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THE SECTION ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING AND CHRISTMAS LUNCH
Chichester Park Hotel, Chichester - Sunday 7 December 2008

'Parker'   Over one hundred and twenty members, wives and partners arrived from just after ten o'clock to meet and greet each other in the bar/lounge for coffee and mince pies. Just before the start of the AGM 'Parker' arrived and presented Kanchu McAllister with an aqua pack of flowers as a thank you for producing and distributing CD's of her photographs taken on the Vienna 24 Rally. Andrew Honour also produced CD's of his photographs and has been thanked financially (well he is a Treasurer!).

At 11.30 the Chairman, Tony Leach, formally opened the AGM by welcoming everybody, especially Management Committee member Trevor Baldwin and his wife Patsy. Trevor then kindly presented Twenty Year Membership badges to both John and Sandie Tudor.

  Kanchu
'Parker'   Kanchu
Ted, Tony and Andrew   Sandie, Trevor and John
Ted, Tony and Andrew   Sandie, Trevor and John
Secretary Ted Meachem then read out apologies for absence from Rodney & Mrs Dodson, Peter & Thelma Princep, Denis & Diane Sims, Michael & Su Marriage, Lloyd North, Roger Bunn, Martin Coomber, James Nightingale, Paul Hoddinott, Ian & Corrine Niblett, John & Lyn Gough, Chris Godwin, Nigel Morgan, Tony Parsons, Sheila & Derrick Hurrell, Malcolm & Val Fordyce, Dorothy Pennell, David & Barbara Morgan, Steve Page-Mitchell and Jayne Thunder, Ronald Hazell, Peter Allchurch, Michael Barnes, Bill Bradford.

The Secretary asked the meeting if it was their wish that he should ask the Chairman to sign the previously circulated minutes of the Annual General Meeting held 2 December 2007 as being a true record. There was full agreement from the floor and the minutes were duly signed. However Ticker Windows pointed out, quite rightly, that according to the minutes last year's AGM started at 11.30 and finished at 11.25 (that will take some beating, Ted). There were no Matters Arising.

Chairman Tony began his annual report saying that it was very similar to previous reports and that the Section is well supported by its members, perhaps more than most. Several new pubs and Golf Clubs had been added and we were always looking out for suitable new hostelries for the winter and autumn. The Riverside Charity Spectacular South of England Rally held at Eton, just below Windsor Castle, was very well supported with our Section particularly involved in the organisation. Tony said he was delighted to see so many people at Staddles this year. He went on to say that the highlight of the year was, as he was going to call it, the Austrian Adventure. It was an ambitious rally to Baden near Vienna which had been written up on both the website and in the Magazine. It was very well run thanks to Ted and Fred Fruth who secured lots of sponsorship.

Tony thanked Maurice as Caretaker Editor, Andrew for looking after the finances, Darren for 'all things mechanical' and Ted for continuing to be Secretary as well as all the members of the committee for their wise council.

Secretary Ted started his report by saying that, as Tony had said, the highlight of the year was the Vienna 24 Rally and thanked all those who had sent messages of thanks. The 2008 South of England Rally was a great success in both numerical terms (nearly 600 Club motor cars) and also in financial terms with nearly £3,000.00 going to each of the specified charities. He also reported that although she was at home, overlooking the Brocas rally field, Liz did not have time to pop in. Maybe next time!

Ted said that the response to this year's Contribution letter had again been marvellous, almost £2,200.00 from 170 members including £570.00 from members who missed a Contribution last year. On behalf of the Committee he expressed a big 'thank you' to the members. Ted thanked Ian Burt for continuing to maintain, probably, the best website for the Section with write ups and other news. In addition to the 2009 programme distributed today special mention was made of the National Rally, the South of England Rally returning to Bradfield College, and the Section Annual Rally to Norfolk.

The Secretary gave his thanks to the Committee members saying that the organisation of Section events was very much a team effort led by the BW's of the day. Ted asked for members to let him know of any issues they would like raised at the Club Conference in April and also if there were any questions from the floor.

  1. Peter Waller said that Vienna 24 was a superb rally but the journey from Dunkerque to Düsseldorf on a Friday afternoon put pressure on members. Ted explained that the original plan to travel on a Sunday had been changed because Austrian Railways could not bring us back without shortening the rally by two days.
  2. Bernie Batchelor asked when the interest flyer for the Mulhouse rally would be sent out. Shortly was the reply.
  3. Dorothy Groves questioned the parking arrangements at today's AGM.

Treasurer Andrew Honour said that unfortunately the distributed accounts were not correct! £17.00 of additional bank interest had to be added. He ran through the previously circulated Annual Account saying that the Section finances were in very good order and that the extent of excess expenditure over income, this last year, was constantly monitored and not a problem. He thanked Michael Marriage, in his absence, for examining the accounts. Adoption of the accounts was proposed by David Steel and seconded by Sandie Tudor. Accepted unanimously. Michael Marriage was proposed as Examiner by Simon Buck and seconded by Dick Lees. Accepted unanimously.

The Chairman said that all the existing Committee members were standing for re-election and read out the names. Simon Buck, Darren Collins, David Gray, Andrew Honour, Tony Leach, Dick Lees, Ted Meachem, Maurice Pitchford, David Steel and John Tudor had been nominated. In the absence of any further nominations, it was proposed that all the candidates be elected en bloc. Proposed by John Bray and seconded by Derek Johnson. Accepted unanimously.

Management Representative Trevor then addressed the meeting by saying that he bought his first Rolls-Royce in 1967 for £70.00 and joined the Club in 1970. He went on to say that the Hunt House staff was up to strength, the Club Shop was going strong with secure online purchasing, the new Sage accounting system was up and working, a Direct Debit system for Subscriptions was in place and plans were being made to celebrate anniversaries for the 20/25, the P2 and the V8 engine. The Year book was now printed and being delivered currently, the net benefit to the Club was around £39,000.00! There would be three vacancies for the management Committee at the next AGM and the new plastic membership cards would be out in the New Year. Trevor said that the Six Year Rule was there because not all Sections were well run, Sections just needed to write in if they wanted Officers to continue. The stand at the Classic Car Show was FOC and quite a success again this year signing up sixty-three new members and the Club winning the prize for the best website. The Annual Rally date had been moved forward to avoid the British Grand Prix weekend, Rob Pedler was revising the Judging and the dinner dance was now to be held at the Kettering Park Hotel and more marshals were needed. Copies of the financial budget were available. The Club's lease, from the Foundation, was due for renewal next March and this was complicated by the new requirements of the Charity Commission. David Evans was assisting the Directors on this matter.

Maurice Pitchford asked what use the membership cards were. Trevor replied that apart from ID which might be required in the future other benefits including discounts on purchases were being planned. Trevor thanked the Section for the hospitality and a most enjoyable AGM.

Tony thanked Trevor for attending and speaking at our AGM and then gave details of the lunch arrangements. The meeting closed at 12.32 and members adjourned to the bar to allow the dining tables to be laid out. The re-elected Committee then braved the cold outside to pose for a festive photograph.

A traditional Christmas lunch was enjoyed by 116 members with festive crackers and balloons. Each of the ladies received a gift this year. During the course of the lunch the hotel had kindly provided a computer, projector and screen which ran a slideshow of Kanchu and Andrew's photographs of the Vienna Rally.

At a short meeting after the lunch, the new Committee elected Tony Leach as Chairman, Ted Meachem as Secretary and Andrew Honour as Treasurer. Darren Collins agreed to continue as STO. Maurice Pitchford had previously agreed to continue as Magazine Editor.

Ted Meachem - Section Secretary

  The Committee
    The Committee
Photos: Ian Burt