2017 AGM Report

Written by Brian Dawson

[singlepic id=664 w=300 h=233 float=right]I arrived at ColinTT’s home about five minutes before the AGM was due to start.  But I had one of the braais and a required gazebo (to shade the food table), so things were delayed a bit while many hands made light work of offloading and successfully erecting the gazebo, despite paying scant attention to the manufacturer’s colour-coding on the poles.   Fortunately Kobus and Nico had arrived more timeously with the tables and chairs and a much bigger braai, so the rest of the arrangements were already well in hand.

We gathered under the car-port – Colin stood at the head of the table, and the guys who chirped the most sat in the back row, while those who were more well-behaved were prepared to sit a little closer to the chairman’s chair.  Colin quickly called us to order, and things got under way…

[singlepic id=665 w=300 h=233 float=right]With 25 out of the club’s membership of 45 present for the meeting, it was a good turnout (and even some understandable apologies having been sent from as far away as Australia and New Zealand!).

You all received the Agenda sent out to all members ahead of the meeting, and will all receive the Minutes and Financial Statement and Chairman’s Report in due course, so you will get the detailed report of what happened anyway…   But, in short, there was all the usual AGM meeting activity – adoption of minutes (taken as read), signing of attendance register, presentation of the Chairman’s report on 2016 activities (by Colin), presentation of the Treasurer’s report (by Colin!), and then discussion of all the other agenda items, including the Events Programme report for 2016 (by Colin!), the Newsletter Editor’s report (also by Colin!), and proposed changes to the Constitution (by Colin!)…  So it was NO surprise at all when we got down to the Election of Committee Members – we  all understood why ColinTT was stepping down as Chairman / Treasurer / Events Manager / Layout Manager / Newsletter Editor etc.…, and was looking for new blood to step up to the plate!

Colin had made it very clear ahead of the AGM that he would NOT consider standing for re-election as Chairman.  He even went as far as to propose changes to the club’s constitution, seeking to establish the position of “Past-Chairman,” so that he could ease himself out of having to do everything, but at the same time pass on his wealth of knowledge and experience in the running of the club to the new committee, in an orderly and “consultative” manner.  He even prepared job-descriptions for each of the various portfolios to be filled on the committee, and indicated who he thought might be suitable candidates to fill those positions.

Theuns Wessels was initially proposed to take over as Chairman, but he declined, vigorously protesting that his work commitments would not currently allow him to do the job properly.  Jimmy Mattushek, who will be retiring in a few months’ time and hopes then to have more train-time on his hands, was prepared to take on the job, and was elected to the position unopposed.  Thanks Jimmy – you’ve got BIG shoes to fill!  The other positions on the committee were also filled (the names appear elsewhere in the newsletter, so not detailed here).  So there is now a new committee in place, under Jimmy’s leadership, but with ColinTT still around to hand over and guide us in the right paths, based on his hard-earned experience…

In Colin’s Chairman’s report to the AGM he pointed out that the club is doing well – membership is growing, there is money in the bank, and we have a great club facility at Northmead Mall that appears to be pretty secure, is functioning well, and is well used and is appreciated by the members.  You’ll get the rest of the detail when you read through the AGM minutes and Colin’s report…

The topic which elicited the most discussion (some of it a bit heated!) was the need for all members using the club layouts to adhere to the operating rules!  (And I seem to remember a similar discussion at the AGM last year as well!).  Colin, some time back, prepared a set of Model Train Operating Rules and Etiquette (they are pinned to the notice board at the club).  The rules are basic, they are logical, there are very few of them, and disregarding them invariably causes inconvenience and irritation, and sometimes damage to the property of other club members.  The need for all club members to know and obey the rules was heavily stressed.  There have been some unpleasant incidents which have arisen due to some members disregarding the rules, tempers can become frayed at times – and these are things that we can avoid by showing consideration for the other guys making use of the shared facilities at the club!  We are going to have to revert to an old arrangement whereby the person designated as the Keyholder for the day will also be the “Stationmaster”, who is responsible for ensuring that all members present are sticking to the rules, and even has the authority of the committee to ask non-compliant members to leave the facility!

Another significant issue discussed was that of the “ownership” of the layouts.  Many members have contributed modules over the years, and these have become incorporated into “the club’s layout”.  It was agreed that we need to establish whether the modules have been donated by the members to the club, or whether the member wishes to retain ownership of his module (with it then being on loan to the club).  The constructor of each module and its “ownership status” needs to be established if not already known, and then indicated on each module to clarify this situation.  So if you have contributed modules, you can expect to be approached by Niel (the new Layouts Manager) in this regard.

[singlepic id=666 w=300 h=233 float=right]ColinTT, as outgoing Chairman, expressed his thanks to members of the club who he felt had contributed significantly during the past year, handing over personalised mugs as a token of appreciation, and then stood down as Chairman.  Jimmy took over, and his first act as new chairman was to thank Colin TT for his tremendous contribution to the club during his 8 years as chairman.

Colin handing over a mug to Jimmy Mattushek

Glynn Chamberlain, who has worked closely with Colin for the past couple of years, then on behalf of the club read out a comprehensive expression of appreciation for all that Colin has meant to the club, after which he and Niel handed over a specially-made “Appreciation Award” to Colin TT, who for once was virtually speechless!

[singlepic id=667 w=300 h=233 float=left]Colin and Rosemary were also thanked for their generous hospitality in once again hosting the AGM and braai at their place.  Many thanks to the TTs!!


Glynn and Niel handing over the one-of-a-kind Appreciation Award to Colin,

with Rosemary TT and Jimmy looking on
And then the formalities were over, the braai fires were eventually lit, and there was lots of opportunity for chatting and chirping while waiting for the coals to get to the point where we could start braaing meat, and then also enjoying the delicious assortment of salads and desserts provided!