In his debut convention outing as serving Bacta president, James Miller gave a clear direction of the association under his tenureship: driving forward on the importance of shared responsibility and action within the amusements community.
James Miller’s speech at the Bacta convention this week marked his first in the role of organisation president, having taken over the role from Gabino Stergides in March.
Not only did Miller use his time at the podium to pay tribute to his predecessor’s “enthusiasm and dedication” to the role, particularly when it came to Bacta’s recent Cat D initiative, but the bulk of Miller’s speech was a touching tribute to the significance of the organisation itself, which he said had earned his “utmost respect and thanks.”
“I truly believe my time in Bacta has made me a better person and proof of that is standing here before you today,” he remarked. “I, like many of you, have been in this business all my life, as were our fathers and the rest of our families. I would like you to know, it’s with a great sense of responsibility and pride that I take on this role. My only wish is that my father could have been here to share it with me today.”
Recalling his first experiences of a Bacta convention as a youth, Miller remembered “coming away thinking I am not alone,” and wished to instill this feeling of shared camaraderie amongst the present the membership.
Indeed, Miller didn’t flinch from posing some existential questions when it came to the fundamental purpose and meaning of Bacta as an organisation: conceding that “from time to time some people have asked me, in a somewhat flippant and skeptical tone, what good do we do?”
Miller’s response is that, as opposed to some external force, “some fairy godmother who waves a magic wand,” the organisation is instead “made up of people like you and me,” a group only as effective as it sense of shared community.
“I would say to anyone: don’t just stand there complaining,” said Miller. “If you are interested in the future security and survival of your business, come and get involved. Then you’ll see for yourself that we’re all in this together.”