Oxford Branch

British Cactus and Succulent Society

Correspondence received (re. "Behind the Speaker's Chair")

Mr John Watmough replies…

It seems to me that Mr Norm Inval, whoever he is, is an obstreperous git. Perhaps the greatest privilege in being a speaker on the BCSS circuit is that of meeting so many wonderful, interesting and enthusiastic supporters of one’s own hobby. Most members of the Society have a fund of knowledge out of which they could assemble a whole range of fascinating talks. It only takes a little self-confidence and perhaps a bit of encouragement to get started. Mr Inval does not provide either in his facetious and highly selective ramblings. Furthermore, it has been my unbiased opinion for some years that Branch Secretaries are the salt of the earth.

Mr Norm Inval adds…

Mr Watmough is obviously either devoid of a sense of humour or basic intelligence – possibly both. Does he not realise that serious and important points are often better got across by gentle good humour than by ranting and waving one’s arms about? I could add another story to illustrate my point, and if it annoys him so much the better.

One speaker, some years ago, travelled almost the whole length of the country. When he came to give his talk, he guessed from the small audience, and from speaking to some of them, that the Branch was woefully short of money. Being a kind-hearted soul, he told the Treasurer that in the circumstances he would not claim his not inconsiderable expenses. At the end of the meeting, the Chairman gave the vote of thanks and explained to the members how generous the speaker had been. “This means,” he added, “we shall be able to afford some decent speakers next year.”