On Thursday 24th February, at our Annual General Meeting, we said goodbye to both Lynn Brown and her daughter Jessica as they left the SASA Council.
Lynn has completed her 3 years of presidency and stepped down in accordance with our constitution – no 30 year reign by a despotic dictator for us even though we are in Africa! – while Jessica returns to UCT to study for her Masters Degree in Art. We are greatly saddened that they both have to leave and they will be sorely missed.
Lynn and Jessica both joined SASA in June 2005, probably for the fun of being part of nice social group. Lynn went on to Council in April 2007 and clearly her leadership skills were immediately recognised since she was voted in as President in March 2008, a mere 11 months later. And that was the end the fun part for her . .
What an inspirational leader she has been! Her goal has been to raise the standard of the Society and to elevate its standing in the art world; in her own words “A personal crusade taken up by the council during my term has been to raise the professional image of the society and for SASA to be seen as one of the leading art groups in the country”
She has dragged us – yes, sometimes kicking and screaming! – to greater heights of professionalism. That has been her aim in many of the initiatives she has led, through improving rules & standards in our competitions & exhibitions, in encouraging members to take their ownartseriously, and in amending our Constitution regarding the fight against plagiarism.
Through her leadership we have succeeded in attracting younger members and professional artists, and have focussed on inviting speakers and judges of high standing in the art community. She encouraged greater social interaction and a ‘sense of community’ by tempting members to linger and discuss the topic after our monthly meetings.
I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say that she has admirably achieved her goals.
I called Lynn ‘brave’ in my opening line for this is exactly what she is – a fearless leader. She is not afraid of meeting a problem head-on, of telling a person exactly how it really is, and of standing firm when she knows she’s right. To see her ‘persuading’ the Athenaeum committee regarding protecting SASA’s interests was a joy!
Lynn has always given 110% of herself to SASA; she has been the only person on Council with a full-time job – as a nursing sister – and has had to take a day’s leave for each of our committee meetings and hanging days. All of us who can remember our working days know that to give up one’s precious leave for anything other than leisure and pleasure is a huge sacrifice and this demonstrates her incredible dedication to her role.
We are going to miss Lynn’s strong yet gentle leadership, her humour and her joyful enthusiasm … but …
most of all we’ll miss her chocolate Brownies!
Lynn, we salute you. Every one of us is going to miss you but we hope you will now have the time to get back to your art as we’ve also missed your beautiful, delicate paintings in our exhibitions.
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