Chapter 101 - Corpus Christi, Texas
Chartered December 13, 1976
Hello QCWA friends from Corpus Christi, Texas
I can tell you what happened to the South Texas QCWA Chapter. I was president during the period of the mid 1980s to 1990, more or less. We saw our membership dwindling rapidly as members went SK. It was obvious that we needed to do a bit of awareness raising of the younger radio amateur ranks.
By attending meetings of the area amateur radio clubs and presenting programs about the QCWA and our area members history in amateur radio plus some direct mail, we were able to build the membership up to about thirty regular members. Our membership was spread all over South Texas with a few driving almost a hundred miles for the meetings held in Corpus Christi every other month. We had interesting programs, a good meal and wonderful comradship. Most brought their spouse or significant other.
Not long after I was president we discovered the State of Texas had launched a blitzkreg assault against corporations that were "evading" their tax obligations. Our club secretary received a very nasty letter from the Secretary of State's office informing us that we were in violation of the state requirement for filing quarterly returns showing our financial papers and paying a tax. It seemed that no amount of communication could make the bureaucrats get the picture that we were a not-for-profit corporation and had no income at all, but merely were incorporated because twenty five years prior public service organizations were supported by the state. Well that changed and they were not too friendly about it. There were also some wrangles with a required annual IRS information report that had to be filed.
So our QCWA chapter was insensed with this governmental stiff arm treatment and we decided we did not need to put up with that. Shortly thereafter we submitted our state corporation charter to the Secretary of State with a final accounting [no assets, no revenue, no tax due]. With that we put the South Texas Chapter of the QCWA to bed formally.
However, the members continued their memberships in the national organization and we continued with our meetings just as always, but now it was just a bunch of amateur radio Old Timers having a good time. That group has now ceased to exist as without the formality of the QCWA banner there was no cohesiveness. As the OM and YL's went SK one by one the group reduced to just a few and they decided there wasn't much use in meeting any longer.
So that is the story of the end of one QCWA chapter. My suggestion is to not incorporate the QCWA unless there is some reason to protect the members from some kind of liability risk arrising out of public or group outdoor activities and such [i.e. field day]. As an alternative it might be feasible to form the QCWA Chapter as an unincorporated sub-group within the area amateur radio club, be it a special "board of directors" a committie or something similar. In other words, it would be possible to create a shelter for the group within the charter of another amateur radio charter run by an active and more robust group of more youthful radio amateurs who are already doing all the corporate paperwork compliance.
Just a few passing thoughts for consideration. It would be useful to take a look at all the reasons why chapters have gone under and why they must be incorporated in the first place. If there is a pattern and if chapter retention is important then it would be useful information for the national board to have regarding policy decision making purposes.73,
Rik - K5SBU - K5SittingBullsUncle
Past President, Chapter 101