There was a good turn out of around 40 members for the AGM and meal, some of whom even braved the gales and rain on Saturday to come by boat. Pandora, in fact, made a whole day of it, spending a very pleasant lunchtime at Surlingham Ferry, which was graced by the rapidly becoming traditional flying visit from Tim Child and Emma.
The meeting, held at the New Inn, Rockland, was opened by the Commodore, Joe Kilner, who spoke as follows:
"Welcome to all. First of all I want to thank those of you who have given support, sympathy and best wishes during the last year when Iíve been ill for much of the time. Your messages have been a great encouragement in tricky times.
Your committee has been excellent and the successes of the last year are due to them. I am to blame for any failures.
Membership has continued to grow and we are now at record levels since the re-formation of the club nearly 25 years ago. Relative strangers have asked to join us. This is no accident: our approach is to try to make everyone welcome and hold events which are enjoyable for crew members and others who may not always relish a weekend of gales and cracked muscles on a muddy river bank.
We have managed to run a full programme of successful racing events helped by the weather, which seems to have been kind, unlike some years. In general, racing and social events have been reasonably well attended.
In all it has been a flourishing year and we plan to celebrate our 25th anniversary by holding a water frolic, similar to those that some of you may remember from the mid 80s. Volunteers are needed to support the committee people who will be organising this event. If you are interested just let Julia know. Thereís no need to be shy: sheís very nice!
There has been first-rate support from your officers and committee. Due to your Hon Secretary, and her occasional assistant, events have been well publicised and well organised. Your Treasurer has made sure the Accounts are in very good order and once again we engaged an external auditor who gave a clean bill of health. You have been given a summary but the full accounts showing every transaction are open to view if anyone wants to see them.
We all owe many thanks to Terry our Vice Commodore and Jean, known to me as Madam Vice. They have done a great deal for the club, much of it behind the scenes, and their support has been invaluable. Unfortunately, Terry will not be able to continue in full next year but he will be around and has offered all the support he can manage, including OOD for the Perryman race. Iím unsure what Jean will do with her whip.
Additionally, most of you will have noticed that the EDP has been carrying regular reports of our racing weekends with splendid photographs. You may think that this is due to the keen press reporters leaping to their duty. Itís not so. All the photographs and write-ups were sent to the EDP by committee members, with the majority coming from Margaret. Margaret has also kept the web site up to date and once again has organised a calendar for next year with full colour photographs suitable for Christmas presents for relatives, friends and anyone else. Your boat may feature.
We have a new and enthusiastic OOD team of Chris and young Joe (forgive me, Joe, itís a matter of relativity) for 2010 who will be running our races after the Perryman but we must always look to the future and any volunteers will be made very welcome. A small committee will run Breydon Regatta.
Last year I said we would be formally adopting the RYA racing procedures. Despite numerous emails to RYA it has all gone quiet and nothing has happened.
The Club boat has been made more suitable for towing and rescue purposes and is available for use by all members subject to some conditions. The engine is currently at Ludham Marine for a check up and, hopefully, to make sure it is reliable. If anyone wants to use the boat next year see a committee member.
Finally, I remind you that entries for the Gordon Winterton Prize are due to close. This is open to any member."
After all business had been transacted, we enjoyed a pleasant meal and a chance to catch up with each other. The clubís thanks go to the staff of the New Inn for their friendly service and attitude as well as their cheerful tolerance of the Knightsí fudge making activities.
The elves appeared much, much later on...