Why Essex? Tropical Fish Club
Interview with David Banks, President & Founder
On a Thursday evening in September, I joined the Tropical Fish Club for their monthly meeting at the Essex Junction VFW. The Tropical Fish Club is a not-for-profit group of people who share common interests related to raising and breeding freshwater and marine fish and aquatic plants in captivity. David told me that the club has around fifty members, about half of whom, attend each meeting. Club members come from all over the state, some driving from as far away as Rutland or White River Junction.
The meeting was a lively event starting out with a raffle for aquarium supplies (I didn’t win). Following the raffle, there was a discussion on general club activities and events, as well as a “bowl show,” which is a break session where members can move around the room and admire one another’s fish. After the break, the club got to hear from guest speaker Klaus Steinhaus, a tropical fish expert coming to the meeting all the way from Toronto.
One of my biggest takeaways from the meeting was how diverse of a group the Tropical Fish Club is. The members ranged from a fourteen-year-old attending meetings with his mother to bearded elderly men who had been involved with tropical fish care for most of their lives. David also highlighted the diversity of skills in the group, telling me that members varied from relative newcomers to enthusiasts who had hundreds of fish at home.
The comradery is an essential part of the club for many members. According to club member Ann Whitman, “When you’re starting out yourself, it’s hard to know who to talk to, who to trust and what information is right. That’s where the Tropical Fish Club comes in.”
Interested in meeting with a like-minded group of fish lovers? Check out the Tropical Fish Club on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TropicalFishClubBurlington/. The club generally meets on the second Thursday of every month at the Essex VFW.
Why Essex? “There was space for us to meet at the VFW.” -David Banks
Why Essex? is a weekly(ish) column highlighting the people and places that make Essex an interesting and special place. Have an idea for the column? E-mail Darby Mayville at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Credits: David Banks