Thursday, January 14, 2021

An update for this years New England Mineral Conference.

 

Sad News, Good News, Better News...

Updates on NEMC2021, the 2021 Mineral Tailgate Sale, and NEMC2022

Sad news: We have been holding off making this decision but feel now is the time to inform all of you that we will not be holding the New England Mineral Conference in 2021. We so very much want to see all of you, and it saddens us to have to cancel this year.
Several things, all COVID-related, have caused this decision. We are unable to hold Education Day on Friday as schools are having a great deal of difficulty in meeting in person and keeping viral outbreaks at bay, so we would have little chance of having a successful number of students sign up to attend.
Also, we don’t anticipate our state Government allowing large indoor gatherings by May. Currently, the maximum allowed at indoor gatherings is 50 individuals, and even if it is raised to 100, that would allow only our volunteers to attend: no students, no conference attendees. So, that doesn’t make any sense for us fiscally, as we would suffer an enormous financial loss in producing the Conference we want (and you expect) and not be able to meet our basic fixed costs.
Many of our volunteers are in age or medical risk categories for being more adversely affected by COVID, should they catch it.  From what we can see, the vaccines won’t be widely available in the state of Maine (and through New England) until very late spring and into summer; our window of time for the Conference is well before those times. In addition, travel restrictions are making it difficult or even impossible for speakers, dealers, and some attendees from being able to join us.
Our timing is such that we are unable to “just delay” the Conference into later in the year. A plus and minus to Conference attendees is that Jeff and I own and mine the Havey. The plus is that it’s almost guaranteed that a field trip bought at the Conference will get you a spot collecting at the Havey, if you’d like. The minus is that we must hold the Conference outside of our regular mining season (also the case for many mines where we are offered field trips for the Conference).  Plus, to keep Conference expenses down for attendees, we negotiated a long-term contract with Sunday River and have specific dates set aside as part of that negotiation. Simply “shifting to a different weekend” is more problematic that you can imagine.
Therefore, we made the decision to suspend it indefinitely for 2021.
Good News: We *do* plan to hold the Conference in 2022 on Friday through Sunday, May 13 (yes, Friday the 13th!) through May 15, 2022 at the Grand Summit Resort Hotel & Conference Center at Sunday River, Newry, Maine.  NO hockey masks will be allowed. Make a new plan to join us in a year. Our 3rd version of the 8th Annual New England Mineral Conference will be held May 13-15, 2022. We are hopeful the heightened concerns of COVID will be behind us, and that we’ll have volunteers and attendees enough to fill the Conference Center to overflowing. I know *we* will more than ready to see all of you! If you want to be part of the 2022 Conference as a volunteer, dealer, or exhibitor, please contact me at nemineralinfo@gmail.com and I’ll put you on an appropriate communication list.
Better News:  You can see us *before* May of 2022!  NEMA will again host the Annual Mineral Tailgate Sale at the Havey Quarry and our new home (hopefully we’ll be in there by then) on September 18, 2021 (rain date of September 19, 2021). We had a great event this past year and were easily and safely able to “socially distance” effectively, with room for more vendors if anyone wants to join us.  So, this event is definite. If you want to come to the 2021 Tailgate as a vendor, please contact Jeff directly at haveyquarry@gmail.com and he will be happy to respond to you.
More News:
  • We are looking into more ways we can connect in person through this year and if a possible event that we can host comes up, we will be sure to inform all of you. If your only way to connect with us is by Facebook, please consider becoming part of our e-mail list. We send out very few e-mails through the year (they increase as Conference time or events approach), so you’ll not be inundated by e-mails from us. You can write me at nemineralinfo@gmail.com, and I can add you to the list.
  • We are still in the midst of producing our Rock Boxes for students in schools in Maine. Currently, I am looking for a graphic artist to help with this project. If you are a graphic artist, or know one who might be interested, please let Jeff or I know; we would appreciate it. If you have specimens you want to donate to this project, please contact Jeff for the specifics…we need a lot of specimens from the same localities and that are roughly the same size and consistency. You can reach Jeff at Haveyquarry@gmail.com