Dr. Judith Gobin and Dr Carol James (l-r)
The Board of Management of the Asa Wright Nature Centre met at Spring Hill on November 5th and 6th for the 43rd Annual General Meeting.
The meeting coincided with the Hindu Festival of Divali, which celebrates the triumph of Light over Darkness. And the light shone a little more brightly for the Centre, as there are signs of a recovery from the international debt crisis which reduced our overseas visitor arrivals two years ago.
The Members elected Dr. Judith Gobin to serve as the new Chairman of the Board. Judi has served on the Board since 2005, and was Committee Chairman of the Education and Outreach Committee. She is a lecturer at the University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine campus, in the Department of Life Sciences.
She replaces Dr. Carol James, who had served as Chairman for the past six years, and under whose leadership the Centre’s Outreach and Conservation Programmes were enhanced, and the first real business partnerships and diversification of its core services were formed with corporate T&T. Carol will continue to sit on the Board, as Chairman of the Sustainable Development and Outreach Committee, so her knowledge and experience will continue to be with us.
Other changes saw Patricia Ganase and Phil Schaeffer also being elected to the Board.
Pat is happy to be “in the bush”. She is a family person first and foremost, and travels with husband Ranji Ganase; son Orion and daughter Anjani top their agenda. In order to fulfill these dreams, she works diligently at Atlantic LNG progressing their Corporate Responsibility Agenda – this after a career in publishing, advertising and communications. Pat is replacing Dr. Charles De Gannes, who had served on the board for 23 years. However, as he goes, “Charleau” will be leaving us with his new book on Butterflies of T&T.
Phil Schaeffer has been associated with Asa Wright for many years before joining the Board. He and his wife Margret operated Caligo Tours, our principal booking agency in the United States. He was a Naturalist with the Audubon Society and it was through this that he visited Spring Hill and eventually set up his tour business to bring more people to us. Phil is replacing John Moyle of the United States who has retired after serving 31 years on the Board of Trustees.
We all thank Charleau and John for their long and generous service to the Centre. And we welcome a new Chairman and two new Board members to lead us to a brighter conservation future.
It should be noted too that Board members are delighted with the encouraging progress in the recovery of fellow board member Robyn Cross, and wish her continued success with her healing.
Past Chairman of Asa Wright Nature Centre Dr. Carol James (right) warmly congratulates and welcomes the new Chairman, Dr. Judith Gobin in her new role.