doesn’t seem to matter where we are, or even if we have met people before, the same passion, enthusiasm and common bond exists across the world; the craziness of 41 Club translates wherever you are!
As Dave’s time to retire from Board approached, it was with some trepidation that I considered the possibility of him returning back to the nest. I needn’t have feared as 41’ers came to my rescue again and he embarked on the journey to be National President and my forays to pursue my own interests were once again in prospect. It was no surprise to me that Emeritus Tangent and RiffRaff 41 Club members choreographed an interruption in Blackpool based on Dave’s international travels and so we have embarked on the next stage of our 41 Club journey.
As a member of the backroom team, I can report, there is an inordinate amount of planning, packing and perseverance involved and don’t get me onto the subject of the email deluge! At work, I was known as the ‘spreadsheet queen’ and I thank 41 Club for the opportunity to continue to pursue my special interest!! There is, of course, the washing, ironing and numerous trips to the Dry Cleaner and occasional shopping expeditions which my hero acknowledges are the less glamorous, but essential elements of the role; but you can’t bake a cake without breaking a few eggs!
Our daughters and their partners are resigned to the fact we have the best social lives and are no longer surprised by our activities and book babysitting dates well in advance, and one even before the arrival of grandchild number 3 was even announced. As everyone knows, engaging in unusual pursuits or activities is part of the deal. Now Dave and IRO Peter Good are neither in the first flush of youth, and dare I say, neither are ‘sylph like’ so their combined weight ensured (as they were strapped together) that they ripped down a zip wire recently in South Africa at a frighteningly breakneck speed, much to the amusement of the staff and fellow ‘zip wirers’, none of whom looked as if they were old enough to have left school. The flying Grandads did it in style. ‘But hey’, I hear you cry… what else should I expect?
On a serious note, thank you to all those who have hosted us thus far, to the drivers, to everyone for their fantastic support along the way, including Hyundai who have sponsored an i40 for the year. Don’t forget Hyundai offer an affinity deal to all members who purchase a new car.
Dave is very enthusiastic to get out to as many clubs as he can and certainly every region at some point. You too can share this crazy time, by booking him for any event you are holding, or just coming to an ordinary meeting night. I would regard your support on this one as a personal favour as then I can pursue my hobbies too.
Dave chose the Prince’s Trust as his charity and is grateful for your support. This is the 41st year of the Trust working with vulnerable and disadvantaged young people from 11 – 30 to help transform their lives, to give them hope and a chance to succeed. Please consider supporting them. Individual donations can be made by sending cheques via Dave made out to the Trust. If you are looking for a speaker, consider asking one of the Prince’s Trust Young Ambassadors along to share their story… I guarantee you will be impressed, and moved. We have also been asked by members if they can become volunteers or mentors and we are passing names onto the Trust. Throughout the Prince’s Trust 41 year history they have helped more than 825000 young people and research indicates 3 out of 4 young people they help will achieve improved outcomes – an impressive thought and socially beneficial to everyone.
The strength and success of 41 Club is the pure enthusiasm and energy of every member of the National Council and all the clubs. I cannot deny it is a wonderful rollercoaster ride and a privilege; and put simply, I love 41 Club. Thank you and may the hinges of friendships made across the years never rust.