BUMS Blast Off with a new start

The last two years have been tough for the BUMS management committee. It’s time for a new start for BUMS Inc. I started as President in October 2019 with clear ideas of how we could make BUMS bigger and better for our members. By March 2020, COVID lockdowns had started and the whole focus of BUMS turned to surviving. How could we keep BUMS going?

We turned our attention into managing the COVID crisis. We introduced online jams, a special Facebook site for members and associate members, and froze membership fees for six months. In September, we started running COVID-safe jams with limited numbers, Trybooking pre-jam ticketing, and social distancing. By Christmas, we felt we were getting back to normal.

This year has not been any easier. Short-sharp lockdowns and other restrictions have meant jam and workshop cancellations. The whole process of arranging and running jams has become logistically more complicated. We now have to arrange QR codes and contact tracing records. We tried to get a mini-SPRUKE festival going but were eventually forced to cancel it.

A swagger of performing BUMS at the Billy Bob jam. Many are committee members, set leaders, jam organisers and Community Band members.

Our member’s commitment

BUMS exists to have fun, to develop our members ukulele and performance skills and to spread the joy of the ukulele throughout the community.

BUMS is run by its members. They volunteer in a myriad of ways – large and small. For instance, some serve on the management committee: some work as crew at jams and workshops: some lead sets at jams. Some organise and play in our community bands or BUMS affiliated bands. All members spread the ukulele message just by playing it and sharing their experience with others.

I’ve worked with many volunteer organisations in my life and one thing is common across all of them – the varied level of commitment of the members. Broadly speaking, our members can be described as:

  • Passive. They value their membership but are not very involved in BUMS activities due to time constraints, other commitments or health reasons.
  • Active. They attend BUMS events regularly without being involved in the creation or delivery of the events.
  • Committed. They love the ukulele and actively participate through BUMS jams, workshops, bands and the society, sharing their experience, learning new skills and having fun. These people are happy to volunteer a few hours monthly to contribute to the running of the society for the benefit of all members.
  • Hyper-committed. In all volunteer organisations, there are people who pour enormous energy and enthusiasm into the organisation. They prioritise their commitment to the society over other calls on their time.  Volunteer-aholics if you like.

To remain vibrant and effective, volunteer organisations need to build a body of committed members who can share the workload. They need to relieve the hyper-committed members to avoid them burning out.

Sylvia, Caroline and Lesley BUMS Treasurer welcoming and jamming at the Northside door.

Fresh start

The BUMS Inc Annual General Meeting is on 30 October. The current committee members will stand down and a new committee will be elected.

I want to acknowledge three BUMS members who have decided to retire from the committee in October. It is no coincidence that they are all life members of BUMS and I consider them in the hyper-committed category.

The three people are Jo Kunde, John and Keryn Henderson. They have made significant contributions to BUMS in the spotlight and behind the scenes. Thank you.  I’ll say more about this at the AGM.

We have expressions of interest from members to form a new committee. Some current members will stand for re-election. Opportunities exist for any BUMS financial member to join the committee or be involved in the administration and operation of BUMS. They are roles for people with experience in IT, social media, graphic design, photography, video editing, marketing, accounting, administration, record keeping and more.

David Pedler, BUMS Inc President

We dare to hope that reaching COVID vaccination targets will lead to an opening up of Queensland and Australia. As we recover from the doldrums of 2021, the fun and positivity of the ukulele can be a vehicle to get us all out and about again and inspire others in South-East Queensland. If you want to be part of this adventure, contact me on "> to discuss how you can become involved.

David Pedler – BUMS Inc President 2019-2021

Find out how you can contribute in this related post: Answer the Call!