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Chairman’s message to AGM 2018

Ladies and gentlemen let me start by thanking, on your behalf, all my fellow committee members for their commitment during the year. Also my thanks for your advice during the year.  As volunteers they give up time to make the running of our club as smooth as possible. We met on a monthly basis throughout the year. Many of you will not necessarily now what is involved in running a club but let me assure you it can be complex. We do not always get it right but whatever decision is taken much thought is put into it.

Everyone has a right to criticise decisions taken and I hope you feel we have listened.  The green has been a particularly contentious issue this year. We must remember that weather conditions this year have been exceptional and you are all aware that we had problems with our irrigation system. Ground maintenance has also been criticised. When N Marsh was appointed to work on our green he came with an excellent recommendation from Gildredge Park and indeed his quote was very competitive. At the time our funds were stretched and so he was appointed. To overcome these issues we have appointed Burleys to maintain our green next year and have entered into an agreement with Rainmaker to look after our watering system. We do listen to you.

What you do not have a right too is abusive criticism which some committee members have experienced this year.  We will always try to look at issues but they must come before the committee in general. This club will not tolerate ABUSIVE behaviour under any circumstances.

At the time of writing this report there are still a number of vacancies on the committee. It is particularly sad that many of the ladies’ positions remain vacant. It wasn’t that long ago that our lady members were not allowed to stand for office or have a vote at meeting. Hailsham’s suffragette movement was led by Pauline Stratford who went on to be our first lady president. For the first time ever the committee could consist of all ladies, Where are you?

The biggest void is of course the secretary’s job. Here I would like to express my thanks, on your behalf, to Peter Baker who has worked tirelessly for a number of years and shown complete professionalism in the work he has carried out. Without a secretary it is difficult to see how we can continue to operate efficiently. Your bowling club needs you; we need someone to come forward to fill this essential position.

Bonny stands down this year after three years in the post of president. She also has supported the club with vigour and enthusiasm through her term. Many thank Bonny. The committee are please to inform you that they are recommending to you that she be made a life member. 

Dwindling membership is a problem for many bowling clubs and we must all look to introduce our sport to friends and neighbours. Try to encourage people to join our club so that we can have a bright future.

A disappointed this year was to see that funding for the proposed new clubhouse was simply not available. We are looking at alternatives but I will leave Dave Morris to tell you more.

We have decided this year to issue reports prior to the AGM so that members can come prepared to ask questions on the night, I hope you like this concept.

Finally please support the mince pie morning and all stay healthy during the winter (don’t forget the flu  jab) and I look forward to seeing you all on the green next year.

Steve Carter

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