I am chairing my first PEI Home and School Federation meeting tonight. We have a full agenda, and I’m equal parts daunted and excited.
I stand on the shoulders of giants in this new role: both the presidents who have come before me in the 61 years of PEIHSF history, and those Islanders I’ve looked to as mentors in the ways of Roberts Rules of Order over my time on PEI: people like Leonard Russell, Sterling Stratton, Marion Murphy and Hon. Marion Reid, each of whom has taught me so much about how to conduct meetings efficiently and earnestly, and how paying attention to process, even if it might feel like acting in an Edwardian play, is important.
I will never forget Leonard’s stentorian voice when he was chair of the L.M. Montgomery Land Trust putting motions to a vote:
“All those in favour, signify by saying aye,” he would say, and then “contrary-minded, nay.”
So much better than “those in favour, those against.”
And so that will be my clarion call in his honour. Even if it does feel like 1877 all over again.
Wish us luck.
Epilogue: I couldn’t say “signify by saying aye” to save my life and eventually resorted to “those in favour”; and in my drive to keep things moving along smoothly, I ended up speaking about 4x faster than the secretary could reasonably be expected to keep up with. But we had a good turnout and some good discussion and learned some lessons for the next meeting.