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THE SECTION ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING AND CHRISTMAS LUNCH
Sunday 2 December at the Hilton Avisford Park Hotel, Walberton

Just over one hundred members, wives and partners gathered from 10.30am in the Garden Suite off the Grand Hall to meet and greet each other over coffee. At 11.25am the doors were opened to the Grand Hall which had been laid out for the meeting and for the lunch. Ballot papers were given out to members as they entered the Hall.

The Chairman, Tony Leach opened the meeting by welcoming everybody, especially Club Chairman Eri Heilijgers and his wife Annie. A few moments silence was observed to remember those members who had passed away during the last year. Eri then presented a twenty-year badge to Jack Pennell. The Secretary, Ted Meachem, read out a long list of apologies for absenceŘ which included many good wishes to the Committee and the Section. There was even an apology for absence from the Secretary of the Tierra del Fuego Section Mr Arfer Nicker! The Secretary then asked the meeting if it was their wish that the Chairman should sign the minutes of the Annual General Meeting held 3 December 2000 (previously circulated) as being a true record. There was whole-hearted agreement from the floor and the minutes were duly signed. There were no Matters Arising.

Chairman Tony began his annual report by saying that the year started in the usual way with three well attended pub meetings and then a visit to Taylor's workshop. The Memorial Meeting, on a Sunday this year, had a better attendance and the lunch afterwards was oversubscribed. At the South of England Rally, Ann Windows won the raffle prize of a Silver Seraph for the weekend and Dennis, of the same name organised the following (new venue) event at Cowdray Park Polo (divot treading and all). Tony said that events followed in the east, west and centre of our territory, namely Michelham Priory, Avington Park, Uppark and Parham. The meeting at Hickstead turned out to be on the hottest day of the year and two weeks later the Section Annual Rally, to the Isle of Purbeck was run by Michael Marriage and himself. A very good rally but slightly marred by the news of the events of 11 September. Tony continued by saying that the Bluebell Railway event was a great success, with thanks to Doug Groves, as was Hollycoombe, with thanks to the erstwhile Chairman Derek Smith. He gave thanks to Paul Capper for running the Quiz and coping with the problems that arose. Tony said that none of this could have happened without the hard work of the Committee who had worked tirelessly on behalf of the Section and especially the Treasurer, the Editor and the Secretary; he thanked them all. He went on to say that during the year President Denney Scott and Frank Ellis had passed away and only yesterday Derek Ryley. Tony concluded by saying that no doubt Eri would be speaking about the fantastic rally to Malaysia.

Secretary Ted gave his annual report, observing that the AGM notification mailing was to 400 addresses reaching over 800 members and partners. There had been a marvelous 150 responses in less than four weeks to this year's Contribution letter. He said that events had followed a similar pattern to previous years, approximately twenty, plus the South of England, the National and the Malaysia rally. The Quiz looked like being a disaster at 7.30am on the day but was rescued by Paul's efforts, who then went on to negotiate compensation from the hotel which would result in a small refund to participants. Ted said how grateful we all were to Ian Burt for creating and maintaining probably the best Section site on the main Club website. The course of the (now successful) planning application for the new Rolls-Royce factory near Chichester had been followed and now that site work had started we had taken five Club cars to the site to make a photographic record. It was hoped to take the same five cars back again next year to photograph them in front of the finished factory. Ted reported that our President was carried in Paul Capper's Phantom Vl hearse followed by eleven Club cars on his last journey from his home in Horsham to Worth Crematorium.

Looking forward to next year Simon Buck was arranging an Alaskan Cruise and the Section Annual Rally would be to the Loire Valley. The Secretary gave his thanks to the Committee members (and to the unsung heroes) saying that the organisation was very much a team effort led by the BWs of the day. Ted asked for members to let him know of any issues they would like raised at the Club Conference in March and also if there were any questions from the floor. There were none.

Treasurer Michael Marriage said that he had taken over an excellent set of books from Kim Davey and that with the help of Prudence had transferred the records on to computer. Michael ran through the previously circulated figures and asked if there were any questions on the Accounts. There were none. He gave thanks to John Tudor for auditing the accounts. Adoption of the accounts was proposed by Derrick Hurrell and seconded by Mr Arfer Nicker, sorry, Mr Ralph Taylor. Accepted unanimously. Reappointment of the Auditor was proposed by Paul Capper and seconded by John Bray. Accepted unanimously.

The Chairman asked all the candidates for the new Committee to stand (and be recognised!). Simon Buck, Paul Capper, Andrew Honour, Tony Leach, Dick Lees, Michael Marriage, Ted Meachem, Maurice Pitchford and Dennis Windows who were standing for re-election. In addition new candidates Chess Ferrier and David Steel. The Chairman asked the members to vote for up to ten candidates on the ballot papers that would be collected and counted by the Chairman of South-Eastern Section, Clifton Spencer and his wife Isobel.

Copies of the year 2002 programme had been distributed before the meeting and the Secretary asked if there were any questions on this document. There were none.

Under Any Other Business, Ralph Taylor asked if there were any plans for a new President. The Chairman replied that the position was under consideration. Peter Parkinson asked if we needed a President. Jack Pennell suggested a yes or no vote on that question. Peggy Sadler suggested that any new appointment should be for a fixed term of three or five years. The Club Chairman counseled that the position was honorary, in recognition of service and that the Section should wait until an obvious candidate emerged. Further discussion would follow in committee.

Eri Heilijgers addressed the meeting saying how pleased he was to return again and gave an interesting report of the Malaysia Rally, including some of the behind the scenes problems created by the events of 11 September. Tony thanked Eri (and Annie) for attending and speaking at our meeting.

The ballot papers had been counted and the Chairman announced the names of the successful candidates, Simon Buck, Paul Capper, Andrew Honour, Tony Leach, Dick Lees, Michael Marriage, Ted Meachem, Maurice Pitchford, David Steel and Dennis Windows. Tony and Ted then gave details of the lunch arrangements.

Following a further opportunity to chat, the gathering of one hundred and three sat down to an excellent traditional lunch at which the rocket balloons created quite a stir.

At a short meeting after lunch, the new Committee elected Tony Leach as Chairman, Ted Meachem as Secretary and Michael Marriage as Treasurer.

Ted Meachem - Section Secretary