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Chapter 63 EAA and RAA Amalgamation
By Tom Stoyka, EAA 402921
January 2021 – Here at Springfield Flying Club we have had parallel chapters of EAA and RAA for many years. In 2019 we decided to amalgamate both chapters into one EAA chapter.
The amalgamation of EAA and RAA was essentially done in January 2020. As you might expect COVID was about to throw a monkey wrench into the gears. At the beginning of 2020 we had a change in the secretary/treasurer position. Normally this wouldn't be a big deal; go to the bank, sign some documents, and have the signing authority changed. My wife Joyce and I were in Florida at this time and returned about March 20 with the intention of getting the signing authority changed upon our return. No such luck. With COVID fully on the scene by March, we were unable to change the signing authority with the bank but tried. Getting in to do that was impossible. Everything had to be done remotely. The bank demanded to see minutes of a meeting where this position change was made. Well, quite frankly we didn't have any minutes to show them. It just kind of happened.
The bank continued to put us off for months. I eventually had to write up some minutes that the executive agreed to and submit that. I wasn't happy that I had to do this. To complicate things even more, our power utility, Manitoba Hydro, wouldn't change the billing name from RAA to EAA until they had proof from the bank that we were who we are. I expressed my displeasure with the bank on several occasions and process was finally completed. All of this came together in September when we were able to pay the last outstanding RAA power bill and have the account transferred to EAA Chapter 63.
It was an extremely frustrating experience. In our case we had the perfect storm. An executive change, COVID closed things down, no minutes of the meeting documenting the new executive change, and we were never established with a utility in the past. For those chapters who are thinking about amalgamation, my suggestion is talk with your banking institution as early in the process as possible. In fact, talk with the bank before the process gets started and make them aware of what may happen.
The RAA merger became final around September. Bank accounts and hangar/assets are all under the EAA Chapter 63 banner. All is going great so far but the COVID thing is really putting the brakes on almost everything. We currently have 86 members. In its heyday, the RAA here at Lyncrest had a high of 64 members. Membership renewal time is coming up and I'm hoping it won't be a big struggle. We have new EAA Chapter 63 signage that will be put up on the hangar in the spring. We have a rendering of it on our home page. About the only thing that is happening a bit is the Emeraude project. It is coming along very well. The white base colour is almost complete and the accent stripes will be applied soon. Members gather weekly in groups of no more than two and maintain mask and distancing rules. A few pictures are on our website.
We are planning our first virtual general meeting over Zoom on Thursday, January 21, at 19:30 CST. Our Emeraude Project leader, James Slade, will deliver a PowerPoint presentation on progress so far. If you're looking to join a chapter in Winnipeg we'd love to meet you. Drop me a line using the "contact us" information and we'll include you in the invitation to our Zoom meeting:
Sneak peek at that nice paint job.
Joyce and I would normally spend our winter in Florida, but not this year. I had to learn how to shovel snow all over again. We had about 10 centimetres last night and we are expecting between 15 to 25 more tomorrow evening and into Wednesday with high winds. Oh how I've missed those Winnipeg blizzards!