Any chance I might of had of slowly winding down into the long, annual Christmas break, was just a pipe dream; but no complaints.
It was a pleasure to join Capt Zarir Irani, Uday Moorthi and others in Dubai at the end of November for the 4th Biennial IIMS UAE Branch Conference. It is several years since my last trip to Dubai and I was surprised at just how much the city had changed. Money no object it seems. But I am grateful to Zarir and Uday for their warm welcome and hospitality during my time with them.
The Conference itself was held in a stunning location and benefited from some excellent and thoroughly thought provoking and interesting content over the two days. Well done to all for organising things.
From Dubai I made the trip across Africa to accept an invitation from IIMS members in Lagos, Nigeria to give a public lecture. The event drew a large crowd and generated significant media attention from television, radio and the press. My thanks to those who looked after me during my short trip. The immediate upshot has been a surge of new applications to join IIMS. As I spoke about surveyor standards and competency, a subject that has cropped up time and time again in 2015, I was not surprised to discover that Nigerian marine surveyors face the same issues as others around the world. Since I have been back in the UK, it has been agreed to grant our Nigerian members official branch status. This will be pulled together in early 2016.
Plans are well advanced for 2016 and I presented the IIMS strategy document at the recent Management Board meeting, which was well received. And if this year has been progressive and successful, which it has been, next year looks like being equally exhilarating! More specific aspects of the strategy will be unveiled in the New Year. However, one of the key strands of the strategy plan is to maximise our 25th Anniversary Silver Jubilee year in 2016 and we will kick off the celebrations early in the New Year. So watch this space for more announcements.
But before we leave 2015 behind once and for all, I am proud of our record of achievement this year. I thank my colleagues at IIMS HQ for all they have done. If you want to read my candid review of 2015, it has recently been published in the December Report magazine.
It only remains for me to wish those who celebrate Christmas a very happy Yuletide, but more importantly I’d like to wish all IIMS members a very Happy New Year and here’s to a successful 12 months ahead.