I have just completed a very timely re-reading of the “Ulysses Story” authored by our founding father – “Ole Number 1” – Stephen Dearnley. My first reading of this relatively short, but inspiring book was almost 15 years ago, so it was refreshing and enlightening to read it again within the context of how our great Club has grown from humble beginnings, to its rapid expansion and to its consolidation as a recognised and respected organisation for older folk who enjoy motorcycles, motorcycling and socialising with each other. Apart from the numerous fascinating and sometimes humorous anecdotes, it was most interesting to note and reflect on the fact that at the end of the day, the key to the success of Ulysses as a single Club to which we all belong lies in an adherence to our three very simple aims, laid down at the time of our inauguration – “To provide ways in which older motorcyclists can get together for companionship and mutual support, to show by example that motorcycling can be an enjoyable and practical activity for riders of all ages; to draw the attention of public and private institutions to the needs and views of older riders”. Those three aims are as relevant today as they were 35 long years ago. Perhaps this is best reflected in the preparedness of your current National Committee to not only listen, but to act upon the wishes and suggestions of our members. Numerous recent changes which have been advised either via the Minutes, or in Riding On or in e-News or Inter-Comms, are a direct result of taking on board what our members want. These include a significant change in membership fee payments to include 1 year as well as 3 years, and the name change of our major annual get-together from “AGM Event” to “National Rally”…… Shades of “back to the future”…….!!! It is reasonable to expect further changes in response to the varying needs of our members and our evolving circumstances as a single entity club. In 1987, Stephen Dearnley noted that … “some of the branches had suffered from growing (or shrinking) pains as occasional ambitious members sought opportunities for personal power, but fortunately common sense and our three simple aims prevailed. The stirrers either succumbed to peer pressure and fell into line, or they got out altogether”. Unfortunately, some evidence of this has reappeared in recent years with unsatisfactory outcomes for some individual members and some branches. It is the responsibility of us all to ensure that being a Ulyssian is an enjoyable and enduring experience, not just for ourselves, but for all those with whom we interact. And as an older Ulyssian once said to me at the time of my joining ……. “Ulysses is a 3-letter word spelt F-U-N, and please don’t forget it ……..!!!!”
Let’s all ensure that every Ulysses experience is fun time for everyone.
National Vice President
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