Recieved anvilfire.com via AFC mail: October 4, 2000
Dear ABANA chapter presidents:
Recently, the ABANA board took up a motion to remove the Florida Artist Blacksmith Association, Inc. (FABA) from the ABANA chapter rolls if FABA carried out the anvil shoot at its annual conference on October 14 and 15 (this will be the 14th consecutive year that FABA has conducted an anvil shoot at its conference). A companion motion removes Tim Ryan from the ABANA board (he has another year to serve), and bars him from serving on the board for five years if he conducts the shoot for FABA. It is not clear if the board will attempt to approve the motions via e-mail or at its meeting in November.
The stated justification for prohibiting anvil shoots is that they are dangerous and that ABANA will lose its insurance if a shoot is conducted. I asked for documentation of the danger and was told that someone shot off a swage block at an ABANA conference years ago, and the swage fractured. The fact is there are no documented incidents/injuries resulting from a shoot using proper equipment (anvils) and conducted by a trained professional, such as Tim Ryan.
On behalf of my board, I asked ABANA for a copy of the insurance policy but was refused. Based on a letter from ABANA s insurer, I believe that if ABANA conducts a shoot at its conference or some other event that it sponsors, ABANA may lose its insurance. However, FABA, like most chapters, is not covered by the ABANA insurance policy and what FABA does at its conference, which is not sponsored or sanction by ABANA, does not affect ABANA s insurance or ABANA s liability. I was provided a copy of ABANA s anvil shoot policy that, prior to 3 weeks ago, had never been provided to FABA (or any other chapter as far as I know). The policy prohibits anvil shoots at ABANA-sponsored events.
As for the motion to remove Tim Ryan, the members of ABANA elected him, and only the members of ABANA can remove him. ABANA is a Georgia corporation and Georgia law is clear, I believe, that only the members of the corporation, rather than the directors, have the power to remove another director. Any action of the directors to remove him contravenes the law and is an affront to all ABANA members.
In short, the stated basis for the motions is erroneous. The faction of the board behind the motions also wants to remove a chapter if all of its board members do not join ABANA, and if the chapter does not maintain a set percentage as ABANA members (25% in 2001; 50% in 2002). These issues affect us all, yet we have no input, and do not learn of requirements in a timely fashion. ABANA needs to post on its web site the agendas for its meetings, the minutes of its meetings (subject to later approval by the board), as well as its financial reports. How else are we supposed to know what is going on and what is expected of chapters?
FABA is the first chapter to be threatened with removal from the chapter rolls, but it probably will not be the last. I urge all of you to keep your eyes on the ABANA board, insist on information that chapters and ABANA members have a right to, and let the ABANA board members know your feelings on this and other issues of interest to chapters, such as the copyright policy.
Patty Draper, President