Prodigal Sons and Daughters – Chairman’s Blog No. 5

Supporting the preservation and operation of paddle steamers Waverley and Kingswear Castle

Prodigal Sons and Daughters – Chairman’s Blog No. 5

Yesterday, Sunday 24th August, on the return leg of the sailing to Lochranza, The Scottish Branch was pleased to welcome back one of it’s lapsed, formally stalwart members who has spent a few, though too many years in the wilderness, Mr Willie Ross. Willie has been home from Deep Sea on shore leave for a few weeks and to begin with, even getting him back up the gangway and onto Waverley seemed a forlorn hope. However some internal lubrication did the trick and we have shared a few enjoyable sails and drams over the last wee while. As he is due to run away to sea again this week, I thought should press gang him back into the Society before he went. With the help of some of the Usual Suspects who created a suitable diversion, we were able to spring the surprise on him.

You can see the result below with Willie proudly holding his membership pack. Welcome back Willie, or to use your deep sea name, Bill! As luck would have it Acting Purser David Edwards was in a generous mood and made an announcement over the Tannoy system welcoming Willie back as an excuse for doing a plug for the Society and encouraging people to join at the souvenir shop.

Well, I found out this morning that a couple of passengers did just that! There are two lessons to be learned here:

  1. Never pass up the opportunity to “sell” our Society and to get people to join. Remember part of every membership fee will help our ships, and now more than ever they need every penny.
  2. Never ever give up hope on lapsed members!

In fact target them if you know of any, and as a bare minimum try and find out why they left in the first place. It’s long been a bugbear of the national Membership Sub Committee that when people leave they simply don’t renew their subscription and it’s nigh on impossible to actually find out why they don’t want to be members anymore.

So if you do manage to find out why an ex member is just that, an ex member, please let any of the committee know as it is such valuable information. It might make painful listening at times but we have to know nevertheless if we are to improve things. Even more importantly, get them to join again. Explain to the ex member how our Society is changing quite a bit these days and that they would find much to interest them. If I can get Willie Ross interested again I’m sure there must be a few considerably easier ex member targets out there!