I'd like to wish all our members a happy new year for 2022 - and let's hope that we manage to achieve something a little closer to normality this year.
Normally, around this time of year, I'd be remarking on the number of events we've had in the past year; although restrictions have been lifted sufficiently in many places to allow more events to happen than in 2020, we're obviously still nowhere near the usual number, and even now it looks like some things in the first part of 2022 may have to be cancelled or re-scheduled.
Nevertheless, let me say a big thank you to the members around the world who have volunteered to organise events in their cities, and to help in other ways with the site. It's thanks to your efforts that the club continues to grow and to attract a diverse range of new members.
I'd like to thank also those members who have set up recurring donations to BLUF via the 'BLUF Subscription' system that we launched in late 2020. Around two hundred of you - that's a little over 4% - have done this, and it really does make a tremendous difference, knowing that we have regular income each month.
Amongst other things, that has enabled me to spend much more time working on updates to the site and apps, and to add additional features like message translation, or the Zoom integration that we can use for hosting virtual events. If you haven't made a donation, whether one-off or via a BLUF Subscription, please do consider it; compared to when I took over the reins in 2009, running the club is now pretty much a full time job.
In November of this year, BLUF will be 25 years old. By then, I expect we'll probably have fairly close to 5,000 members around the world - a remarkable achievement in anyone's books.
Starting at Darklands in May, there will be a number of events to celebrate the club's silver jubilee, so please do keep an eye on the calendar to see what's scheduled near you - I'll try to work with our local volunteers to ensure there's something going on in most of the major cities where we have BLUF events.
I'm also working on some other projects to help celebrate the club's anniversary, and I'll have more details about that later.
For now, let me once again wish you all a happy new year, and all the best for 2022.