President’s Column: September 2023 01/09/2023 0 Hello everyone, In my early time as President of the Friends I have been greatly impressed by the level of focused and enthusiastic effort displayed by our new Committee. The various sub-committees are in place and a lot of work is going on behind the scenes to prepare and deliver an interesting and varied programme that will be of continuing interest to our members. We have received and appreciated useful constructive communication on our programme structure and content that is helping to shape our forward planning. Communication, relationships and knowing people are central to how the Friends operate and are important contributors to the success of our offering. In that respect, I have been reminded again and again recently of how relatively compact a community Wellington is. New Zealand is, by global standards, a rather small country with a very small population and in that context the concept of “village Wellington” is not unreasonable when we think of how many people we know in our town. In almost all my Friends activities I have been meeting, or re-meeting, people from the local community whom I know or know of, or who know or know of me. These “prior acquaintance networks” are something which we all, in varying degrees, enjoy and are a significant part of how communities like ours develop and thrive. And spreading the awareness of the work of the Friends via those networks is something we can all do easily. Wellington’s compactness makes it an easy and interesting city to explore and learn more about and, with the worst ravages of winter now (seemingly) behind us, conditions are becoming more conducive to getting out and about. Te Papa is an obvious jewel in the crown of Wellington’s historical and heritage offerings which I hope that you will all encourage your acquaintance networks to include in their wanderings around our “village”. Richard Dean President.