Thanks to Keith Betton

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While writing the above account of the 2010 Summer Meeting, I realised, with much embarrassment, that this is the first write-up since 2008. The main reason for my embarrassment though is that as a result, OSME has never formally expressed its thanks and appreciation to Keith Betton who was Chairman from 2002 to 2008. While each Chairman brings particular skills and experience to OSME, helping shape the role and direction of the Society, Keith made several outstanding contributions. During his tenure, Sandgrouse underwent a major redesign which not only took the appearance of the journal to a new level but enabled significant savings in design and production costs freeing up money for other activities, especially supporting the Conservation and Research Fund (CRF). In addition to such ‘internal’ savings, Keith was extremely successful in increasing the number of Corporate Members and attracting external funding for the CRF, particularly from natural history tour companies. This success was reflected in the value of the grants provided by the CRF which totalled almost £29,000 between 2003 and 2008. I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of OSME to express the Society’s sincere thanks for everything that was achieved or initiated under Keith’s chairmanship and to wish him continuing success now that he is Chairman of the African Bird Club which is now benefiting from his knowledge and enthusiasm.