Approaching the end of a two year term of office I hope the rule change allowing successive terms for President is seen as a step forward. In the previous five years we have had only two Presidents with Donna Howlett and myself taking two year spells. Perhaps the membership will see this as a welcome measure of stability.
Sadness does, however, come to the post because we should be looking forward to Vice President Terry Long succeeding to President in May, something he was keenly anticipating. We lost Terry to an untimely death in November and such was the measure of his popularity £1000 was raised in tribute at the annual dinner, donated to the Big C charity. The annual dinner was once again voted a great success, albeit tinged by the absence of Terry Long.
The past year has seen us welcoming several new members and some originality has appeared with the introduction of corporate membership and the fund raising enterprise of ‘heads and tails’. Whilst regretting the absence of the suspense allied to a raffle we have instead been able to raise funds to reward speakers with a significant contribution to a charitable cause. I am quite sure the raffle will not die but appear in suitable circumstances. Dinners have been reasonably well attended considering the pressures of weather and in several cases the demands of business and a career.
At this point I must record my thanks to the committee for their unequivocal support during my term of office and make particular mention of the untiring efforts of our Secretary, Barry Parnell, who kept everything and everybody in order. It is to be noted that after several years of successful outings, in the temporary unavailability of Barry we were unable in this last year to organise a suitable trip. We are, however, looking to the future hoping that Barry, the present incumbent in the post of Secretary, continues in post. Appointments will obviously fall into place following the AGM but it cannot be presumptuous to welcome Nick Barrett as the President designate. Nick stepped into the breach sadly created by the loss of Terry Long and in accordance with our rules should automatically move on to the presidency. I wish him all the very best in his two years of office to come.
In noting the future and reviewing the past I can see our club continuing a trail of successful business and social interaction. I congratulate and thank the membership for their unfailing support and applaud the work in setting up a practical web site, which ably demonstrates our ever continuing progress. Trawling for suitable speakers and bringing forward innovative suggestions to enhance the club are challenges that have been ably met and, I am confident the future will see more in the same vein.
My thanks and best wishes to you all in 2018/2019.
Maurice Morson May 2018