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WATCHMAKER LICENSING AND AMERICAN NATIONAL RETAIL JEWELERS ASSOCIATION

From The American Horologist magazine, July, 1944

WATCHMAKER LICENSING AND AMERICAN NATIONAL RETAIL JEWELERS ASSOCIATION
B. W. Heald, Jeweler Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Many Watchmakers were surprised and displeased upon learning that the President of ANRJA, addressing conventions of State Jewelers Associations, warned against Watchmaker Licensing.

It was difficult for me to understand how ANRJA could decide to oppose licensing without first making a full investigation of the success or failure of such legislation in the states where it is now in effect. To my knowledge the State Jewelers Association in such states are supporting the licensing program.

Investigation discloses that the President was actually opposing the recommendations of his own association and that the studied opinion of ANRJA supports licensing. In 1937 and 1938, the National Convention of ANRJA passed resolutions approving Watchmaker licensing. In 1939 at the National Convention, the following resolution was passed by ANRJA:

"Resolved, that the American National Retail Jewelers Association does wholeheartedly approve and endorse the trend towards the enactment of legislation Registering or Licensing Watchmakers, similar to that in force in the State of Wisconsin.

That we respectfully recommend to all associations and organizations of Jewelers in all the various states of the Union that they exert their influence to obtain similar legislation in the irrespective states and to assist Watchmakers in the attainment of this end." 

The records of ANRJA do not show any reversal of this endorsement and I understand from other officers that the President is expressing his own personal opinion and not that of the Association. Also that he is opposed to any and all regulation, activity urging the repeal of Regulation Wand all governmental regulations. It is not clear whether this opposition extends to the Federal Constitution, the Bill of Rights and possibly the Ten Commandments.

Even though the President makes known the fact that he is expressing his own opinion, the fact remains that in appearing before State Associations of Jewelers, he is introduced as President of ANRJA and represents the National Association. In accepting the honor of the office of President, he also assumed certain responsibilities and obligations. Among these is the restriction oft his expression of his personal opinion before associations in the trade, if such opinion is contrary to the official determination of the National Association.

It is very apparent that serious, possibly irreparable damage has been done to the program of Watchmaker Licensing and that this damage has been done in the name of ANRJA. As a member of that Association, I protest the misuse of the office of President.

Might I invite ANRJA to study more fully the Licensing of Watchmakers, the Accrediting of Watchmaker Trade Schools and the entire program for the advancement of the Trade and raising of standards to the benefit of all persons legitimately engaged in the retail jewelry business.



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