“In practice it has been the Ulysses Club’s ability to split amoeba-wise into new units when a branch or group became too unwieldy that has been one of the reasons for its continued growth. So often a Club’s success in attracting members can lead to its ultimate collapse. A member joining a particular group or branch is happy while its size remains at a reasonable level but once it grows to the point where he or she feels overwhelmed by sheer weight of numbers, surrounded by new faces and isolated from former friends, the cry goes up “the club’s too big” and membership starts to declined. That is the time for the formation of a new group, provided there are three or four members willing and capable of forming a core of the committee. If the reason for the split is genuine, whether for reason of numbers or geography, and if the new committee has the right motivation, then the infant group will succeed. If, however the split is because of some petty disagreement or jealousy, it is almost certainly doomed for failure.
Sometimes members of the parent branch feel resentful that the new group is somehow stealing their numbers, but results have shown time and again that both old and new groups benefit. Following the adage that “a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle” the result is a win/win situation for both parties: the original body gains strength by pruning members who may otherwise have been dissatisfied or unhappy, while those in the new group find they have a fresh lease of life, meeting and riding with familiar friends again.
Sometimes larger branches become proprietorial and talk about ‘their’ members. This is a mistake. No one is a member of a group or branch but only of the one Australia-wide organisation, the Ulysses Club. For example it is perfectly in order for a Ulyssian to enjoy attending the meetings of one group because of the company or venue is congenial, while still preferring to ride with another branch whose rides may be at a more compatible skill level. In other words, groups and branches are interest based social bodies, not territorial ones.“