Date of this Version
The George Eliot Review 19 (1988)
During the course of this my first year as Treasurer of the George Eliot Fellowship, I sometimes found myself wondering how I came to be doing this job. Our Chairman, Bill Adams, reminded me at the Birthday Luncheon. He said that I had been "wooed by soft words".
This is quite true. One thing that Kathleen has in common with George Eliot is a beautiful voice and that voice "wooed" me into undertaking the Treasurer's post.
It had not occurred to me to look at the books of the retiring Treasurer to see what was involved before agreeing to take over the office. Imagine my shock when I did spend an evening with Ann, looking at the books. What a daunting prospect was before me.
However, having agreed to take on this job, I accepted the stimulating challenge and who could fail to be keen to try to do well, having such a fine example of meticulous book-keeping to follow - immaculate in neatness, all items cross-referenced, sheets giving summaries of pages with box files and ledgers organised to the n'th degree!
Ann had developed over the years a superb system and she gave me a great deal of help and advice, so that my succession to the post was not quite so onerous as it had seemed at first, and I started off determined to keep up Ann's high standards. The first thing I did to get the "feel" of the George Eliot Fellowship was to read the names of all the members. There were over 400 from 21 different countries. The thing that immediately impressed me, as I read through the correspondence, was the generosity of members from all parts of Britain and overseas, in sending donations towards so many of our various ventures.