31 March 2019

New beginnings at OPUS

I am really pleased to welcome Peter Walker as the new OPUS Director, and hope you will support him as he takes the helm tomorrow. I can relate all too well to the trepidations of stepping into the role as a relative outsider, and can attest how much more comfortable the role became for me once there were more familiar than unfamiliar faces when I entered the room! I am sure you will greet him with the same warmth with which you greeted me. However ‘at sea’ I might have looked, your patient understanding was a big help.

Today is my last day as OPUS Director. It has been a fantastic learning experience for me; and I am grateful to all of you for supporting me and OPUS over the last three years. I sincerely hope that the mistakes and fumbles I made along the way did not come at at anyone’s expense: leading an organisation through a change phase will never satisfy everyone, especially when you have a relative rookie in the driving seat!

I step down feeling that OPUS is at the start of something, rather than approaching any finishing line. This gives me the same feeling as when my wife and I dropped our children off for their first day at nursery. Part of you wants to be found indispensable; part of you knows you are leaving your charges in safe hands.

This analogy is somewhat misleading, however. The responsibility for ensuring that OPUS will flourish does not rest with the new Director, or the Board. It belongs to all of us. As I have said countless times over the past three years in response to your suggestions about ‘what OPUS should do’: I am not OPUS; we are OPUS. The more active the membership, the stronger we are.

I have renewed my membership for 2019-20 and look forward to catching up with you at an event or gathering soon.

Best wishes

Sandy Henderson