For a number of years there have been members of the Old Bostonian committee who lived far enough from Boston that they have attended meetings at best occasionally. Obviously this isn’t an ideal situation either for the member or for the committee.
For almost as long as this has been the case there have been suggestions to make the meetings available for remote access so that these members could take a proper part in committee proceedings. Several false starts have been made in terms of setting up some sort of technical solution. Over time this has become more likely with the widespread use of broadband, the availability of networking in the BGS library, and the easy availability of applications for video and audio conferencing.
With help from committee member and BGS staff member, Luke Anderson, and the involvement of BGS IT Support, Luke Vere, we were all set for a trial run on 17 March 2020. Simon Meeds, based near Bristol, would have “dialled in” to the committee meeting. Unfortunately, the Annual Dinner was postponed due to the COVID-19 situation and since that was the main agenda item for the meeting, the meeting itself was cancelled.
Nevertheless, the preparation that has been done should not go to waste and we would hope that it can be used when the committee has its next meeting. More significantly though it means that committee membership can be properly opened up to members of the Old Bostonian Association from far and wide. If you are a member of the OBA, or are considering becoming a member, perhaps you have always thought involvement in the committee impractical for reasons of your distance from Boston – this may no longer be a barrier.