I covered some of the information below in February’s newsletter. But since we had an abbreviated meeting and weren’t able to address some of the content, I wanted to try again for this month. So my apologioes for the redundancy.
We made it through March and the results from Hibernian-related activities all seemed to be positive. Each activity presented us an opportunity to enhance our membership, make progress toward our goals, and a chance to get back very close to pre-Covid status. We had involvement from many, many brothers who volunteered their time and energy. My thanks go out to everyone who helped in person or in spirit.
I came into office after not having served for around 20 years. I am still surprised at how differently the Division now operates. For the sake of consistency, I have put more pressure on officers to fulfill their roles, rather than having others take responsibility. As stated last month, the proper movement through officer positions allows officers to become familiar with the roles and responsibilities of those positions, and the roles of officers who might ultimately report to them. Officers can delegate any tasks within their purview, but it’s important they each manage their areas of responsibility and adhere to our rules and by-laws.
In that vein, documentation is my key focus going forward.
One thing that I and the officers will be doing, is providing a procedures manual for publishing on our website (with security) and for providing a track record for future officers. Each activity below will have duties, dates, vendors, costs, receipts and all other pertinent information related to that activity. We will include a post-mortem review with recommendations on how to avoid pitfalls and create greater efficiency and success. With this available, if key personnel become unavailable, it will be easy for another brother to assume responsibility and pick up where the previous brother left off. It will also provide a blueprint for new officers to aid them in managing the Division within their areas of responsibilities. Finally, with full accounting of each event, including receipts, establishing a proper budget for future years becomes much easier and more precise. The events initially included will be:
- The Raffle from printing tickets through drawing of winner’s name.
- Christmas party
- Installation of officers
- Major Dooley Celebration
- Division role in Montpelier Celtic Festival
- St. Patrick’s Day from breakfast preparation to church to serving breakfast and any social event(s) following.
- Squirrels’ baseball game
- Independence Day (if celebrated by AOH)
- Our Lady of Knock
- Commodore Barry Day
- Other events as designated
Next, I have spoken with some officers about proper procedures for handling assets and money. There are best practices that delineate proper risk control, and we will implement those appropriate for a non-profit entity of our size and asset base. They will be contained in the same procedures manual.
In addition, and this is a repeat from last month, I would like every member to submit a list of any and all materials they have in their possession that belong to the Division. This can be submitted at our next meeting or emailed directly to me. We have been given space at St. Michael’s to store our things, and using it will allow control and access to be much better, since we will know what we have and where it is. If someone removes something from storage for an event, there will be a log in the storage area so we can easily determine who has any missing items. And this list of possessions will also form part of our mandatory annual audit, making the process much simpler and quicker.
Getting to raffle results, once we see final raffle figures, the officers will meet to determine if we are able to meet the budgeted donations to churches. Any recommended changes will be reported to membership for review, discussion, etc.
Things will slow down for us after March, which gives us time to concentrate on fraternity and good of the order. We have a great group of people from diverse backgrounds, who get along exceedingly well, and who are all always trying to help the Division and our members. We’re not a shy group, and people speak up and provide suggestions regularly. Those comments and suggestions are not only welcome, but greatly appreciated. Please keep them coming.
Lastly, I appreciate the support I have received from members as I’ve stumble through my duties. I truly look forward to spending time with everyone at future meetings and social events.
In Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity,
Major James Henry Dooley Division #1