After seventeen years of developing and nurturing PETRA – our Tenant Management Organisation I set up all those years ago with Jan (my wife) and four others who jumped ship about seven years ago, I feel it is now time to call it a day. With more and more “Senior Moments” where I forget silly unimportant details, as well as some more crucial events that I should be on top of but let drift by.
I’m not unhappy to go, for while I still draw breath, I have a myriad of memories of such good, challenging and scary times where I smirked at my brilliance – had to fight like an alley cat, or was so completely out of my depth, I had to rely on my cunning and bravado. Fortunately those latter episodes were less and less as time went by.
In the hot seat over those years I have to say my , no our nemesis, has always been a semi, and at time an outright hostile Council – that were against us establishing ourselves as a (TMO) Tenant Management Organisation and have not ceased that hostility throughout years of negotiations where we have struggled to make our estate into the “beacon estate” of this hostile Council. Of course I have had some first hand experience of the Council since becoming a local councillor in 1986 and in almost thirty years I have seen a lot of incompetent officers over promoted, whilst some really good officers have been driven to the point of resigning in total frustration. I suppose it must be the same in all boroughs but there is something wrong when incompetence is rewarded and innovative, bright intelligence people are ousted.
However, leaving all that to one side I believe the wise words in the poem written by Saxon White Kessinger entitled, “The Indispensable Man” just about sums up my career as an officer in Hackney and subsequently my business with PETRA as its Chair. I have no regrets at retiring and don’t expect any of the tenants or residents to care-less even though I have given a lot of time and energy into keeping the organisation of PETRA profitable and dynamic.
So its bye-bye from me, as of 28th September and by the 29th I need to get into the discipline of drafting 2000 words a day to put in my memoirs.