Sitting here in busy little coffee shop in Liverpool, writing this in November 2021, I am trying to recall my whereabouts and mood the same time in November 2020. Chances are, I was holed up in my oldest daughter's bedroom on a video call discussing Covid responses, case numbers and testing in the workplace. My daughter was away, working in Hong Kong and I took full advantage of her absence making use of her desk space, which I commandeered as my war office. As with many of us, I was confined to homeworking, being deemed a non-essential worker and I was filled with a mixture of emotions, after 8 months of lockdown and staring down the barrel of further unprecedented restrictions with no apparent end in sight. The anxiety of being separated from friends, family and work colleagues created immense pressures which I know I was not alone in experiencing.
Now, as I type, my mood is one of optimism and above all, gratitude. During the last eighteen months, we have all suffered loss. We have seen businesses fold, owners and employees losing investments and livelihoods. If you are reading this, you are not only a committed member of the AEMT (thank you!) but it also means that you have persevered, prevailed and are still with us. As your President, for that, I am truly grateful.
On the subject of gratitude, I’d like to express my sincere thanks to our immediate past-President, Dave Hawley and his predecessor, Gary Downes for the years of outstanding service and the invaluable guidance and support they have given me. I’d also like to thank Thomas, Karl, Nicola and Lesley for all their hard work and enthusiasm which makes my role more fulfilling. Finally, it is fitting and appropriate to acknowledge Tim Marks, for his exemplary dedication and unwavering commitment to the association and its members.
Taking on the role of President of this organisation, which was established in the aftermath of the Second World War, is an honour and along with this comes a great sense of responsibility. As a group, the Directors, Council and Secretariat have spent the last months reflecting on the purpose of the Trade Association, its relevance to members and the opportunities.
As with many of you, I am blessed (or cursed) with an overarching predisposition towards optimism. I'm the glass half-full type of guy. When I look through the yearbook, whereas some might see merely companies listed, see an army of thousands of passionate and dedicated Owners, Directors, Managers, Supervisors, Winders, Fitters, Machinists, Labourers, Drivers. You ALL played your part, each of you kept the world turning with water in taps, electricity in sockets, gas in the boilers and food on the table. I salute you all and I consider it a privilege to represent you.
We have a unique opportunity to positively impact some of the key issues facing society today. Principally the environment and the improvement of manufacturing productivity, in our everyday work whether it be repairing a motor or supplying and installing a replacement, by ensuring we work the highest standards and offer the best advice always. Refurbishing and reusing machinery and equipment will feature strongly in the coming years with the advent of a more sustainable society which falls under the umbrella of the circular economy. My vision is one of a highly engaged, open, and collaborative community working together to address. To achieve this, we will be working together on a range of initiatives to encourage, share and improve member engagement and develop a variety of new and exciting services for members to use.
As we look forward to moving past the pandemic, I would convey my warmest wishes to each and every one of you going into this next year and beyond.
AEMT Honorary President