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The History of IFT
After almost a year of construction, the birth of IFT happened on June 1st, 1984, the same date as the opening of Star Trek III: Search For Spock. At the time, this small group of rebels were known as the “Ohio Federation Of Trekkers.” IFT’s first chapter, the USS Conquest, was based in Cleveland, Ohio. The organization’s principal newsletter, the “Federation Log,” contained information about the club, Trek related events, and editorial comments.
What started off rather small grew beyond the boundaries of the state of Ohio and into other states and countries. This growth was instrumental in legally changing the organization’s name to what is now known as the “International Federation Of Trekkers.” In the late 1980s IFT defined its position and changed its newsletter from the “Federation Log” to the “IFT Newsletter.” This new publication featured articles on the environment, space programs from around the world, and education.
The club also changed and improved its logos and graphics knowing that they would lead the way to a greater awareness of the organization and its purpose. IFT’s founding chapter was renamed as well, changing the name from the USS Conquest to the USS T’hy’la (a Vulcan word meaning “more than friends”). A fictional history was created to better define the role of the Star Trek chapters as they relate to the fictional vessels of Starfleet in this Star Trek Universe that has grown so much in the past 30 years.
Since IFT beginnings, the organization has proven that change is a good thing, and that only through change can any organization meets the needs of it’s membership. On April 23, 1992, the IFT incorporated itself to reflect the organization’s real world stance. The IFT newsletter was again changed to a publication called “Voyages,” allowing a broader perspective on Trek related events, club information, and articles ranging from environmental issues to public awareness and space programs. Other areas were affected by the incorporation process as well, such as the complete restructuring of the IFT’s command level and legal aspects of IFT’s position in the real world.
Through all of the changes in IFT, one thing remained the same: IFT PURPOSE! This purpose:
“To promote the humanistic philosophies and ideals portrayed in the Star Trek myths in a realistic fashion conducive to the continued existence and responsible advancement of human kind. To provide, promote, and support education and positive legal activism in the area of human rights, racial and sexual equality, environmental causes, and space exploration. To promote a more positive impression of Star Trek fans as intelligent, socially conscious, active individuals who are aware and concerned about the real world today.”
IFT is a nonprofit corporation. It’s staff consist of a President/Chief of Operations (Fleet Admiral), Vice President/Chief Of Staff (Vice Fleet Admiral), Admiral of Operations (Admiral) Council Adjutant (Commodore), Director of Communications (Commodore), a Fleet Administration Office, and a number of GEO Commanders.
This brief history was prepared so that all members and nonmembers of IFT and beyond could have a perspective on how real a dream can be and how far dreams can take you. IFT was once a dream and with each passing day, the dream portrayed in Star Trek can and will become obtainable.