This year marks two important milestones: The homeopathic community celebrates the 250th anniversary of Samuel Hahnemann's birth (1755 - 1843) and West Coast Homeopathic Society celebrates our first ten years of promoting homeopathy and the homeopathic profession. Both celebrations were featured at our second annual conference held in the ballroom at the Holiday Inn in Vancouver.
Keynote speakers were Karen Allen, CCH, RSHom(NA), and Robin Logan, MCH, FSHom(UK). Karen practices in Seattle, WA and Robin practices on Salt Spring Island, BC.
Karen Allen is an international lecturer and author. She is also the director of Virtual Clinic (a distance-learning programme that provides video-based clinical training) and Vice-President of the Council for Homeopathic Certification.
Robin Logan is the author of the best-selling textbook, The Homeopathic Treatment of Eczema, as well as many articles published internationally. He is also a past Director and Registrar of The Society of Homeopaths and former Editor of their journal, The Homeopath. He was honoured by that Society with a Fellowship awarded in 1994 for his contribution to homeopathy.
Robin spoke at the morning session, elaborating on his holistic approach to the difficult and perplexing challenge of treating eczema and other skin disorders. As we all know, these commonly-encountered conditions pose problems unique to the practice of homeopathy.
Karen's topic was "Hahnemann Called Them Imponderables", which covered those remedies made from non-material substances. Her presentation included an engaging teaching style and compelling, pragmatic explanations to questions from the audience.
During the breaks, audience members browsed the selection of booths representing homeopathic businesses, services, and schools. Winner of the "Favourite Booth" poll was Minimum Price Books -- congratulations, Greg Cooper!
Later in the afternoon, the Annual General Meeting began by marking the 10th anniversary of West Coast Homeopathic Society and the many individuals who have helped guide the Society over the past decade. A message was read from founding President, Susan Broznitsky, and another founding Director, Monique Marcq, spoke of the changes she has witnessed over that time with both WCHS and the growing acceptance of homeopathy.
Moving on to the business of the AGM, the Board reported on activities, statistics, and finances for 2004. All were robust and growing from previous years.
The Board also announced new initiatives for 2005, including a nation-wide promotion of Homeopathy Awareness Week (highlighting the April 10th anniversary of Hahnemann's birth). WCHS was responsible for related articles in the April issue of Alive magazine and a timely interview by Fanny Kiefer on her TV show with Murray Feldman, Director of the Vancouver Homeopathic Academy. WCHS members across the country participated in their own way, with all HAW activities listed on our website.
Another announcement was the successful negotiation of a group malpractice insurance plan for our professional members. Our broker, Ellen Young from Whillis Harding Agencies in Kelowna introduced the group plan and the importance of professional liability insurance.
Two proposals from the Board were discussed:
1. Name Change: To investigate the ramifications of changing the Society's name from West Coast Homeopathic Society to something more representative of our national membership.
This motion passed with 39 in favour, 8 opposed, 1 abstaining.
2. Fee Increase: To increase annual membership fees for 2006, from $60 to $70 for professional homeopaths and from $30 to $35 for Students and Friends. Earlybird discounts would stay in effect for early payment.
This motion was approved unanimously.
The meeting concluded with the election of a new Board of Directors: Nathalie Desrochers Allen, Elena Cecchetto, Tammy Colleton, Wendy Friesen, Christopher Gerhy, Albertine Phan, and Jo Twiss. Congratulations to them all!