The 50th AGM of the Association took place at The Village Hotel Wirral, Bromborough, Merseyside.
Members started arriving on Thursday taking advantage of the hotel facilities and its proximity to Liverpool and Port Sunlight Village to take an early break and do some sight-seeing although the weather was less than kind.
On Friday evening, approximately 40 people enjoyed two very different, but equally interesting presentations. The first was given by Precision Paints, the donors of our Precision Prize Trophy. An outline of the rebranded company and its products was given which resulted in a thought provoking discussion on where DIY application of antifouling was going. It was generally agreed that all concerned needed to take heed of advice given and adopt best practices.
The second company was Dah-Di-Dah, a new publishing enterprise, that have produced a range of aide memoire books to be used in an emergency. They have four volumes – Diesel, First Aid, Navigation and Baby/Child First Aid, all are designed to be prompts for action to be taken should you be in an emergency situation. Hopefully they will never be used in anger.
Saturday morning pre-AGM was a hive of activity with a range of companies collected in the lobby to display their products and discuss the services they had to offer plus, of course, our boat jumble.
The meeting commenced with the Commodore, George Pickburn, welcoming everyone at the end of our 50th Anniversary year using the gavel that had been received as a 50th Anniversary gift from Westerly Club Nederland. The Commodore and the Treasurer then gave their reports followed by the election of committee members and honorary auditor. This included a resume of the anniversary year celebrations; in addition to the gavel a framed certificate of congratulations from American Westerly Owners Newsletter was on display. The Treasurer shared with the meeting the problems being experienced with members who pay by Standing Order who do not update them or cancel them when they leave the Association. Direct Debits would be much easier to control but whichever form of payment if used the plea is please include your membership number!
The Commodore presented engraved glasses to retiring committee members and Officers, David Gill, WOA’s Auditor, Martyn Morris, Rear Commodore whose help and advice has been much appreciated, Robert Jones, Technical editor for 7 years, John Ruskin, our first Public Relations Officer who has done “a fantastic job and will be a hard act to follow”, and Bob Shapland was retiring as Treasurer, for the 2nd time, having has also served as Commodore. Finally, a big thank you was given to Liz Truscott, who has served as Secretary for the last 7 years. Liz was presented with a potted patio plant as a memento of her service to WOA.
There being no other business the formal meeting was closed. Presentations ensued of the Magazine Prizes, The Harken Trophy, Rayner Challenge Plate, Navigators and General Photographic Trophy and Commodore’s Clock. The Magazine Editor, Jill Pickburn thanked the many contributors during the year including members of Area Groups who send in their reports of events. She also thanked Brian Easteal for his ‘From the Archives’ series of articles.
A brief resume of the contenders for the articles and logs was then given before the winners were announced as follows:-
Best Article – Julian Mandiwall ‘Happy Birthday Borborygmae’:
Best Log – Liz Marshall ‘Centaur’s Voyage around the Aegean’
Best Technical Article was awarded by Robert Jones to Alan and Ann Rand – ‘Free Charging - Use Solar’
The Harken Trophy for an Inventive Technical solution – to Bill Redgrove ‘Continuing Camomile’s 30th Birthday Refit, Replacing Toe-Rails and Grab Handles’. Julian Roberts received the trophy on Bill’s behalf as he is on his way to Ascension.
The Navigator & General Photographic Trophy had 87 entries and was won by-Richard Truscott for his shot of a Konsort on the Round the Island Race.
The Precision Prize Trophy, to be awarded by the Area Groups (it will be circulated around the Area Groups with each group deciding as to how it is to be awarded) was won by John and Pauline Powell for winning the Portsmouth to Beaulieu Race held during the 50th Anniversary Meet in Portsmouth.
The Rayner Challenge Plate, our most prestigious trophy, was won by Doug Pingel for his participation in the ‘Jester Azores Challenge 2016’.
The Commodore’s Clock was awarded to Bob Shapland, not just for his service to the Association but for the help and advice given to Commodores, the Committee and members over 11 years of service.
The meeting was then opened to the floor for general discussion. John Alker, from SW Group, addressed the meeting with regards to the review of Reeds Almanac that is being considered over the coming 3 years. John asked how the content can be made more relevant and useful and requested that any thoughts and comments be emailed to him.
The Commodore than gave notice of the Fulmar Nationals at New Quay, 22nd – 25th June.
Alan Rand along with Jan Smallwood and JayT have been looking for ‘Lost Westerlys’. Alan is photographing any Westerly he encounters and either sends it to the owner, if he’s a member or to Jan if not. Alan requests that other members do the same.
Judith Symonds, on behalf of the last 3 Commodores thanked Liz Truscott for all her hard work and support during her time as Secretary.
Dick Leedham suggested the formation of a Westerly Motorhome Group for out of season activities and will put an article in the magazine.
A request for the competition photographs to be made available for viewing was made and JayT will be asked to provide a link on the web site.
A carvery lunch was then served.
The afternoon session started with a presentation by Katherine Lynch, Heritage Manager of Port Sunlight Village Trust who gave an interesting account of how the Village has developed over the past 100+ years and how the Trust is working to preserve it for generations to come. Our second speaker was Brian Anderson, a Wirral based architect, photographer and lecturer, who entertained us with his photographs and anecdotes of life on and around the River Mersey.
The meeting ended at 4.00pm with many members returning home whilst those of us who remained enjoyed the comfort and extensive facilities of The Village hotel for a further evening.
Next year we will be back at The Lifeboat College in Poole, I hope to see you all there.
Gill Clare – Minutes Secretary.
Contact: Gill Clare