Secretary’s Report 2018
Another year has passed, and the club moves on. Once again we both look back on the year just gone, and look forward to the year ahead.
Looking back over the last 12 months, the management committee met on 13 occasions since the last AGM, and the minutes of those meetings have been circulated electronically to all those members for whom we have an email address, and in hard copy to two members without email access who asked for them to be sent. If any other member without an email address wishes to receive copies of the minutes, please let the club secretary know so that you can be added to the list; we encourage the use of email as the cost of printing and postage can be kept to a minimum.
At last year’s AGM certain changes to the club structure were agreed. Those were the disbanding of the Ladies’ Committee, the creation of a Club Captain, and the discontinuance of a separate Ladies’ Captain and Gent’s Captain. These changes necessitated some changes to the club’s rules, which changes were approved at the EGM held in February 2018. A copy of the now revised club rules has been circulated with the notice of this year’s AGM.
The issue of club shirts raised its head again early in 2018 with the request by 20 members to have an EGM to overturn the decision taken in 2016 to have a club shirt. That EGM was held on 9 February 2018, and 46 members present plus 8 proxies voted 32 to 22 to overturn the decision. As a result, no club shirt! The issue has raised its head again this year as we have a proposal from a member to have a club shirt. Will this become our BREXIT issue, with a vote at the AGM, another vote at an EGM, now another vote at an AGM. When will it end?
The issue of the clubhouse, and possible new building, or improvements to the existing, have continued to be considered by the committee. As a result, a proposal is put to the AGM in this respect. Appended to these reports are details of the proposals.
The decision last year to appoint Nick March as our greenkeeper did not go as well as we had hoped, and the standard of the green has raised some concern amongst members. During the summer, this issue was considered in some depth by the committee and alternative quotations were obtained from Burleys and Andy Butler, as well as considering renewing Nick March’s contract. Following consideration, the management committee decided not to renew Nick March’s contract but to appoint Burleys to carry out the winter renovations from 1 October 2018 and the season maintenance for the 2019 season. Let’s hope that this produces a better green next year than this year.
As was raised at last year’s AGM, we had green keeping equipment that we no longer utilise, the new green keepers providing all their own equipment. Some of our equipment was very old, some relatively new. Steps were taken to sell off this redundant equipment, and for the most part we succeeded. However, the hollow tine machine, purchased new in 2015, has proved difficult and at the time of writing this is still not sold despite having been advertised on Ebay, specialist green keeping equipment websites and to all clubs in Sussex.
The offer of one member to maintain the grass bank and shrubs was unfortunately withdrawn due to health concerns, and so the committee decided to appoint a gardening company to carry out the maintenance of the club’s grounds other than the green. Quotations were obtained from two companies, Jack Westguard and Niall Bailey, following which Niall Bailey has been appointed to carry out this work.
There are two proposals being put to this meeting this evening and they are in relation to improvements to the clubhouse and toilets, and club shirts. I sincerely hope that, whatever the outcome of the vote on the club shirt proposal, this issue will be finally resolved and that the club will accept the decision and move on.
As most of you are aware, I have not put myself forward for re-election as club secretary next year. I have been the secretary for three years, and it has been a privilege to be part of the management of the club. However, for mainly personal reasons, I have decided not to continue. I will of course give all the help and support that I can to my successor, whoever that might be. I am a little disappointed that, at the time of writing this, no-one has been nominated for the post of club secretary, or the Health and Safety Officer. I only hope that, by the time of the AGM these posts have attracted nominations as without the various officers the club cannot function efficiently.