Aquatic Store Directory
Spring Convention 2012: Report
Report by Ste Chester, BCA Publicity Officer
Amazing, fantastic, superb, awesome, exceptional... All these words and more are running through my brain as i try to put into words just how good today was! as part of the organisation team it was a nervous Saturday evening for me as i wondered and worried about sundays event, will anyone turn up? will people enjoy the speakers? will the speakers enjoy the UK hobbiests!!
Within 20 minutes of turning up this morning my fears evaporated and within a hour i could not stop smiling! quite simply this convention was the best yet and for those that didnt turn up! you missed out.... Bigtime!
Today on sunday 6th May we had a turnout of over 80 people to support the BCA convention, hobbiests from all over the country and even a hobbiest from Norway travelled to attend the convention in Redditch. The Chairman Chris started proceedings and one poignant moment for myself was when he asked for a show of hands of BCA members in the room, there was once a time when BCA members attending the event were a minority and we struggled to break double figures, today over 90% of the people attending the event were paid BCA members and showed their hands which shows how far the BCA has come in such a short time! Membership is booming, the website traffic is increasing week on week and the BCA is really starting to show the benefit of the improved website and reduced membership fees, the people who benefit are the members so its great to be on this committee and to be able to givce something back!
Just a section of the many members attending, a head count was 85 people attending!
Uwe Werner from Germany was first up with his talk 'Fascinating predators' and a look and overview of the Crenicichla genus, this was a fascinating look into a wonderful, interesting and very beautiful group of fish which make up one of the largest groups in south America, the crowd were enthraled by this lecture and im sure a few more members will be on the lookout for pike cichlids to keep in their aquariums!
Uwe presenting his lecture:
After Uwe had been clapped from the stage and a quick 15 minute interval the BCA members were treated to another international lecturer Mr Michel(pronounced michelle) Keijman, unfortunately for me the BCA committee took advantage of the chance to get together to hold a much needed committee meeting in another room during this talk! im not the only one disapointed to miss this talk but needs must and a role on the committee does have it requirements! I spoke to as many people as possible about Michels lecture and reports were glowing, all members enjoyed the virtual tour around West Africa and all were full of compliments on Michels style and enthusiasm, ill just have to invite him back to the BCA to hear him speak..
Michel, just starting his lecture:
Uwe and Michel with the BCA committee(Apologies from Webmaster Andrew Wood who unfortunately had to work):
After both lectures and a long lunch break where members could browse the well stocked and numerous trade and retail stands we had a few presentations to take care of.. I can honestly say that this was the most enjoyable part of the day for myself and the committee and those that received rewards were genuinely taken aback and in some cases moved almost to tears at the suprise of it all.
Firstly and most importantly the BCA gave out two Honary memberships to two people who have done a great deal for the BCA over many years long service, First Mr Trevor Greenfield, Trevor was actually on the very first BCA committee and was a founding member of the club in 1971, he has acted as Chairman and currently hosts the BCA website and forum on his companies servers completely free of charge! Trevor was not expecting his award and was very touched to be presented with his certificate.
Second was Mr Peter Whelan, a past chairman and active member, Peter is always rooting for the BCA and does his upmost to promote the club both at home and also abroad, he is a well know face at the BCA and someone I personally consider a very good friend (In his words, close enough to insult and get away with it), Again Peter was not expecting his award and to see grown men choked and moved by this gesture was both touching, rewarding and a excellent example of how friendly this hobby can be if you just join in and show a little passion and committment!
Peter and his certificate:
Trevor receiving his award:
We also had two other awards to give away, both kindly sponsored by our good friends at Rare aquatics and Orinoco aquatics. First up was the picture competition which attracted amazing responses from members, over 60 votes were counted and the clear winner in first place was Ray Blackburn from Liverpool with a excellent picture of two Ivanacara adoketa locked in a mouth grab, a superb winner and a very pleased Ray taking home a £100 gift voucher to be spent at Rare aquatics. Second place and a well deserved second place went to North wales aquarist society member Mark Derbyshire with a lovely action shot, Mark walked away with a large external filter donated as a prize by Orinoco aquatics.
Ray and his picture:
Mark and his picture:
Final presentation of the day went to the winner of the Blackshark award, this is nominated by the current editor and is awarded to the best article submitted by a BCA member from the previous year, Mark chose Johnny Dean as his winner for the superb article that Johnny wrote last year on the rare and desirable Apistogramma sp 'Alto tapiche' Johnny really was not expecting this award and the look upon his face was priceless!! well done Johnny, those that have read the article will agree that it was excellent, more so as it was the first time he had submitted anything, a £50 gift voucher from Rare aquatics certainly went someway to rewarding Johnny for his hard work.. Well done to all.
Johnny looking speachless(Or as speachless as a brummy DJ can be):
Finally and arguably the most awaited part, the auction!! i will say from the start that the BCA is turning into a sellers auction! the lot commission has been reduced to 10% to help sellers keep more money in their pocket! and todays lot prices saw sellers go home very happy after receiving good money for the fish they have spent many hours breeding and raising! every single seller i spoke to was pleased with their resulting pocket money, im sure that in the autumn people will be flocking to sell their fish at the BCA, we really do attract people to what is the best cichlid auction in the country! we had a huge range of fish from Lake malawi, west Africa, central America, lake Victoria, South America and also plenty of dry goods and equipment.
Several exciting bidding wars errupted and top bids of the day included a beautiful breeding pair of adult Geophagus, a lovely pair of Cryptoheros, some lovely dwarf cichlids including really rare fish in the hobby and plenty of various other species including tetras, barbs, livebearers and plenty of catfish! Bob Barnes and the auction team did a superb job in warm and sweaty conditions and moved over 360 auction lots quickly whilst keeping everyone entertained. Bob was in top form and i know that he really enjoyed himself today, it was lovely to have the president of the Northwest cichlid group helping us out and im sure Bob will agree... The BCA is a top club, on the rise and really finding its feet as a rejuvinated force.
We on the committee would like to thank all those involved, from sponsors to helpers, to the club and speakers.. Most of all to all those that travelled today and shared the atmostphere, no words can describe just how good today was, 85 members have their own memories and dont need me to explain.
Thanks to you all and here are a few more pictures of todays event:
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Last Updated on Monday, 07 May 2012 10:25