The Barbel Society

I used to be a proud member of the Barbel Society. I’ve been a member right from the start. Initially it was a great organisation, with sound aims and principles. Over the last 14 years, I’ve made a number of new friends, learned quite a bit about barbelling, and had some great days out at the annual bash. I’m still a member, but no longer proud to be so.

I’ve become increasingly disillusioned by the antics of its leadership. I’m not privy to the inner workings of the committee, so can only comment on what I see in the public domain and on the Society’s own forums. In my opinion, one particular high-ranking committee member has caused far too much aggravation with his postings on various internet forums. Although he claims that the views he posts are his and nothing to do with the Society, he seems unable to understand that they will reflect on the Society. He also seems incapable of replying to honest criticism without being unnecessarily aggresive and cannot accept that sometimes he may just be wrong. I think his behaviour has led to the loss of a large number of members. What makes it worse, is that the chairman of the Society defends him and also seems blind to the damage that’s been caused.

I thought long and hard about renewing my membership this season, and did so only on the basis of the research and conservation programme. Unfortunately, events over the last few days have made things worse. Unless there is a sea-change in the organisation in the coming months, I doubt that I shall renew next year.

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