As this is my first message you as President, I must start by wishing  all members, friends, supporters and sponsors of VicBears a very happy New Year.

Resignation of Rob Camm

On behalf of the committee and members, it is fitting to acknowledge the leadership of Rob Cam as the President of VicBears for the last 11 months.  Few will truly appreciate the herculean efforts Rob has made on behalf of the club in 2018, and we all owe him an enormous debt of gratitude.  As many of you know, he has found “the one”.  As Ricci happens to live on the other side of the Pacific, Rob has chosen to follow his heart and join him there: and we all wish both Ricci and Rob every happiness as they prepare to start their lives together in Santiago, Chile.

Mannhaus

Two days into my presidency VicBears received notice on Friday evening of 28 December 2018 that the sponsorship arrangement with Mannhaus was finishing. The committee wishes to thank Mannhaus for their support of the club over the past 15 years.  We respect their business decision and wish Richard and Paul every success in their future endeavors.

Boxing Day Bears

I am pleased to advise that through the generosity of members, more than 16 crates of non-perishable food were donated to the Positive Living Centre’s Pantry service. In addition, a number of exceedingly generous cash donations and vouchers were also given. Thanks to all who gave so generously. I would like to thank the supermen of the Laird (Brett and Myka) who boxed up the donations on the 27th for storage in two salubrious East St Kilda locations (!) until the PLC opened in the new year. Myka Williams then arranged delivery to the PLC who were astonished at the quantity, and were very relieved as their pantry was otherwise quite bare. As you can appreciate, this is perhaps the most difficult time of year for them. Once again, you as members of VicBears, have made a difference to the lives of people in our community.  I can think of no higher praise.

Membership renewal

A short reminder that membership renewals are now due.  There are a number of options open to people: the perhaps easiest is the online membership portal where not only can you renew your membership, but also manage your own personal information.  Alternatively, you can renew your membership at Carnival Day, or at any Union night at the membership desk. If you renew your membership by the online portal prior to 6pm on Union/Mr VicBears night (26 January) you will go into a draw to win a double pass for Southern HiBearnation 2019 valued at over $200. Be in it to win it – 25% of last year’s membership have already renewed, and since committeemen are ineligible to win, the odds of winning the SH19 double pass at the moment currently quite good (1:60).  The link to the membership renewal site is via the VicBears Membership page on the new improved website https://vicbears.org.au/join-vicbears/, or for those wishing the direct link click here.

You can pick up your 2019 membership key tag you at Carnival Day, otherwise you can pick it up at any Union night.

Website

I would like to formally acknowledge the superhuman work our beloved Secretary, Kevin Reader, has achieved in revising the club’s website.  The new website, if you haven’t already seen it, is a clear and crisp site that is easily navigated from a visitor’s perspective.  We will be adding more detail over time.  Perhaps the most relevant benefit is that it replaces our formal reliance on Facebook by listing all the upcoming events and their details in one convenient location, the “Our Events” page https://vicbears.org.au/events/.  Depending on your need(s), you can click on a link that will take you to all upcoming events, or you can browse through the events you may have missed!

AquaBear & Healthy Eating

On January 13 we had out largest turnout ever for AquaBear with 24 members launching themselves into the Richmond Pool for a hilarious hour of low impact water aerobics under the tutelage of our very own beloved Madam SpLASH, the lovely Miss Judy. As you know, we have temporarily relocated to Richmond Pool while the Collingwood Leisure Centre pool is repaired, which we expect will be for a few months. Afterwards, we staggered across the road for a snack at St James in Bridge Road.
AquaBear is open to both members and their friends, and is a great way to not only achieve an hour of so of sweat-free exercise, but perhaps more importantly, to get to know people away from the bar scene. So, if you think you might benefit from getting active without the sweat (which is a prime benefit as far as I am concerned), and if you perhaps feel a little insecure, then by all means bring a friend along. It’s great value at only $10 a session. If you belong to other LGBTIQA etc. groups, feel free to invite them along, and if they want more details, contact me via adamm@vicbears.org.au.

And finally…

It is a great privilege and honour to be your president. While this is not something I ever sought or expected, I am proud to be working for each and every one of you. VicBears has the best committee one could hope for, which in turn is supported by the best bears in the world. Working together there is nothing we cannot achieve. I only have one favour to ask – please try to remember that the committee are volunteers with careers and lives away from the club, and they work their best to bring events alive. Please treasure them (as I do).

Adamm

Adamm Ferrier
President
VicBears