Good evening Ladies and Gentleman and welcome to this 78th AGM, I see I have a few more people than normal here, I wonder why but I welcome you all.
Two years: At times it’s flow and at times it’s been difficult. When you have so many conflicting opinions it is difficult sometimes to find a compromise or ensure we follow the best policy!!!!! But this is what I hope I have endeavoured to achieve.
Actually as President surprisingly you have very little power because it is my job to preside and accept the consensus of the meetings. Occasionally these are not my views but the majority rules.
This has been a year, in which we have come to an accommodation with the EBU. It is not totally satisfactory to us, but one which we can work with and move forward.
We hope to set up our own simultaneous events jointly with Wales and Ireland. This has to be up and running by autumn of this year Liz McGowan is heading the committee and I hope we will all support it.
It will be called the Celtic Simultaneous pairs.
It has been a fantastic year internationally for Scotland. I would like to congratulate the winners of the Lady Milne held in Wales. Well done to Sheila Adamson and Anne Martin, Liz McGowan and Sam Punch, and Fiona McQuaker and Yvonne Wiseman.
Also we won the Junior Camrose in Dublin. The 4-man team consisted of Phil Morrison and Frazer Morgan, Krzysztof Nguyen and Alex Wilkinson. We also came second in the Peggy Bayer.
Well done to the Senior team who won the Teltscher trophy in Ayr 2 weekends ago - many congratulations to Bill Whyte and Irving Gordon, John Matheson and Willy Coyle and Iain Sime and John Murdoch. This year I hope it will be the turn of the Open team.
I wish all our teams well in the European next month in Dublin and our other teams who are competing in the Olympiad in Lille. Bring home some silverware. I would like to thank the respective captains for the immense amount of work they do to support and help their teams.
Whilst we are of course delighted and extremely proud of these results, we as a Council at Council meetings in my opinion spend far too much time and effort on this small group of players arguing about trials, scoring and venues when we should be using our time and efforts more effectively to improve the lot of our 7000+members.
After a hiccup we have reinvigorated the SBU magazine and we have caught up on our editions. I hope every one can find something of interest in each edition. If anyone has something amusing to contribute or a good hand send it in.
Amongst many others I wish to mention especially:
Bob McKinnon for editing the SBU magazine
Anne Perkins and Bill Whyte for running the trials
Janet Rixon who works tirelessly as our Master Point Secretary
All our Council Members who run our events and committees
To my Vice President Fiona Abbott who is always at the end of a phone when I need her
My dedicated Secretary who has wisely guided me through many obstacles and may well be tested in the next hour!!!!
Russell Frame who seems to be every where and very effective too
Alan Officer for making a wonderful Camrose web site
David Gerrard, who stands down after ten years of service. We have to recognise the work and dedication he has put into stabilising our finances it is a shame he is not in charge of the European monetary fund. He has prepared our budgets and fought to adhere to them. I believe that the other Unions are not in as good a financial situation as ourselves and have problems funding all the teams and events that they would wish to do. Thank you David for leaving us in such a healthy position.
I will obviously have forgotten some people but have promised my self to keep this speech short!
Behaviour - I regret to say we have again encountered bad behaviour at the table. This is just totally unacceptable and I implore Directors to deal with this problem firmly. We should set examples “”pour encourager les autres.””
So, what befalls us in the future? Apart from who is going to be President?
Well The Warren Buffet cup is in Omaha this year and we are watching closely. Wales hosted it last time and lost quite a bit of money. We are determined not to so do. We will proceed providing we get the correct level of sponsorship. I am in negotiations to achieve this, but if it is not confirmed then the event will not go ahead in Scotland.
I feel strongly that the Commonwealth Games should take priority to this. It will be a great event for Scotland and the SBU. Funding is much easier for this prestigious tournament. It is a much larger event and of more interest to all our members, who will be able to play in a tournament, which will run the weekend after the main event. They will compete with teams from all over the commonwealth and play alongside our international visitors. Although it is in 2014 that is just around the corner and we have a strong committee already working on all aspects of this event. Volunteers who think they can add something will be welcome.
We still need to increase our membership. We must work hard to attract new players to join our federation and to encourage them to play in our new beginners leagues. The West District has started well and I believe the East District is following suit.
We must attract more junior players and whilst we must encourage them we must respect that their education comes first. We must also tap the growing market of retirees who now find they have time to learn and play bridge.
We have started to implement and amalgamate membership and masterpoints; this should be well underway in the next 12 months.
I have worked for you for 2 years, I have not done everything right, I could have worked harder but I believe I leave the SBU on a firm footing with sound finance. I have tried to use my personality to engage with our members. I have tried to meet and greet as many people as possible and I hope that my successor does like wise.
I wish him every success.
SBU President 2010-2012
The person I have decided upon this year for the President’s prize is a “man of distinction, a real big spender good looking so refined as Shirley Bassey says wouldn’t you like to know what’s going on in my mind Soooooooooooooo lets get right to the point, he has endless energy, with excellent work commitment. Whatever he takes on he does quietly and efficiently, and sometimes unnoticed. His beginners are already in leagues and some have even been promoted. He is heavily involved in the commonwealth games and is steering the committee forward. I know he will continue his great work because he is the kind of person we are looking for, as future Council Members and Presidents. I would like to thank him personally for all his help and advice in the last two years
I call upon Russell Frame to accept the Presidents prize.
SBU President 2010-2012