IGKT AGM New Presidents Speech

IGKT Presidents Speech

For those of you who were not able to attend the International Guild of Knot Tyers Annual General Meeting, here is an outline of the speech given by the incoming President; Antoine Leroy

IGKT Presidents SpeachLadies and Gentlemen, Dear friends,

I have two pieces of news for you, one is bad, one is good.  So may be, I should start with the bad one

The bad news is that my English is just terrible, but with your help, maybe I’ll improve it.

And now the good news is that my speech won’t be too long and boring.

Quite by chance, in 2006, I discovered the French branch of IGKT in Douarnenez at an old wooden sailing boat rally. A guy was demonstrating how to tie an 18th faces globe knot. It was fascinating for me. I tried to understand how it was done. I brought a sample away with me and, when I was back home, I tried to replicate the process but I failed ; but fortunately I had  already decided to join the Guild.

May 2007 was my first visit to an IGKT annual general meeting, in Fareham for the Silver Jubilee where I had the pleasure of meeting for the first time many of you from all round the world. Without the Guild, I would never have had such an occasion to meet so many happy knot-tyers.

And in 2010 in New Bedford, the Half Yearly Meeting was a fantastic opportunity to visit the home of Clifford Ashley

Many, many enjoyable AGMs and Half Yearly Meetings followed, notably the one in Sweden and the last one in Flensburg.

Last year, the meeting in Long Beach California, on board the RMS Queen Mary was a great moment too.

So now I am here, ready to be fully committed and at your service, to be at the helm of the IGKT.

First, I must say that I am very impressed by the job done by the past presidents. The job sounds very challenging because there are still so many things to do to keep the Guild alive.

Looking to the future, and the story of the Guild since the beginning of that nice social knotting course, we can seen as a very long long brace. We can compare the Guild and its future with a very long brace. This is our main brace, as we used to say in the age of the old Navy.
This is a brace which has been especially made for the benefit of all the members of the Guild

In my humble opinion, I do believe that we have still three major strands to splice tight :

1.    The first strand is the one which will develop our link with the younger generation. This is our most important duty, to draw their attention to everything related to knots. The knotting is a very good way to develop concentration, to share knowlege and friendship, and to transmit valuable tips, lest we forget this fantastic art of knotting that has been so important among seafarers, fishermen, gauchos, vaqueros and whipmakers, just to name a few.

Sometimes, I notice at our regular meetings there are Guild members coming with their families and the young kids are so enthusiastic to discover an easy way to tie a sinnet, to show off their nice bracelets, and then, when they thank you with a big smile, this is our best reward.
Some members have developed a « Junior Knot Tyers’ Club » which is a very good idea. Some others have regular meetings with the Scouts. All these opportunities to demonstrate knotting arts to young people are important for the future of the Guild.

2.    The second strand, is to attract more and more experts, all round the world. This is the best way to share and transmit the rope-work heritage and also to find new applications for ropes.

They are many occasions to find new experts willing to join the Guild. We have to welcome them heartily, pointing out this is a good way to reinforce their knowledge and know-how by meeting face to face with other experts, not only via the Internet. Some of them will be very efficient at teaching ; others will be better at just tying.

Expert master riggers on a modern sailing boat (such as those who prepare for the Volvo Ocean Race) are doing a fantastic job. One day, I wish we could organise a symposium on modern rigging with them.

3.    The last strand, which is also very important, is to keep all  the IGKT branches very closely united so we can act together on every aspect of knotting arts in the same spirit.

Knotting Matters is a very important means of keeping a solid link between members. Some of us for different reasons cannot afford to travel to the regular meetings but  are happy to receive news. It is our duty to have an interesting publication, not only for the veterans, but also for the younger generations willing to start with a less complicated process of tying.

So my dear friends, it is my wish that the three strands of the main brace have to be spliced together, over and under in a non-stop very long process in order that we can remain proud of the job already done by our predecessors and keep alive a true spirit of friendship and values among all IGKT’s knot-tyers around the world.  So let us say ‘’Splice the main brace’’

Thank you for your attention.

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