The 2017 UK Biannual Gathering and lunch of the Australian Canal Society was held on the Grand Union Canal at the Globe Inn, Linslade on Sunday 8th October. Jan Roden, ACS President and thirty-four Australian and United Kingdom members attended this year’s event.
Jan welcomed everyone, but in particular, on this occasion, wished to congratulate Chard Wadley, ACS and IWA Ipswich Branch member on his recent award of the IWA Cyril Styring Trophy. This is the IWA’s premier award and was given to Chard in recognition of his more than three and half decades of active input to the IWA including his leadership of restoration work on the River Gipping Navigation in Suffolk and the raising of thousands of pounds of funds to support these efforts. Jan was very pleased to have had the opportunity of supporting the nomination, together with former National Chairmen David Stevenson and John Fletcher who were at the Gathering.
Chard, in responding, stated that none of his efforts would have been possible without the support of the IWA Branch committee members, restoration work party managers, restoration and fundraising volunteers, and in particular his wife, Carolyn and of course all the other wives. He was very grateful for the nomination by the Ipswich Branch and the support from Jan, David and John.
Jan, then updated the members on the activities taking place in Australia and in particular advised that, next year in May 2018 the ACS would be celebrating their 30th Anniversary. They are planning some events to celebrate this landmark and will take the opportunity to review the way forward for the members, as well as looking at ways to encourage new members for the future.
Following the gathering, Jan Roden visited the Ipswich Branch in East Anglia, and IWA member John Finch took her to see Pipps Ford Lock, where the Branch and the River Gipping Trust are currently undertaking extensive work. Jan was very admiring of the substantial progress being made by an enthusiastic band of highly skilled volunteers who are in the process of not only restoring the lock chamber, but are recreating the abandoned bywash.