Tonight, I am going to a dinner. It’s to celebrate the anniversary of something Wellington & I did ten years ago.
When I joined the Labor Party in 1996, at the first meeting following the defeat of Emperor Paul the Great, and the establishment of the evil regime of Emperor John, I found myself in one of the largest branches in the city. There were about 150 people at my first meeting.
After I’d been in the Party a year or so, I began to think that the Aventine – my home area – had different issues to the residents of the Caelian, who made up the majority of the branch. The Aventine was a new district, and issues there were mainly about the need for services and employment. The Caelian had been established for a few generations, and so the issues were completely different. When I began to ask other Aventine members of the Party, I became friends with Wellington. Wellington and I began to look into the question of “How does one split a branch into two?” and since it hadn’t been done for over 30 years, noone knew. But Wellington & I persisted, and eventually we found out what needed to be done. We needed to get 15 Aventine Party members to sign a request, and the wheels could be set in motion. So we did.
A local MLA didn’t want the split to happen for factional reasons – he couldn’t be sure his faction would be able to control the new branch. He was thus pretty miffed when Wellington & I succeeded in forming it anyway. But given that he was the only MLA at subsequent elections who could campaign as being truly “local” for the interests of Aventine voters, he turned out to be a huge beneficiary of what we’d done.
When Wellington & I were going around getting the signatures, we impressed on the membership that the new branch wasn’t going to be run along factional lines – decisions would be done fairly and discussion encouraged. And for the most part, that’s how the branch has operated.
It’s ten years this week since the first meeting of the Aventine Labor Party branch. That’s what the dinner is for. The speaker at dinner will be the City Prefect from back then. In the last ten years, I’ve been in and out of the branch as I’ve left town, and even left the Party for a while. But Wellington’s been there the whole way through, even marrying one of the other members, and fathering a little girl born on Bastille Day a few years ago. (How lefty is that??) Hopefully, it’ll be the beginning of a lot of celebration for our little branch.