Oak trees and Sunflowers


On Monday night I was lucky enough to be elected as the first official coordinator
of the Reading Transition Town group. To all those present and those who voted for
me and the other posts, I’d like to say a big thank you and I hope that I can fill
the shoes of Dave Allen who, as much as he doesn’t want to admit it, was the real
first coordinator for these past 18 months or so and who chaired the meeting.

I was not the only one elected and a number of posts have been filled:

Ornella Trevisan

Communications Officer
Nathan Perrin

Sarah Drummond

Special thanks to Sarah as she stepped in at the last minute to volunteer her services.

There are a number of additional non-executive members on the committee too, these

  • David Allen
  • Chris Burden
  • Alan Clark
  • Ruth Hutchinson
  • Sabrina Piergossi
  • Matilde Robinson
  • Russell Seymour

We also ratified our constitution which has been carefully put together by Nathan
helped by many others in the group. Beth Scott was taking minutes and I’m sure all
the details will be posted to the yahoo group and website soon.

We agreed, very early on, that the group is to be open and welcoming and to that
end we finished the evening with fun and games as well as the usual socialising
which always seems to result in some interesting discussions and a project or two!
My role, although it sounds somewhat grand, is just an official role we needed to
fill and I expect many others to chair meetings and take the lead on the varying
projects which I hope will come up over the next year pretty much as we have been
doing over the last few months. Which brings me to my subject.

As I was walking home after the meeting, I was trying to sum up what I feel Transition
Reading should be striving to achieve and two things struck me. First, that the
evening had been a milestone for the group, a point in time that will be remembered
and a catalyst for the future. We had planted an acorn from which the oak of Reading
Transition will grow over time. Then I remembered how eager a lot of the people
at the meeting were to simply get on and do things. They don’t want to wait for
the oak tree to grow, they want fast growing sunflowers that they can watch grow
quickly and feel like something is happening.

I hope that we will do both over the next year. We need to strive with the hard
behind the scenes organisation and enjoy the immediacy and impact of the projects
that people will think of. My aim is to make these things happen and to really bring
together a lot of the environmental groups and people in Reading.

Now, where did I put those sunflower seeds!

Peter Ruczynski


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