Annual General Meeting Minutes 25/09/2013


Committee Members Rhod James (Chairman), John Stembridge, Gerry McGuffie, Chris Bunning, Richard Latham
Ordinary Members Mike Wells, Peter Middleton, Rob Jones, Simon D’Arcy, Dave Middleton, Mike Gardner, Steve Shaw, Richard Poole, Vip Patel, Bob Hill, Pearse Elder, Gerry Robinson, Peter Berring, Fred Berring, Quintin Heaney
Junior Members Tom Stembridge
Guest Roger Tarling

Apologies: Many and varied – names not noted.

1. Minutes of the 2012 AGM

The minutes of the 2012 AGM held on 25th September 2012 were approved

2. Reports of Members of the Committee

Finance (Chris Bunning)
Chris Bunning (CB) as Treasurer presented his report for the past year. He commented that it had been a busy year although there had been no overseas tours. At present there is £6,322 in the Society’s current account, with a further £1,369 in the deposit account. Therefore the total is £7,690, which is approximately the same as the funds balances this time last year.
The hole-in-one fund has risen to £1,164 – should be nearer £1,200 after today’s event.
In terms of members, the Society has collected subscriptions from 54 members. Following a recommendation from CB, it was agreed that £3,000 of this surplus should be allocated as a subsidy for the next major (i.e. 5 year anniversary) overseas tour.
The Chairman commented that the Society’s finances continued to be very well run and on behalf of all the Members thanked CB for his continuing sterling efforts in this regard.
It was agreed that we will immediately transfer £1,000 of the surplus to the 25th Anniversary tour fund.
Website (John Stembridge)
John Stembridge (JS) then presented his report on the Society’s website. He commented that there had been no significant changes over the year and the site continued to operate well. He raised the subject, which he had raised in previous years, of succession planning for the website administration and development generally. A discussion ensued and the meeting concluded that this needed to monitored closely. In the meantime JS said he would look at a revamping of the website, possibly in conjunction with Graham Hansen.
Vip Patel (through his mouthpiece – Mike Gardner) wondered whether it might be worth investigating strategic alliances to assist with this exercise. No conclusion was reached but JS agreed to keep this under review.
In the absence of Richard Trinick, the Chairman led the discussion on Society merchandise. He felt that generally the merchandising offerings were very good and that matters were being handled extremely well by Richard.
Peter Berring (PB) questioned the need to put the number of years on each year’s T-shirt. A debate around the room ensued and it was concluded that the Committee should consider this point for next year. Fred Berring commented that it was difficult to infer 21 years from the Society’s commencement date of 18.45……
PB then further suggested that WAGS shorts should be considered for a future merchandising offering. Following a discussion, the Chairman requested a vote on this suggestion – the meeting did not agree that this should be pursued. Steve Shaw requested a branded gusset should be considered for those members that may have need of such items……..
Fixtures (Richard Latham)
The next item on fixtures was presented by Richard Latham (RL). There was general thanks and support for the great work and effort that RL puts into this, the most important aspect of the Society. RL ran through the events that had taken place so far this year, all of which had been successful to varying degrees. He particularly wanted to thank Eric Warburton for his hard work and great organisation that resulted in a very successful Northern Tour in June earlier in the year.
There followed a discussion around the Sussex Tour and whether this should be extended to 3 days (on the basis that members could continue to select individual days at will). The thought was tabled that it should be two nights at the Seattle Hotel with Friday being East Brighton, Saturday East Sussex and Sunday at Mannings Heath. It was also proposed that a new event – the “Shutes Shotglass” should be created. Several members raised the question of whether Seaford Head would be reinstated. Vip Patel commented that he was aware that the course had recently been bought and that the clubhouse was undergoing a refurbishment. There was therefore some uncertainty over where things would be in 2014. It was agreed that this should be revisited for the 2015 season.
RL then ran through the events that took place, or are due to take place, from August onwards. Peter Berring (PB) commented that the events in Sept/Oct seemed to be particularly close to one another, which the Chairman accepted as an issue to be reviewed in future.
RL then considered future events and commented that whilst the spring tour to Manchester had been a great success, he wondered whether it might be more attractive to have a better chance of sunshine – say Puerto Banus or Val de Lobo? The Chairman thought this a commendable idea and requested a poll from the floor to gauge appetite for it. A large majority indicated their approval. PB then commented that the Society should consider Scotland or Ireland. There was general consensus that Europe (i.e. further South) would be preferable if the timing is to remain in the spring. Fred commented that the Society's contribution (i.e. subsidy) to the 25th anniversary tour made a big difference and much more attractive to members. If an annual overseas tour is to be considered for each spring, thought needed to be given to any subsidy element. JS commented that June/July is not really spring, to which RL responded that it may be worth considering swapping the Mill Ride date with the spring tour date.
RL then summarised his understanding that the meeting was in favour of a spring tour in either Spain or Portugal. This was confirmed by a large majority.
RL then went on to review the Cornish Tour format. He wondered whether there was an appetite to extend it by a day (at the beginning) and whether the St Mellion courses should just be one per day – on the Friday and Saturday. There was a discussion regarding his suggestions and the general conclusion was that the present format works well and should be retained. This included retaining the Launceston venue on Friday and Castle Combe on the way back on Sunday. One suggestion that will be investigated further is changing the dinner venue on the Friday to the Springer Spaniel.
The Chairman concluded this part of the meeting by making a final point that the Lingfield course had been ditched permanently as members generally felt the standard of the venue had deteriorated.
Membership (Gerry McGuffie)
The Chairman then requested Gerry McGuffie (GM) present his report on the Society’s membership and communications efforts. As to communication, GM reported that email remains the primary method of communication with members, which works well. Bob Hill questioned whether the Society should consider using Twitter, Facebook or Blogs to keep up with the general trends that exist on the web. There was a general consensus that perhaps the Society was not yet ready for such developments.
GM then went on to report on the membership. There are currently 54 members – with the latest addition being Richard Poole. Sam Dearden has moved to Australia. Tom Stembridge may be ready for full time membership? There was a discussion over the requirements for promotion from junior membership to full membership, with a suggestion that the criteria could be over 25 and in full-time employment? There have been no membership expulsions this year.
GM then went on to present his report from the Handicap Committee. Mike Wells questioned whether Club handicaps should be used, if members were also members of a club. GM commented that WAGS had its own system, which had been refined only last year and seemed to be working pretty well.
Fred Berring (FB) suggested that if a member’s club handicap is lower than their WAGS handicap, the club handicap should be used. The Chairman disagreed and a lively discussion ensued. Bob Hill supported the Committee in that the WAGS system had evolved over time and was working very effectively. Following further discussion, the Chairman concluded that the current system should remain but maybe members should inform the Handicap Committee of their Club handicaps – for information only.

3. Election of new Committee Members

The Chairman then turned to the election of Committee members. The only position that needed to be reviewed was that of the website administrator. Gerry Robinson proposed that this should remain with JS. RL seconded his proposal and the members carried the motion unanimously.

4. Any Other Business

The Chairman then went on to ask if members had any other business that they would like to raise. No-one had anything to raise, whereupon the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 9.15pm.

Rhod James
11th October 2013