Vol. 52 Issue 7
June, 1999Contents: President's Message
Each Club-Each Year-One Rockhound
The Convention Plans are rolling! We are well along with our plans and the time is drawing close. If you have not yet made your reservations then you need to "get on the stick" and make them with the host hotel and with the Middle Tennessee Gem & Mineral Society who is hosting the convention and show. We dont want to miss you and do want to see you in Nashville.
I have just learned that there is a misconception among our members. Some persons have the idea that the federation activities are for federation officers only. This is wrong and we need to make this clear to all of our members. All federation activities, at a convention or otherwise, are open to any member. You do not have a vote other than through your representative but you are welcome to attend. We hope that many individuals will attend the conventions and all other activities in Nashville and will have a wonderful time. Anyone desiring an activity packet should contact me and one will be mailed to you. You may also go to amfed.org and printout copies of the registration forms.
We are getting some interesting displays for Nashville. We now have the large stones cut by the "Daredevil Facetors" group. This is a group of six of our members who enjoy cutting huge stones. The five stones to be displayed include the worlds largest faceted stone, a smoky quartz weighing over 42,000 carats. A North Carolina emerald pocket is also to be there. These two displays alone are worth the trip and we have many more, including, we hope, a display from the Smithsonian.
In addition to the displays of minerals, gems, etc., we will have several booths set up by the ALAA, the U. S. Forest Service and other organizations and agencies. They will be there to distribute information and answer any questions visitors may have. We are glad to have them with us. June Culp Zeitner is planning to attend if at all possible. Many of us have "grown up" reading her articles and books and it will be a good time to get to meet her. If she can attend you will be able to purchase one of her books and get her to sign it for you. I am pleased that I have some of these in my collection and look forward to more.
Come on down to see us! You will have a great time and will enjoy the many activities that include informative talks by some of our members and other speakers. The Editors Seminar is really shaping up to be a great event. The roster of speakers is impressive, to say the least. The State Directors Seminar is also coming together. This is not just for State Directors but for any society or federation officer. We hope that many ideas will come out of this event which will aid our hobby in our efforts to grow and to spread the news of just who and what we are. You are all welcome to attend and take part in both of these seminars.
For those of you who have Internet access I hope you have visited our website at amfed.org. We are now working on plans to provide access for all regional federations, and eventually all clubs, to have access to a web site at no, or at least a very nominal, cost. By the time you read this we should have an answer to our questions concerning sites for all federations and clubs who desire one.
Eventually, we plan to have all member clubs entered into the system. The exact information needed will be determined by the Webmaster in consultation with other officers of the Federation but will include the name of the society; mailing address; date, time and place of meetings; Web site of the society and the name and email address of the contact person. A listing will then be prepared for posting on the website. A visitor, who desires to contact a society, can click on the email address of the contact person and an email form will appear on the screen. The visitors can also click on the website for the society and the system will take the visitor to the society website.
In addition to the web sites we are working on a contact mechanism to be able to contact any and all clubs in the nation by immediate email. An email, with letter attachments, etc., can be prepared. When it is ready a single "send" will forward the letter or email to all persons who are on the mailing list. When this is in place we will be able to communicate with all other clubs, federation officers, etc. with ease and at no cost. Anyone will be able to send an email but it will first go to a "clearing house" where the suitability of the posting will be determined. There will not be any commercial mailings and all mailings will have to be related to our hobby and necessary to the operation of our clubs and various federations.
This will require a member of each club to be the appointed person to receive such communications for the club and then to distribute the incoming information to the appropriate person in the club. This will require the attention of a dedicated member who is knowledgeable of the members and their responsibilities.
In order to accomplish this we will need something from each member society. Each society will need to select one person who will represent the society in contacts by the AFMS, the Regional Federation and by members of the public. This representative will, of course, need to have access to email.
Each Regional Federation, if desired, may also set up such a system for communication with their member societies. This will permit the transmittal of renewal forms, and other information, to the members and avoid the massive amount of paper work, and expense, associated with the mailing of each document to each member society. In many instances the forms can be completed on the computer as received and then printed out for a record. The form may then be emailed back to the federation for inclusion in the Federation Directories without the information being retyped. This will be a tremendous time and labor saver for each of our Regional Federations and for the AFMS.
Webmaster Marty Hart has done a tremendous job with the able assistance of Bob Keller (Bobs Rock Shop on the Internet) who has been of a great deal of assistance to him. Other persons have also contributed to his efforts but as I am not aware of all of them I will not attempt to name them at this time. Just a big "Thank you" to all of you for your efforts. Be sure to visit the site and see their work.
Last month we announced the China trip. It is with great regret that we must announce that the trip, for this year, is cancelled. Due to the recent events in China it has been determined that this is not a good time to travel. The US firm sponsoring the event with the assistance of various Chinese groups believes that there is no risk but we must stick to our decision to cancel as no risk can be taken for the safety of our members. A collecting trip was in the planning process to be a highlight of the trip. It is hoped that a trip can be scheduled for next year and we will have more time to plan for this and, hopefully, gain a larger group. If anyone is interested then contact me and I will place your name on the mailing list for an information packet to be sent to you. I still plan to go when the time is right. Several persons have told me that they are interested and that the price is not at all bad for what we are to get.
Last month our President Elect, Dan Lingelbach, announced a "Plan B" which is a great idea. Last night I learned that a man in Kentucky has had the same idea and sent word to me that he wanted to discuss the possibilities of such. Perhaps the time has come for this. Lets keep an open mind and give our support to Dan as he investigates the matter at greater length. We need to do something to keep some areas open and this may be the means to do so. Im with you Dan, keep plugging at it.
That is all for this month. See you in Nashville!
By Leo Morris, Chair, AFMS Seminar Committee
We move ever closer to the first AFMS/SFMS Annual meeting to be held in Nashville, Tennessee. And, of course, we also move closer to our Editors' Seminar which is to be held in conjunction with this event. I, personally, am very excited about the whole affair.
First we have a very knowledgeable group of Editors and former Editors giving the presentations that have been outlined in the previous two editions of this newsletter. We now have an additional presentation scheduled. Martin Hart is going to tell us about Editors and Web Masters working together to help the clubs with their newsletters. Martin is the one responsible for the AFMS Web Page, AMFED.ORG. If you haven't visited the site I urge you to do so. There is a lot of information packed into these pages. Martin is to be congratulated on the excellent work he has done. Second, it gives us a chance to share our knowledge with others who have like interests. And, it gives us a chance to make new friends as well as renewing old friendships. This in itself is an exciting occasion.
I would also like to remind everyone that if you have a document that you feel would make a good handout for the seminar, please send it to either AFMS President Lewis Elrod or myself and we will see that sufficient copies are reproduced for handing out at the Seminar.
Also, We would appreciate it very much if you would bring at least 50 copies of your newsletter to put on the "swap" table. This gives everybody a chance to pick up newsletter from different parts of the country from which you may gain some ideas to pump fresh "blood" into your own newsletter.
The more participants we have, the better our seminar. We are looking forward to having a great time and getting a lot of new ideas.
See you in Nashville.
Leo Morris, Chair
The Northrop Grumman Gem & Mineral Club, presents Bill Berkley. Bill always shows consistent willingness to take the initiative in Club matters, setting a fine example for others. In his own quiet way, Bill keeps things moving in the right direction.
The Sutter Buttes Gem & Mineral Society presents Leonard Rocha. Leonard is Co-Founder of the club and has been Education Director for the local schools since then. He teaches the Mineral Identification class, has served in many club positions, and is the entertaining M-C for the annual Installation of Officers. He is a gifted amateur geologist-mineralogist with an excellent collection of journals, books, and mineral specimens. These he shares for study of along with use of his microscopes. Most of all, he is an inspirational speaker for activities, truly one-of-a-kind and irreplaceable.
The Lake Elsinore Gem & Mineral Society, presents Mike Strader and Sandy Brautigam. Mike has been the club president for three years and Sandy the bulletin editor for the same three years. Besides having vivacious and energetic personalities, Sandy, with Mike's help has originated a writing contest for youngsters in the area. The subject of the contest must be about some form of Geology. The contest is in its third year and the winners receive a beautiful trophy and a U.S. Saving Bond.
The Peninsula Gem & Geology Society, presents Chuck Varni, a member since 1971. Drawing on his experience as a bank officer, Chuck was the Treasurer for more than a dozen years. He was head Lapidary Instructor and provided bolo ties and necklaces as gifts to club speakers. He attends all club functions never missing an opportunity to share his lapidary knowledge with others.
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