June 2014 President’s Message

It’s summer and the rockhounding is on. Come join us at our next meeting where we will discuss upcoming field trips and adventures for the next few months.

Board Vacancy

We will have a vacancy on the Board of Directors when Lara O’Dwyer-Brown leaves for Denmark this month so there will be a special election to replace her. Please come to the regular meeting on June 12th to cast your vote and to say a final farewell to Lara. We wish her well in her new adventure.


There has been some dissent and controversy from some members over the addition of the word Rock to our published materials. Initially, the argument seemed to be focused on the legality of the Board initiating a DBA solution to our web site issues. For you new members, the issue was that our old web site was not functioning and due to some seriously bad planning, the password for access, along with the administrator, were long gone and unavailable. The board initiated a DBA solution by adding the word Rock and creating a new web site.

Even though this change was discussed at numerous regular meetings and published in the Hy Grader over the course of the next 6 months, when it began rolling out visibly after 8 months it upset some members that felt they hadn’t had a voice in the change. So a challenge was leveled at this board that the change was not legally done and therefore invalid.

At our last board meeting we brought in a lawyer to discuss the legalities of this change and to settle some disagreement regarding how the clubs by-laws should be interpreted. The lawyer said on numerous occasions that the word addition was done legally and properly. Therefore, that issue has been settled.

Still, some at that board meeting were emotionally not ready to back off and pushed for a club wide vote, with the intent of lobbying to go back to the old name. This, of course, would mean undoing all the efforts of the last year and re-visiting the web site issues. But that did not concern them.

We will likely revisit this topic later, but for now, I think we need to drop the issue for the summer and focus on the fun of rock-hounding and field trips. Our meetings in the summer are almost always less attended and so any real consensus is best achieved in the fall anyway. If you have an opinion on this, I would encourage you to let it be known so that we can make the club more responsive to what you want.

Below I’ve included a Letter to the Editor from Russell and Dorothy Snook on the topic of the name change.

We would like to take this opportunity to voice our support of the name change for Tualatin Valley Gem Club to Tualatin Valley Rock & Gem Club (as dba).

There are several reasons for this change and there are a few members that op-pose it. We see their side of the story and their objections but our main question is, why did they wait so long to voice their objections? According to the lawyer that came to the last Board meeting, the name change is legal.

One reason for changing included the problem in accessing our TVGC website because the password was lost – some say there was another way (where were they when it was being discussed and asking if anyone knew how to solve the problem?). By adding the word, “Rock &,” we were able to build a new website and develop a new logo to incorporate the new wording. Much time and effort went into creating this new logo, which was put before the club for a vote. Where were the objections then?

Another reason for adding the word “rock” is to indicate that we are a “rock and gem” club and not just a “gem” club. Also it helps distinguish us from the “Gem Faire” that comes to Hillsboro twice a year at the same place where we hold our Rock and Gem Shows.

Some people may not be aware of another “TVGC” in the Forest Grove area – the “Tualatin Valley Garden Club.”

We have been in the club for over 30 years and have made a lot of friends that share the same interests as we do and don’t want these disagreements to harm those friendships. Since there has been so much time, effort and expense devoted to this concern, we hope club members can move forward and accept the change without any more hard feelings.

We have a great club with a lot of great people – let’s keep it that way. Things change, we can’t go back in time – as the saying goes, “If a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand,” let’s not let that happen. “Rock On!”


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