Presidents Message March 2016

Presidents Message March 2016

Dear Members

I trust you all had a relaxing and enjoyable Christmas and New Year. Thanks to the 350 members and family who enjoyed their Christmas Lunch at the Club. By all accounts it was a great day and staff appreciated your positive comments on the selection of food available and their cheerful demeanour serving you on the day.

At the 2014 AGM members requested a review of the Club rules. A Special General Meeting was held on the 29th February and the recommendations of the Rules Committee endorsed by the Executive and Trustees were unanimously passed by the membership. I would like to thank those of you who attended the SGM for your support. The updated rules have now been posted on the Friendly Societies website and are now in effect.

Traditionally January and February months have been light in trading and have put the club under some pressure maintaining positive cash flows. I am pleased to report that trading over this period was above budget and all our creditors are current i.e. within 30 days which is a significant improvement on previous years. So thank you for your patronage over this period.

Our entertainment programme appears to be offering a variety of choices and the recent Jersey Boys Show was a sell-out. The show and meal deal option is proving successful with a number of Affiliated Members from sister clubs taking advantage of this offer.

For those of you who frequent the upstairs areas you will have noticed that the ANZAC Lounge is showing signs of disrepair with frayed and ripped carpets, heating systems broken down and aged décor. A subcommittee was established last year to review the room and come up with some concepts for management to price and the Executive to approve a refurbishment programme. The ANZAC Lounge historically has returned around $100 to $150K per year in hire for functions and events. This return has reduced in recent years and quite frankly in its present state is proving extremely difficult to hire out. The plan is to have this room refurbished by July / August.

The clubs IT system is also outdated and is struggling to cope with reporting, operating and compliance requirements of a modern day club. In order for staff to perform their respective roles within the club they require good tools. Executive and Management have looked at a couple of Point of Sale systems and settled on one that will work well for the club at a very modest cost around $100K. A notice informing members of this planned expenditure will be posted on the club notice board.

For many years the club has been renting room in its old premises in Campbell Terrace for storage. Neville Kent (Trustee) has been looking into the club’s history and gathering items of historical importance. Thanks to his and the efforts of Gordon Hays what started as a simple history gathering exercise has resulted in the club removing all its property from  Campbell Terrace and relinquishing the lease saving around $27K per annum.

The Executive have held two strategic planning sessions in the New Year with a focus on the club and the investment properties goals and objectives in the short to medium term. These meetings are normally held on a Saturday morning and I would like to thank Aaron and the Executive for giving up their time.

There are a couple of special events that occurred during March which I believe rate special mention:

  1. The club in conjunction with the Diving Adjunct welcomed the Police Dive Team onsite to run a seminar on Scuba/ Dive safety. This was very well attended by recreational divers from around the region and hopefully will put a stop to the recent spate of drownings on the Wellington coast line.
  2. Clubs New Zealand, our national body, held their AGM and Conference at the Upper Hutt Cossie Club and was well attended with around 250 delegates from various charted clubs around the country. There were some very good speakers and members from your Executive had the opportunity to meet and discuss challenges and issues clubs are facing today. I am very grateful for our Colonial Charter which saves us from some of the demands placed on other clubs.
  3. Over Easter the Cricket Adjunct hosted the Richmond Workingmen’s Club Cricket team for 79th Anniversary of this bi annual competition. Unfortunately the trophy is heading south once again and we are left with a photo on Chris Church’s IPad. This is one of the longest running games between Workingmen’s Clubs in New Zealand. I would sincerely like to thank all those who assisted with ensuring that a good time was had by all.

In closing I would like to mention the good compliments the club received during the Edinburgh Tattoo from members of the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association who stayed in our gravel carpark whilst attending the tattoo. Some nights there were up to 30 campervans. They were most impressed with the quality of our Bistro meals and service. I also received good compliments from three busloads of Tattoo attendees from the Wairarapa and Hawkes Bay who called in for meals enroute to the stadium for both the Bistro and Restaurant.

So thank you to any club or staff member who made these visitors feel welcome.

Jim Hogg

Kind regards,