Grey power Eastern Southland might have more than 800 members but it is struggling to get people to serve on the committee – so much so that it might have to amalgamate with its Southland counterpart if positions are not filled.
The organisation has put out a plea to members to attend the annual meeting on Friday, May 26, at 2pm at the Gore Senior Citizens Rooms, and to consider standing for office.
Eastern Southland branch vice-president and Zone Seven director Les Glassey said the branch had more than 800 members but it was a silent membership, with not many people prepared to take a more active role.
“In our district of Eastern Southland, for too long there has been a very small, dedicated committee keeping the organisation alive – one member for as long as 20 years,” Mr Glassey said. “The time has come for them to step down.”
Difficulties getting committee members were not confined to Eastern Southland, Mr Glassey said.
Other parts of New Zealand were also having problems.
The organisation offered a cheaper electricity option for members and a discount booklet.
“Are you a member just because of the discount book and cheaper electricity or are you concerned with the bigger picture?” he asked.
Grey Power was not an organisation for “fuddy duddy” grey-haired people, he said.
“It’s a very vibrant group that helps to deal with many issues that concern all age groups – lack of good care at some of our hospitals, home help for the elderly and sick, keeping pressure on the Government,” he said.
Mr Glassey said membership of the Eastern Southland branch was 1600 several years ago.
President Olive Sinclair said she would like to step down.
The organisation was desperate to have new committee members take office, as they would bring new vitality to the organisation, she said.
“If we don’t get new committee [members], we would have to amalgamate with Southland,” Ms Sinclair said.
“We don’t really want that to happen.”