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January 8, 2019
To whom it may concern,
The Massachusetts Antique Fire Apparatus Association was both proud and honored to be provided the opportunity to host a National SPAAMFAA show in 2020. It has been some time since we were able to host a National show. The last two Nationals held in Massachusetts were in 2000 and 1990 – 20 and 30 years ago! We were excited and motivated that our chapter was finally able to provide the opportunity for a fun and exciting show for the members across the nation to gather together in the northeast again.
Our chapter has overcome many obstacles ourselves over the last decade. Our chapter faced the same dilemma that many others did and still do – lack of members. Many of our “old guard” have passed away or moved on leaving a younger generation ready to take over the reins. This change was rather abrupt leaving many of us to figure out the direction of our chapter as we went carried forward with little guidance.
President Brian Anderson has provided a fun, interesting atmosphere and reinvigorated the club with an influx of new members. He also created or renewed many genuine partnerships with the other New England Chapters that was absent. These partnerships with other local chapters were the basis of providing the volunteers and effort required to pull off a successful National show. We felt this WAS finally our time to put on one heck of a show!
However, it has come to light recently that there is a power struggle at the very top of the National Board between the President and a core of loyal followers and another group of senior members that also serve in various capacities. It is blatantly obvious and unfortunate that there are “sides” to be taken. It seems as though this discord has been present for the last few years.
Both sides have voiced the very real potential of a gloomy future and question the future of the National organization altogether if “the other side” prevails.
Based on the financial obligation we would face to host a National show, as with the time, effort and dedication required, we felt it necessary to share this information with our membership at our January 2019 meeting today. We were to start the actual planning of the event and required to put down hotel and other deposits in February 2019.
It is no secret there is a great deal of uncertainty regarding the future of the National organization and our board felt it unfair to continue planning for the National show without sharing our knowledge and gathering the thoughts and opinions of our members – something it seems SPAAMFAA has forgotten as of late – its members. The information was presented to our members and the consensus was that there was enough turmoil and discord at the top and enough uncertainty regarding the future of SPAAMFAA that we could risk losing a great deal if we continued to host the National in 2020. Our chapter has worked very hard over the last decade to get where we are right now.
There was much debate and conversation. However, our membership voted and we respect that vote. Therefore, it is with great sadness and disappointment that we respectfully rescind our bid for a National show in 2020. We hope you can all understand that your actions and words have consequences and that there is no blame to be had towards a chapter at risk of great loss and uncertainty given the circumstances. We hope you all understand and respect the views of our membership.
If at a time in the near future, this organization gets back to its mission of motorized antique fire apparatus and less internal strife within the current administration, we will gladly revisit this topic and hope to have the opportunity to host a National show again.
Brian Anderson Jr, President
Doug Boudrow, Vice President
Howard Smith, Board of Directors
Walter Curran, Board of Directors
James McGonagle, Board of Directors
Chris Kelley, Treasurer
Paul Turgeon, Secretary
Ron Driscoll, SPAAMFAA District 1 Trustee
Rich Quetta, RI President
Paul Sanborn, NH President
Mike Nugai, Western MA President
Rich Krusewski, CT President
Mike Tremblay, ME President