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APD members from outside of North America

This message is primarily aimed toward those individuals on the APD who are
from places other than the United States, but it is just as applicable to
those of you who are from the good old U.S. of A.

As you know from my announcement on the 17th of March, the Aquatic Gardeners
Association has approved its sponsorship of the AGA International
Aquascaping Showcase and Contest. The event is now 'official' and 'real'. It
took a lot of work by a small but dedicated group of individuals from the
APD, most of whom are not AGA members, to get to this point.

Planning an event of this type is one thing. Pulling it off successfully is
another matter entirely.

The whole purpose of this exercise was to determine (and illustrate) the
diversity of approaches which different people, in different parts of the
world, take with the hobby. How do the German's do it when compared to say,
the Australians, or the Japanese, or the British? It isn't an attempt to
find any one 'best' way, but rather a forum where we can revel in the
diversity of approaches which currently exist and are practiced around the

If this is going to work, we need the involvement of hobbyists from outside
the continental United States (don't get me wrong, we still need the
Americans!). Many people, especially those from Europe or Asia, would
probably consider me, as a Canadian, little more than an American with a bad
accent <g>, but there _are_ differences. And it is because of those
differences, however minute, which cause me to wish that _more_ people from
other countries, with other perspectives, would make the effort and get
involved with this event.

We have already received out first "entry" - and it is from an individual
who lives in Japan. Hopefully then, our Showcase will have the desired
diversity provided by entries from lots of different countries.

But this plea is not just about [in Canadian I guess that would be 'aboot']
entries to the event - we need VOLUNTEERS in countries around the world who
will carry the message about this event to their fellow hobbyists in their
own country. There are hobbyist clubs and associations in Japan, Singapore,
Australia, England, Italy, Germany, Russia, etc. who are unaware of this
event. And it is going to take people who know how to contact those clubs
and associations to help get the word out to them. It would also be nice to
be able to present the material on our web site in a variety of languages
OTHER than English. We could use someone who could translate material into
French, Italian, etc. (any Newfoundlanders on the APD? If might be fun to
have a "Newfanese" version <g>).

The APD has members in each of those countries, and more.....

This event started here,... it was organized by _us_,... it is _ours_,... I
would like to ask those APD members who haven't yet gotten involved with the
organizing of this event to think about doing so NOW.

The organizers of the Showcase/Contest need people who live in a wide range
of locations to help with the drawing up of lists of club contacts and in
contacting them, passing the message about the event and inviting their
participation in it. It need not take up vast amounts of your time, nor is
it going to cost you anything. But it _can_ give you a boost to know that
you are helping yourself and your fellow hobbyists.

The web site for the AGA International Showcase and Contest is

To get involved with the organization of this event and to help get the word
about it out, please consider joining the mailing list set up for this
purpose. The discussions are available either as individual messages or in a
daily digest format.

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James Purchase
AGA International Aquascaping Showcase & Contest Committee