First, I hope this message finds all of you managing to stay safe and in good health throughout this uniquely challenging year. We are about to turn the page on 2020 and like most of you, I am looking forward to better days ahead in 2021. A year ago, GNHW was about to close out 2019, having completed a record 65 actual in-person live meeting/demonstration events and a modest growth in membership from 547 members in January to 560 at year end.
We started year 2020 filled with optimism, looking to build on our successes of 2019, and were on a good track to improve upon the 2019 in-person live meeting/demonstration events. Through March 13 we had already completed one General Meeting that featured Owain Harris as our guest demonstrator. We had also conducted 4 Small Meeting/Demonstrations, 11 Subgroup Meeting/Demonstrations, and 2 promotional Guild Subgroup information sharing membership drives.
The arrival of COVID-19 compelled our GNHW Board of Directors to suspend all in-person meetings and demonstrations following the Goosebay Lumber - Lie Nielsen Tool Event on March 13 until such time that conditions become safe for us to resume scheduling normal meetings and event activities. Notwithstanding our disappointment with the suspension of in-person events, GNHW membership experienced surprising new growth in 2020. We began the year with 560 members and expect to end the year at around 635 members. For all of our new members, welcome to our Guild.
Absent the availability of in-person meeting/demonstrations, I encourage our new members to explore the many information sources we provide through our GNHW.org website (more on this later). I assure all of our members that our leadership team continues to brainstorm on various ways we can provide new virtual content of the highest quality we can provide, to supplement our existing sources of instructional content. Be sure to check out and subscribe to our new Guild of New Hampshire Woodworkers YouTube channel, where new content is being added as it becomes available. We also have new material on our Facebook and Instagram accounts, where you can submit a request to quickly become a member of these groups and share your own content with our administrator for posting to these accounts. Once you become members of these groups you will receive notices of all the new content as it is added.
As soon as it is safe to resume business as usual, our events calendar will quickly fill with new scheduled meetings and event activities. Watch for general meetings, small meetings, and subgroup meetings as they are scheduled. Most of these meetings open with a coffee and social meet & greet period before they start. The meetings feature live demonstrations, how-to instructional guidance with Q & A related to woodworking techniques, tool setup, maintenance, safety tips, etc. Also, we plan to reschedule our planned GNHW 30-year anniversary celebration, which is expected to be an outdoor catered event with special guest demonstrator(s), a raffle, assorted prizes, and surprises, all of which will be under a large tent.
Until we resume normal, post-pandemic activities again, here are a few additional sources of free information and instructional content available to you on our website:
- Classified Ads – one of our most popular sites where members can buy, sell, trade, give away and request tools, services, opportunities, etc.
- News & Events/Subgroups – where you can scroll though various subgroup postings of previous meetings, topics, etc., with written summaries and pictures provided by other subgroup members.
- Member Forum – open discussions among members, open to all members, covering various interesting topics.
- Learning/The Journal – The Journal is our premier Guild publication, with a digital version of every back issue available for our members to read online or download to your own pc or mobile device. Each issue is full of instructional and informational content with a link to a global Table of Contents for the entire collection of back issues. The Table of Contents was created and provided to us by fellow member Bruce Wedlock . Go to this link.
In the coming weeks I will share with our members, additional sources of available quality content, including a few recommendations of some of my personal favorites. In the meantime, if you have a question, don’t hesitate to reach out to any member of our leadership team here or other members through the member directory. I wish everyone a safe, healthy Happy New Year!
Bob Wyatt, 12/30/2020