It’s that time of year, our annual trip to Canada, this year to Winnipeg.
Anyone who has read this blog before knows that the CSSE PDC is an event we love and that it holds the most special place in our heart. Once again, it did not disappoint.
In his opening keynote, Mike Downie spoke of the power of a story. He said “It’s never too late to start a new story. It might be the most important chapter.” Well this chapter was a pretty good one. Sharing time, dinners, learnings, lessons, hugs – believe it that throughout these five days at least one of those is never far away.
It wasn’t the first time our world had been to Winnipeg, the first was as part of a trip in 2007, stepping off the Canadian trans Canada train for just a few minutes for some air. This visit though allowed opportunity to explore and there was only one priority. Assiniboine Park is a short ride from downtown. In the centre of the park is a statue dedicated to a very famous resident of Winnipeg. That resident bear made a special journey to England in 1914, inspiring so much in our Hundred Acre world. Winnie is pretty important to us and we are thrilled to have made it to see him with his Lieutenant and the small museum in their honour.
This is a real “we” that went to find him. Bridget, Pooh, Piglet and a number of CSSE friends had fun that day. Pooh and Piglet made the most of conference and sessions and even met World Cup mascots Ren-G, who amazingly had detoured from Japan to Winnipeg for a quick visit. Friendship and saki flowed together there!
There were so many great sessions and fabulous keynotes throughout conference. We avoided being shot in the mock active shooter keynote but wow. Hiding in the dark, not knowing where the shooter was certainly bought home the reality of events that happen far too often in this world.
This year President Trevor Johnson chaired a stream of three panel discussions for the first time. A topic close to our hearts was sustainability. Bridget was part of the panel sharing updates and next steps to the audience on the work of the committee, the CSHS and all the good work that’s happening around the world. The conversation continued for the committee over lunch. Being a volunteer for CSSE is hugely rewarding and being able to meet face to face once a year makes the conversation flow even more, along with preparing us for our next year of work.
Another session Bridget was part of was her own presentation on ‘The Wider World of Consultancy’. Sharing her Hundred Acre world and experience to an engaged audience was great fun. As she delivered her session it was eleven years to the day that Bridget arrived home from her first PDC in Quebec City and resigned her full time role. After all the pondering, procrastinating and planning before that first PDC trip, the support from all she met there gave her the final piece of courage to take the next step. The links between CSSE and our world have always been tight but once again, they are bound even tighter.
In our world, in life and even at a conference we never know what comes next. This week was no different. Bridget says – “I have always known that the CSSE is an incredible organisation. This years PDC confirmed that even more. Each year there is a session that recognises some of the incredible members with awards. I am privileged to call this years “volunteer of the year” a friend and colleague. Peter Sturm is a great man who also happens to lead our sustainability committee. This recognition was richly deserved and made me burst with pride.
The emotion continued from there as the 2019 “consultant of the year” humbled me, brought tears to my eyes and left me completely speechless.
Don Ross was an exceptional safety engineer. My life was richer for knowing him and the opportunity to work with him when I first volunteered for CSSE is now something I will remember more fondly. That the CSSE board honoured him posthumously demonstrates the affection shared between members. Members of CSSE are so much more than that, we are family.
CSSE is woven through both mine and Hundred Acre’s history and this trip again reinforced why.”
This has been another amazing conference week. Memories well and truly made.
PDC 2020 will be in St Johns, Newfoundland, somewhere we are really excited to be visiting. Planning our trip has already started and we really hope to see you there!
– Hundred Acre – Everyone’s Safe Place –