3-12 Winding-Up - Closure


or a decent burial, the last episode in an heroic saga



Sorry, Old Yeller (Yellow?, Yella?)…

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, and our purest intentions, it all comes to naught. Sometimes someone screwed us. Don't get mad (oops, that's wrong, it's ok to have your feelings), don't get even, because the Jabberwocky will get them, let that be your consolation. Sometimes it might come down to one man, a High Noon that lasts forever, the clock sticks, and life is played out at the point between the hammer and the bullet, and somehow he hangs on, and does the impossible, and slowly crawls back from the edge, and it starts to build again. Sometimes one man can do that.

Or sometimes one man can really screw up, and you got closed down by the Registrar, and you'll never work in this town again. Whatever the scenario, it will have been a 'learning experience', and hopefully, it will go better next time, if there is a next time for you.

If it is time to 'shut up shop', then there may be certain things you are obliged to do, and certain things you should do. Do your members/newsletter subscribers know you are 'going bye-bye'? May be you should write to them and tell them? An explanation might be nice? Have you kept track of recent memberships? You might consider returning those funds if you can track it. Alternatively, you could call a general meeting to put official closure to the organization, and let those members who wish to, find their own closure in that way. Maybe some of them want to carry on the work, in another format, creating a different organization, and you/your work may yet rise again from the ashes. Death and rebirth is such a cute thing, so inevitable (and whose joke is that?), lets not get too strung out shall we?

You may be required to return your official seal to the Registrar of Societies. If you are a charitable society, you will be expected to account for all funds (and return them to govt.) and capital items i.e. office equipment, computers etc. that the society bought. It may be possible for you to donate these to other charitable societies (check your jurisdiction's regulations). There will probably be official documents for you/the officers to sign, confirming the demise of your organization, and then you will be wound-up, well and good.

Of course there may be an emotional impact. Many people will have invested a lot of time and effort. But along the way, many people may well have benefited from the vision and hard work of those who were ready and willing to give something back. To me, that speaks the loudest. In my volunteer work, I know I have touched the lives of some people that were ready to opt out, and they are still here. Others, more tormented perhaps, I have seen let go.

In time of failure, I prefer to see instead a door that is closing, knowing that ahead lies another that I may enter as I choose. Timing is everything, and my lessons will repeat until I have learned them, and until I'm ready to make other choices. What are you choosing? Maybe one path has closed for you. Do you think there is no other? Look, and think again, braveheart.