Let me begin by once again wishing everyone a happy fifteenth anniversary.
There are still some of us remaining who were here during the initial
planning stages of our service. I am pleased to be able to say we have
remained true to our initial mission - to strive to see that no one is
left behind. To this end we continue to offer a free service to those who
can't afford to pay and we also continue to keep the fees at the lowest
possible level. Further, we attempt to offer as useful a service as
For the first time in years the Board was forced to increase fees to
address increasing expenses and losses in membership. We were extremely
heartened by your response. We received a number of very encouraging
replies and, to our surprise and delight, a number of additional
donations. I would like to thank all of those members who made donations
to Chebucto during the year. Such support has been so important during
this difficult period. It is also a tremendous morale booster for the
Board and Staff.
While we cannot report that our financial problems have been solved I am
able to say we are in a better situation than this time last year.
Following last year's AGM we convened a second members meeting on May 29th
at which we discussed means we might use to attract new members and to
address our financial problems. The Board followed this with an in-depth
exploration of avenues we might pursue. Richard Connolly's presentation
this evening outlines one of the approaches we have adopted. This idea
was initially conceived by Richard and we are thankful to him for
shepherding it to this stage. As he has indicated your participation in
this approach will be very important.
I need to also make it very clear that one of the key reasons we have been
able to weather difficult periods is because of the hard work and
dedication of our staff, Andrew Wright and Johnathan Thibodeau. We are
most fortunate to have them. It is not at all unusual for one or both of
them to work through the night or on a weekend to keep our service
running. At the same time they are always willing to spend time with a
member having trouble with a computer.
Mary Rigby, Jim MacLennan and Alan Turner have taken the lead in
approaching seniors' organizations with a view to acquainting them with
our service and offering support to those who need it. Thanks to their
efforts we have now become associated with several organizations which we
hope will lead to new members. We encourage all of you to make use of
our posters and brochures to spread the word about our service. Let's
leave no bulletin board unposted.
Thanks to the efforts of Board Member, Joe Thomas, we were able to obtain
a grant $1,000 from Emera which was used for additional equipment for the
Wireless Service. And thanks to Marilyn MacDonald we made a second
application to Human Resource and Social Development again in support of
our wireless service. Unfortunately it was not successful. But we
continue to hope we will find funding avenues which fit our project.
Again we seek the support of members in identifying possible funding
sources which we might be able to tap.
Last fall we carried out a door to door campaign in the Morris St. area to
market our wireless service. Our objective was to enlist university
students returning from the summer break. We were not successful. Since
that time we have done a good deal of soul searching concerning an
We now think we have found a niche. Because of the sharing aspect of our
service - one node host for a neighbourhood - we believe we need to work
with community groups or at least within an existing structure. Our
first trial for this approach will be in Joseph Howe Manor, a senior's
facility on Victoria Rd. Thanks to Board member Bill Matheson for
facilitating our approach to this group. If we are successful here we
intend to approach the other metro housing facilities as well. It has
also been suggested we approach Coop Housing groups.
We also hope to work with the Imagine Bloomfield group in introducing the
service to this area of Halifax. Again we believe the nature of Chebucto
is well suited to a partnership of some sort with the Bloomfield project.
I am pleased to report that for the first time in a number of years
Chebucto participated in the Annual General Meeting of the Halifax
Regional CAP Association. Andrew gave a presentation on our Wireless
Service which was well received.
This will be my last year as Chair but I am committed to continuing
support for Chebucto as I believe it is an important service for our
Chair, Board of Directors
Chebucto Community Net Society