Minutes of Annual General Meeting

 Saturday December 4, 2021

at the Clubhouse

Commodore Dick Holness welcomed 36 members to the AGM, saying it was good to see such a great crowd in these uncertain times. He thanked Bob Todd and Mark and Beryl for coming in the afternoon to set up the room and prepare the buffet for the Christmas Party

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Apologies for Absence:Jose Sammut (in Malta), Jim and Sally Moore, Dr. Lynsay Scott, Pat and Kim Kimber, Rod Akhurst and Gill Turnnidge, Deric Ingleton, Roger and Carolyn Clarke, Victoria Grayson, Dick and Eileen Foreman, Ann and Martin Waterman, and Alan Staley.   Minutes of the last AGM (on Zoom) were agreed and signed by DH.  

Matters Arising:  There were no matters arising.  

Statement of Accounts and Report: Treasurer Carole Grater thanked Rod Akhurst for once again reviewing the accounts. Because of Lockdown Grants of £19,000, the club had a surplus for the year of just under £17,000. Without the grants, there would have been a deficit of £2,000. The club had received a total of £29,000 in grants since the first lockdown in March 2020, and the savings account now had a balance of £50,000.
If the current membership level was maintained and income from bar and club events returned to pre-Covid levels, then we should just cover basic overheads for at least the next year. If costs increased the club might in future have to consider raising the membership fee and bar and food prices.
In questions from the floor, a member was concerned that such a large amount of grant money was being paid by the taxpayer. Swale Councillor and HCC member Tim Valentine pointed out that the funding was provided by government to assist businesses, not-for-profit organisations and community groups to recover from the pandemic losses. HCC provided a valuable contribution in promoting physical outdoor activity and social events, and promoted economic activity in the leisure maritime sector. The purpose of the funding was to ensure that these beneficial activities continued after the pandemic.
Dick Holness commented that the club had no assets other than its savings so the grants could only help secure the club’s long-term future. We had a good relationship with our landlord, but who knew what the future held. Some of the money would be spent on measures to increase the membership.

Secretary’s Report: Mike Riches said the picture on the membership front was rather good. Last year there was a small increase which had continued in 2021. We now had 115 paying members compared with 107 at the last AGM, making a grand total with partners and honorary members of 199. Ten years ago the paying-members figure was 137, so we still had some way to go but were going in the right direction.  

Subscriptions: For the fourth AGM in a row, the annual membership fee was unchanged at £50.

Commodore’s Address: Dick Holness said we started the year in lockdown, but the club gradually came back to life again from mid-April as restrictions were eased and confidence returned. “We’re very pleased to see quite a few members joining us this year, you are all very welcome and it’s good to notice that several of you have already become regular visitors to the club.”
Membership levels remained a prime item on the agenda, and we would be resuming our focus on increasing numbers to the levels of a few years ago, so that subscription income once again covered overheads. He thanked Bob Todd and his sub-committee for guiding progress towards safe resumption of activities, the secretary for keeping the membership informed with weekly emails, and Mike Robertson for “a great job revamping the club website” where new material was being added all the time. He paid special tribute to Mark Sanders, ably assisted by Beryl Brooke, for all he did for the club, especially in managing the bar and keeping the drinks flowing. Thanks also to those members who occasionally ran the bar: it was greatly appreciated and we needed more of you.
“We’ve enjoyed club cruises to the East Coast, to Conyer, St.Kats, and finally Chatham. Many thanks to John Kerr, Chris Lovering and David Welch for their detailed work organising those cruises.” He thanked Carole Grater who had got stuck straight in as treasurer and did a great job of informing the committee with her straightforward reporting.
“Indeed, I must say a big ‘thank you’ to the whole committee for their constant support, for doing so much for the club and for putting up with my occasional deluges of emails! Outside the committee, thank you once again to Rod Akhurst for reviewing the club accounts, and I must also say thank you to Paul Smedley for his long service as a club Trustee, from which he is standing down, and for his ongoing support for the club – thank you Paul.” The Commodore thanked the membership for their continued support for the club and committee – “together let us make sure we continue to flourish and grow.”  
“We have a great little club here, let’s all encourage other boating friends to join us.  

Bar Management: Mark Sanders thanked Bob Todd and the sub-committee and all the other volunteers who stepped up to re-open the club. Some stock had to be written-off because of lockdown, but profitability was now going up again. He made use of all the supermarket offers, but prices of anything with  sugar or alcohol in it was steadily moving upwards, and we might have to look at some price rises. He thanked those who had volunteered for the bar, saying we could do with more of them.  

Election of Officers and Committee: All officers and committee were standing again with the exception of Angela Holness, who was standing down because of other commitments. Beryl Brooke was standing in her place as Social Secretary. All were re-elected en bloc. There was one vacancy.   DH said Rod Akhurst had agreed to continue as Reviewer of our accounts. Dick Holness and Mike Perkins were continuing as Trustees, and Mark Sanders was replacing Paul Smedley on his retirement. Members applauded this appointment.  
Honorary Members: We had three honorary members, Lesley Jameson, who was here tonight, and Terry and Glenis Young, of the boatyard. There were no new hon members.      

Presentation of Trophies: Angela Holness presented the cups and trophies. Winners were: Psyche Trophy for greatest number of ports and anchorages visited, Mike and Caroline Robertson (66 visited); Hollowshore Cup for highest number of logged miles, Mike and Caroline Robertson (1,310); Lucent Pot for best log, Phil Thorne; Bryan Hills-Johnes Memorial Shield for highest number of single-handed miles, Eric Govan (600); Viking Cup for Member of the Year, Mike Riches.  

Date of next AGM Saturday December 3 2022.