After a tense start to the new year, members of the Canora branch of the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation were able to breath a collective sigh of relief on January 12 when branch executive was re-organized.
The long-standing members of the executive reported during the horn measuring day at the beginning of December that they were retiring. If no one stepped forward to take executive positions, there was a very real possibility that the branch would fold.
When a membership meeting was held on January 12 at the Activity Centre, Michael Zbeetneff, who had been the president for 15 years, discussed the situation with the 18 members in attendance. When he posed the question if there was anyone willing to take on the president’s job, Steven Wyonzek volunteered.
That was a very positive sign, said Zbeetneff. All too often in these cases, the job is virtually forced on a member, but in this case Wyonzek, who is a young member, volunteered.
Jason Rakochy accepted the nomination for vice-president; Matthew Sleeva, secretary; and Shawna Jordan, treasurer.
All of them volunteered and all are young members, making it a double positive, said Zbeetneff. Various clubs complain that it is impossible to get young members to take leadership positions.
The only former member of the executive who agreed to stay on was Greg Landstad, who is the membership chairman. There was no one willing to accept the habitat chairman’s position, but there are a couple of members who will be approached.
The new executive will hold its first meeting at the branch’s clubhouse on February 4. The former executive members have agreed to join the new executive for the first few meetings to give them leadership, said Zbeetneff.
“I’m confident they will do a very good job,” he said.
Zbeetneff recalled that when he first accepted the president’s job 15 years ago, the club was in shambles. It had been inactive for a number of years and there were debts to be paid.
He’s very proud of the effort made at reviving the branch and is proud to report that it had 278 members last year.
Another project which he is very proud of is the club’s support for the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP). The branch has supported NASP with thousands of dollars in the last few years and he anticipates that it will continue to support such a worthwhile program for Canora’s youth.
that at the annual meeting on January 12, if a new executive is not found, then the process to disband would commence.
“You do not need to love fishing or own a firearm to be a member or sit on the executive, you simply have to love wildlife and their habitat.”