December 2021 from
Jerry Pyfer

NWI Annual Business Meeting

After a dismal October turnout, we had just the opposite for November. I was so delighted to see around 40 attendees. November is our annual Business Meeting, so I presented the NWI Chapter’s annual report.

The Treasurer’s report revealed we had around $2,000 in the checking and around $7,000 in the savings. I understand a question has been posed, “Why does the chapter have so much money.”

We have a comfortable bank account to back up our operating expenses each year. Our largest expense is the North Western Limited newsletter, which is also one of our big drawing cards. The paper, copier maintenance, postage adds up. The P.O. Box costs $188.00 per year, in other words, nine annual subscriptions. This is the central location for our communications rather than a personal address which can change when the officer changes.

Our next big expense is the hall rental. We pay $100 per meeting. After checking out various other venues in the Rockford area, this is a bargain. Plus the fact we have a spacious meeting room with a great big screen.

We have made donations to worthwhile railroad restorations, such as: Milwaukee Road steamer 261, Illinois Railway Museum in the form of the Rock Island 50’ automobile wood boxcar, CNS&M Electroliner, the Oregon (Illinois) depot

We also have to consider chapter equipment use for the presentations. Our current digital projector is very out of date from the standpoint of capabilities. The projector we should acquire will cost in the neighborhood of $1,400. It is hard off me to justify purchasing a $1,400 projector with meetings hosting 10 participants. A few more gatherings like November and I would have no problem making the purchase.

The donation jug helps a little to cover expenses. Rather than having a sales table of railroadiana, we just ask for a donation in exchange for items you would like to have. What you donate is up to you, no questions asked.

We have maintained our current level of bank accounts for years and years, showing we have been good stewards and not squandered our finances. All of this despite dwindling membership. Speaking of which, this chapter currently stands with 29 NRHS members and 62 subscribers.

I believe it is time for the NWI Chapter to develop a Zoom cite for future chapter meetings and other opportunities that may arise. You would have the option of attending either in person or via the internet. The quality of Zoom meetings have greatly improved. I have also seen the Wisconsin Chapter, which uses Zoom for meetings and out of schedule slide shows, have their membership skyrocket.

We are in need of programs for 2022, January has been spoken for. Without knowing how protocols might change over the year, I expect to have meetings all year, with St. Mark’s church blessing.

Due to circumstances beyond our control, it has been a long time since we had a chapter Board of Directors’ meeting. Many things are beyond my ability to act upon independently.

Following the Business meeting, I presented the KD Rebuild - Final Report, or was it? I refer to the Rockford Infrastructure story that suggests Madison Street will be rebuilt on Page 2 of this NWL. Andrew Nelson presented “The other Nelson Brothers and the Chicago & North Western” program. Attendees were impressed with great railroad photography as well as interspersed film snippets for light- hearted humor. Mike McBride presented his “Riding the C&NW Carousel” about his all too brief employment with the subject railroad. Personal railroad employee stories really add rich flavor to railroad slide presentations.

With our on-time running, folks had time afterward for fellowship and reminiscing.

Railfanning is…watching the BNSF and UP crossing the diamonds on the Virtual Railfan website at Rochelle, Illinois while preparing Christmas cards.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

For more information about the Chapter, see Meetings and Join.

Chapter address

North Western Illinois Chapter - NRHS
P.O. Box 5632
Rockford, IL 61125-0632