Skal International Southampton, March 2017, Issue No. 124
With the AGM behind us, we are now well inside the new Skål Year. I have attended many Annual General Meetings during my 40 years in Skal and have chaired around a dozen of them. Over the years it became more and more difficult to generate interest in business meetings. Serious commitment to the running of a club is hard to find, and it is left to a handful of dedicated members who care for their Club enough not to let it down or even let it fold altogether.
I was therefore very much encouraged to have found real interest from those members that did attend the AGM for the future of our club, and appreciation of what the council members are achieving. A big thank you from me to all who attended the meeting and the lunch afterwards at the Southwick Golf Club.
Extracts from the President's Report:
The fact that 2016 was a year of mixed blessings has not gone unnoticed. While there is no doubt that our Club is one of the most active in the UK, we find ourselves in ever decreasing circles, not just within our Club's membership situation but sadly also within the wider Skal movement, and this is particularly noticeable amongst the remaining UK clubs.
Having made this statement it must be pointed out that our club is one of the best-run UK Clubs. It is mirrored in the prompt arrival of the monthly newsletters; In the good Housekeeping of our secretary Brian; The tidy and prudent accounts so well kept by our treasurer John, and the fundraising by our raffle officers Mike and Hazel; Not forgetting the help we receive behind the scene from our spouses.
The memories of the past 12 years as your President are the treasures of my retirement from my working life. Our functions in 2016 were once again marvelously organised by your council. The highlights of the past year was without doubt our Twinning with Dubrovnik. For that we thank Brian Chambers who got us there and back. We look forward to a hopefully long and happy relationship with our new Skal friends in Croatia.
This new Skal year is crucial for the long-term survival of our Club. We lost members and must now shore-up the leaks and fill the gap. I was surprised, excited and indeed humbled, in more or less equal measures to learn that members from the Oxford Club are applying for transfer to Southampton.
Quite a few of our members and also Friends of Skal have involved themselves into putting something back into our Club which has resulted in fantastic functions last year. But the best contribution to our club must be, to introduce a new member. I strongly suggest that we should make that our foremost duty. In that spirit I would now like to introduce to you the Skal Member of the year:
It has been the tradition of this Club for many years that the outgoing President presents the "PRESIDENT'S CUP" to the person who in his view has made the greatest difference to our Club in the past year. But if you look at it that way I should have considered Council members first. As it was, I shortlisted three candidates for the Cup, of whom one is actually a council member. My final choice was eventually for a candidate who is not a council member. This member is however equally engaged in the welfare of firstly our club and secondly of Skal UK and also Internationally. She has represented our Club at all UK Assemblies over the years, attended National Committee meetings, was in Belfast last year and again represented us in Monaco and also at the International Congress in Mexico the year before. She was there with the rest of us at the twinning visit in Dubrovnik and we recently saw her at our Christmas party. I am sure you already guessed who is my hero for the past year, it is no other than...
I had the pleasure in presenting Lyn with her trophy at the Skal UK AGM near Gatwick earlier this month.
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow mindedness" Mark Twain. Posted to me on Facebook by a Skal member.
We left the Skal UK Annual General Meeting with the feeling that all seems well with our Organisation.... at least on the surface. We have a fully functioning National Executive and Council in place to see us through the coming year. The new National president is Paul Hoskins. Paul (London) is the right person to see us through the next 12 months. Cometh the hour, cometh the man. We have a competent Nat. Secretary (Soton), a dedicated and able treasurer (Guernsey) and good back-up on the Executive Committee with Vice President Eric Etienne (Brighton) and Mark Alexander (N.I.) as our Foreign Minister on the International Council.
We have to get used to the fact that with the number of clubs still left in the UK we have to have a National Administration and continue to bear the costs that this creates, which in turn means it does push up the membership fees. John Watts (Guernsey) has withdrawn his Proposal to close down the National Executive by merging clubs, so the chair of the meeting tried hard to avoid having a discussion on the matter. Out of six clubs present there were two (Soton & Oxford) who wanted at least to have a dialogue on this, to get the message across that our members did not get value for their money from Skal UK in the recent past. We are confident however that this new administration under the leadership of President Paul will deliver a much improved UK Skal movement
With all the boring stuff out of the way, I can now go to the more pleasant news...and what can be more pleasant than reporting that at our Southampton AGM we decided to offer Club Life Membership to our two Membre d'Honneurs Clive Davis and to David Jenkin. Both have accepted the offers and we are delighted to keeping them in our fold and as our friends.
Also at the AGM a vote of thanks was given to RALPH EASSON ,who resigned as a member, for his contribution to Skal international Southampton over the years which was recorded in the Minutes. Ralph will continue to help at the March Quiz Night.
We are about to stage the long awaited and hugely popular 2017 SKAL QUIZ NIGHT to be held in the upstairs area at THE RISING SUN, Shore road, Warsash, overlooking the River Hamble, on Tuesday 14th of March at 7.00 pm. Teams of six persons per table, but if you are only one or two persons, a table can be made up with others. A Supper menu is available at a cost of £12.00. Tickets from DAVID PITTER by phoning him on 02380 477137. Prizes of a bottle of wine for every member in the winning team! Please bring a raffle prize along, as the proceeds from this event will go to our preferred Charity, Southampton's Hospital.
SKAL INTERNATIONAL DAY, this year our Club will celebrate the International Day with a thought of connecting us to the 2017 Skal Congress which will take place in India. Our Skal friend Terry Cookson has worked hard on our behalf to organise an Indian/Nepalese dinner.We are all invited to join Terry for a tasting of Nepalese culinary delights, dining in this bijoux restaurant called THE BASMATI NEPALESE & INDIAN RESTAURANT, situated in Bedford Place, in the heart of Southampton, on Wednesday 26th April 2017 at 7.00 PM. You will be able to get more information from the attached booking form.
Mini Cruise and full day in St Malo, 4th to the 6th of September 2017, with Brittany Ferries. I know this is still a long way ahead, but I thought you might like to know, that so far more than 30 people from our club have booked for this memorable and low-cost cruise. For more informations please call John Bright.
That is all for this month, from your News Monger, Dieter.