Annual General Meeting 2021
Some of you may have heard by now that the AGM could not go ahead on Monday as planned; the quorum for any general meeting is set at 25 members present in person and even after we had waited a while, there were only 17 members present and so the AGM has been adjourned sine die without being able to conduct any business.
It may be that, by some date in Spring, the Covid numbers may have reduced sufficiently for a few more people to come out blinking into the daylight whereby we can hold a successful meeting. We can do no more than keep things under review. The effect is that the existing committee, including those co-opted since the previous AGM remain in position.
All that said, the report I would have made to the meeting is produced below for everyone’s edification (or not)
The details of the accounts may be found in the Member’s Area of the website as may a summary of the position re Borough Road.
Chairman’s Report to the Annual General Meeting 2021
It occurs to me that our last AGM was in 2019 although I did send a Chairman’s Christmas Message. I am now hazy as to whether I took over as Chairman subsequent to that AGM and therefore feel I ought to give a few words of explanation; John Fay decided that his slow recovery from his operation, allied to further health problems within his wider family, meant that he did not feel able to give his duties as Chairman his full attention and therefore decided to stand down in July 2020. I therefore moved up from my then position of Vice Chairman and Caterina Gianota was co-opted as Vice Chair. Although it is a long while after the event, I would wish to record my, and I would hope the club’s, appreciation for all of John’s hard work.
The Committee has continued to meet virtually via Zoom until recently when in person meetings resumed. Linda Bennett, despite moving to Kent, continued until recently to carry on her duties as Hon Secretary. Thea Hill has recently been co-opted to the role pending confirmation at a general meeting. Mike Fairclough has likewise been co-opted to take over the position of Webmaster.
Given the fact that there has been no face to face bridge until very recently, there is no nothing to report on any competitions. The report will therefore concentrate on two matters: The return to Face to Face Bridge Sessions and an update regarding the old clubhouse in Borough Road. The latter subject will be posted in the member’s area as it could be commercially sensitive.
The Return to F2F Bridge
When the committee began to consider the possibility of returning to in person sessions, the first thing which was clear was that a number of our Directors were no longer in a position to continue, at least for the present, and this severely limited our options.
In part, this led to our decision to restart the Tuesday afternoon sessions only as Jill Wolfgang was willing to continue covering as Director and so things were relatively ‘self-contained’. It was decided that we needed to restrict the numbers of those attending to 10 tables in an attempt to reduce any Covid risk and so Tuesday sessions were used as a live test of a booking system. Additionally, it was decided that, in accordance with government advice, a reasonable air flow should be maintained by keeping some windows open. It was recognised that this would present a significant challenge, especially as the Winter drew on and more especially so in the evenings. It was also decided that anyone attending should be double-jabbed and should also have taken a negative lateral flow test in the period preceding their attendance.
These decisions were taken after a good deal of debate in Committee where a wide variety of views was expressed and the final decisions represented a consensus of what was felt to be reasonable. The provisions do not necessarily mirror exactly those of every other club but so be it.
In the event, the Tuesday sessions were not heavily attended but it was accepted that the logistical position was satisfactory. By this stage, we had sufficient Directors to make a rota for Mondays only and so it was decided to run Monday sessions on a trial basis for 3 weeks. It was decided that, to avoid ‘splitting our forces’, the Monday online club session would be suspended for the time being.
In the interim, we had received some advice that approved air purifiers could reduce the risks of Covid circulation, reducing the need for windows to be left open and two such units have been bought by the club.
The Monday sessions attracted 5 to 6 tables and it was considered that this was a worthwhile number and so they have continued after the trial period. At this level, the costs are not being fully covered although the financial position of the club is such that this loss is not too much of a problem in the circumstances. One observation is that, although there has been a core of the same people for these sessions, there have been a number of other individuals or pairs who have attended a number of the sessions. I would make a guesstimate that perhaps 32 people in total have attended at some stage.
Clearly there is a significant number of people who are choosing not to attend the club as things stand at present and, indeed, a few who seem unlikely to attend under any foreseeable circumstances but the committee hope that, as things improve, more people may feel emboldened to return and will keep everything under review in the interests of the club as a whole.