I finally decided to join the guild a few years ago. Guild membership hadn’t seemed relevant to me previously, because my local group only met on Monday mornings – not a viable option for most people who work.
I attended a couple of Blue Mountains meetings, as they are held on a Saturday morning. I enjoyed the meeting, the people were very friendly (hi Lynne!), and if it wasn’t so far away, I would like to attend more regularly.
When I was off work pregnant, I went to a few Epping meetings, and enjoyed them, though I did feel like a total outsider.
Then we moved house, and Inigo was born, and I decided not to renew my membership. Asking my dad for a cheque and a stamp was annoying the first time, but when I was also dealing with a newborn, I made the decision not to rejoin the guild until I was able to join/renew online. BPAY, direct deposit, whatever, I don’t care. But if I actually have to go to a father/bank and a post office, I’m not doing it. If I REALLY, REALLY cared about something, I might bother, but the guild just didn’t seem that relevant.
And there’s the rub. In order for the guild to be relevant to me, and to rather a lot of other knitters, it needs to change. And it seems very resistant to change – if they won’t even consider publishing an electronic version of the paper newsletter in case people that receive the paper version “feel left out”.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t wish them ill, and I hope they continue to live long and fruitful lives – but I would like the guild to be more relevant to me, I would like to feel that my input (and attendance) was welcome, and that we had something to offer each other.
I am a big believer in Grassroots Democracy – one of the reasons that I love being a member of the Greens is that they listen to me and my ideas. The same doesn’t seem to apply to the guild. New ideas are shunned, forcibly, and innovation is stifled before it can gather a voice.
Some people that I respect and adore are trying to make a change from within, by nominating for the executive. The AGM is still a month away, and already the slings and arrows have started to fly.
So now, we the knitters that want change, find ourselves in a position of opposition without seeking it, and a decision needs to be made as to whether the intention of peaceful, and gentle influence is worth the pain and anguish, or whether it’s better to give up on the dream of change, and start again from the ground up.
As I stated above, I am not currently a member of the guild, and as a non-member, I have no business discussing guild business. But I do hope that someone from the guild reads this, and understands that all we want is to be heard. We don’t want to radically overhaul the guild, we don’t want to knock off the executive, we don’t disrespect, loathe, or despise you, we just want to feel that we have a voice in a guild that is relevant to us, and that the guild respects and values us as members.