At our AGM on 26th March, our President, Dr Roger Harrington reminded us of the history of the hospital building, that it “would be used for the purpose for which it had been erected for time immemorial” – and that was “to relieve the suffering of the sick, especially the sick poor, in the town of Buckingham and its neighbourhood, by placing within their reach skilled and experienced nursing during sickness”. To this day, the staff of the hospital, supported by the League, stand by this founding principle in what is a vital healthcare facility in this northern outpost of the Buckingham Healthcare Trust’s area.
The major achievement during the year was the installation of the new xray equipment – the most advanced in the Trust, we are told – towards which the League contributed £70,000. This was very important to the hospital and the town as there were suggestions that, without that contribution, the Trust may not have felt they could afford the new equipment and the service might have been lost.
It is a measure of the support which the League receives from people and businesses in the Buckingham area that we can chip in a sum such as this and remain financially strong.
One of the potential pitfalls which we faced in recent years was the risk that I as chairman, the secretary and the treasurer might all, for one reason or another, stand down together. I am relieved to say that that risk has been avoided. Our long serving secretary, Frances Denley moved to Cheshire last year but we were fortunate that Sheila Dawe willingly took over the role and quickly proved to be an invaluable right-hand woman. And, boy, do I need one!
This year, Alan Maidment finally stepped down, a couple of years after he would ideally have wished. The professionalism and precision he brought to the job meant we were in safe hands, with wise counsel. But – and it is a big but – at the AGM, there was no nominee to take over. So we have a vacancy, which needs to be filled as soon as possible. If you might be willing to step into Alan’s shoes or know someone who might, please do contact us. Your League of Friends needs you!
….and finally, our chairman
Not content with a change of secretary and treasurer, we have now to accept the need for a new chairman as I have said that I shall not be standing again. Having taken over for a couple of years when Lesley Suggate stood down, I am now into year six! So, Read My Lips – this is My Final Year. Again, we need to identify a new chairman as soon as possible, to enable them to familiarise them with the role. Should we be fortunate enough to find a successor from within the committee, that would be ideal but we need to be looking outside the committee in case there is no internal candidate.