Page 8 - November 2017
P. 8

|  Membership renewal | |  Chris Green (BPS Membership Secretary)  |

           or about the fi rst half-centenary   envelope that brought you this magazine,
           of the Society’s existence, the   take a look at the address label. If it is
       F‘membership year’ ran from January   printed in red, then this is the last Small
       to December. Clearly this was convenient,   Printer you will receive unless you renew
       but it did bring a couple of disadvantages.  within the next few weeks (just to make
         I’m sure you have noticed how busy   it clear, a small notice to the right of
       the month of December is every year.   your address is there to remind you). If
       It’s mainly due to that religious festival   your address appears in blue, then this
       – perhaps we should call that a frenzied   magazine is the penultimate one – next
       retail activity – a week before the end of   month the label will be in red, and you
       the month. Last-minute presents (and   know what that means.
       cards, if you haven’t had the forethought     Most of the year the address will be
       to send them out in early November),   printed in plain boring black – but there’s
       end-of-term for the children, visits to plan,   a bit of excitement still to come. To the
       shopping to arrange . . . and then to add to   right of your name you will see a number;
       all of this you would have had to remember   this is the number of magazines (including
       to renew your BPS membership!         the one in the envelope) you will receive
         Spare a thought for the Membership   before your membership expires. So if
       Secretary at that time. Membership was   the label that brought you this magazine
       in the high hundreds, PayPal hadn’t been   reads ‘3’, you will know that apart from the
       invented, and direct bank transfers were   November magazine, you will receive two
       quite uncommon. Almost all renewals   more – those for December and January.
       were paid by cheque (remember those?)   This is confi rmed by the expiry date shown
       and the task of banking several hundred   at the top of the label.
       cheques and updating the corresponding   There’s no need to wait until the last
       membership records was enough to spoil   moment to renew your membership.
       anyone’s turkey dinner.               You can renew at any time during the
         In the 1990s the renewal system was   year – today, should you choose – and
       amended so that each new member’s     your membership will be extended by
       ‘year’ started with his or her date of   twelve months from its current expiry. The
       joining. In an ideal world this would   easiest way to pay is by PayPal: go to the
       distribute membership evenly throughout   Society website and click on ‘Membership
       the year, and to an extent this has   Renewal’ from the menu on the left. Bank
       happened, although about 20% of the   transfer is another way to pay, or you can
       membership still renews in December.  go to the trouble of writing a cheque and
       This may have made life easier for the   posting it to me. All these methods will
       Membership Secretary, but life brings   be explained in more detail when your
       so many things to remember (all those   renewal becomes due.
       usernames and passwords, for instance,     This is not a life-changing moment, but I
       which security dictates must not be   hope it might serve to remove a tiny (and
       written down) that few people can be   unnecessary) bit of stress from your life.
       expected to remember the date of their   Should you have any comments on this –
       membership renewal. Take heart: life is   favourable, I hope, but any are welcome
       about to get just a little bit easier.  – email me at the address shown on the
       If you haven’t already recycled the   inside cover.
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