I first got into contact with the Explorers Club in the year of 2000. I wanted to find out what was needed to become part of this legendary club, but was sure my CV wasn´t enough for such an illustrious club. I didn´t even get an answer. It made me upset, because at least they could answer a request! After this snub, I told myself I would never get involved. At that time I didn´t understand the workings of life and organisations. It all depends on who is the president and who runs the club. Not to answer a request, even if negative, is in my book, as bad as it gets and very bad for the reputation for this club or organisation.
It wasn´t until I came across the personality named Alex Foley that I got a different attitude to this legendary club. She managed not only to get me interested again, but also helped me to become a member, which later was turned into becoming a Fellow. After the Siberian Expedition, I was even given a Medal plus lectured in New York twice and ended up loving the club and the people I came across. One of them is one of my best friends today, Barry Moss, who runs the British Chapter the way a club should be run. The president of the Explorers Club International during that time was Richard Wiese, I liked him very much and he is a good friend today. When he left, a great void turned up until the day, Lorie Karnath was elected president. (Do read this article about Lorie) Just what the Club needed. I was very happy. The club once again needed somebody who wanted a club for REAL explorers globally, an international club with transparency and a club going main stream for the future. It should be a club, well known and respected internationally, not a conservative, insular club for New Yorkers, who are as far away as one can imagined from the ideals of an explorer and the idea of exploration. Lorie has done a major difference and the club again is alive and gaining a good reputation internationally! And they answer emails!
However, lately, her great work has been under threat from a bunch of locals who wanna drag the club back to the Middle Ages again. So this morning I wrote this letter of support for her on her homepage!
“I just came back from an Expedition in Yemen On a Camel. On paper an almost impossible project in a country on the brink of civil war. But I did it. I did it to show the world what a great place , and safe, Yemen is. Not the one you read about in the newspapers. I wanted to show the overwhelmingly positive sides. That is what explorers do. The almost impossible. And showing the way for others.One of the first things I read in my email box after the Expedition was a great New Years Message from Jim Fowler.
First I was appalled by what I was reading, than I got upset and decided to do something about this. Give the president my full support for what she has done and what she is doing to the club, because believe me, the Explorers Club is once again gaining a good reputation abroad. Because for some years, most people have never heard about the club!
I was so happy when Lorie became the president! A woman, very good human being, a great friend, a real explorer (the presidency should be run by a true explorer, not just somebody with only money and contacts and I knew she would work to also make this legendary Club international and transparent, not just a ridiculous internal New York social club with far too many people who definitely ain´t explorers, but a Club were real Explorers can meet, make a difference and work to make this an even more interesting world. And in my eyes she has delivered an amazing amount of great things to the Club.
I have, since I read Jim´s great New years Eve message talked to many international members and fellows of this great club and they´re ALL on your side Lorie!The Explorers Club should be a global club, that is the idea of exploration, open for the whole world to join, on merit of course, not because you have money or contacts. And as regards to who is the president, this is really important. It has to be a person who has a good reputation as an explorer. Otherwise, it is a disaster. Lorie is really the best and we, meaning Fellows and members, should be really proud to have such an open minded explorer as a president!
And, this is a truth, if the people who have caused all these problems manage to destroy the reputation of the club, all proper explorers will leave the club and it will become an extremely boring, insular, conservative and tiresome New York affair. Yawn! Stay strong Lorie!”
So, you real Explorers out there, go to the Presidents home page and give her a well deserved support!