Thirty-five years ago we embarked on a wonderful adventure. About a dozen of us – students at a “professional school” as they called it then in Québec City – wishing to get active at improving our socioeconomic situation and that of people just like us.
Ages ranging from fifteen (myself) to early twenties, we were involved in school activities doing good for the community and just found our passion there. Raising money for cerebral palsy, gathering non-perishable food for the needy, and on and on. We felt good, very good, getting actively involved in practical stuff that yielded concrete results.
One evening of December in 1981, we kind of gathered in the meeting room and sort of expressed the thought of making “it” official. And there was this weekend at the cottage where we had our Christmas celebration and had this profound discussion on the humanitarian endeavors that we had accomplished. And how we felt about them. And the imprint that we left on humankind.
Three of us were also attending a private course called “human skills” that helps people being less ackward in society and learn some valuable social skills. We took these recipes to our founding meeting on April 26, 1982. The 3-E Club was born. The three E’s stood for “Équipe” (Team), “Entraide” (Mutual help), and “Experience”. The mission was just so simple: help eachother muddle through socioeconomic prosperity. The “socio” part includes how the individual feels and gets involved in society.
Then school was out. Summer vacation didn’t damper the passion. We took our movement to the church basement where room 7 was just perfect for us, for free! It was the AA’s meeting place where you see posters cheering empowerment and responsibility and acceptance and all. We were good with that.
Members thought it would be a great idea if we gave tweens and teens a chance to experience involvement in humanitarian activities, just like our neighbouring Scouts and Girl Guides were doing. But for those who couldn’t afford the latter. Also, we were sort of the “civil” version of the more “military” Scout organization. We had – and still have – this philosophy of being a team of builders. Anything that looked and acted like an army, to us, felt too aggressive for what we intended on doing. You can easily have a powerful team of construction workers that will just as well accomplish grandiose things for mankind. You don’t need to be military about it to make your point. Passion. So we created “Waska” for the younger members aged 10 to 14. We’d mentor them.
Other organizations just couldn’t remember our name! They called us 3X, 3D, 4H, and so on. It came to a point where they’d even call us “Waska”. We spent so much time explaining that Waska was the younger branch of our… We just lost time and effort. We gave in. In January of 1983, the members voted and adopted “The Waska Club”.
Thirty-five years! Can you believe it? And it is about to end in December of 2017. Really? Nah…
As it did over the course of its life, it gave birth to many spin-offs. In 1985, Waska Toronto had spun off. In 1999, Fidé and Connexion Ouest went on to pursue the passion with their own flavor of Waskanity. I prefer that to Waskanism. Waskanity sounds more like humanity. In 2016, Nouvelle Espérance – for newcomers in town – sprang its autonomy. In 2017, Autonomiq.org is the new Waska, with its very own personality.
Waska.org will outlive its registered entity. Some of its workgroups like GTIL, GTA, TVW, and RPP will likely want to register as their own, autonomous corporate beings. Or… Perhaps they will regroup in some federate union as was Waska in the 1990’s. I have confidence that the movement will live on.
Lately, Facebook decided that Waska.org (the Facebook group but not the page) was not worthy of existence. It was deleted all so suddenly. We’re still trying to figure out what happened. Anyway, faithful people just continued following in the numerous sub-groups and spin-offs. Passion and goodwill finds its way around obstacles.
I hope I have the oportunity and the energy to post again before turning the light off for the last time. What’s left of us are concentrating on getting Autonomiq.org launched, autonomous and prosperous. We still have intern members learning skills in office automation and bilingualism (who will probably continue on with the spin-offs).
We did good my friends. We will continue to do so through the new vehicles, simpler, more powerful, and aerodynamic than Waska.org is and could ever be.
Until next time… Be happy and prosperous!