President’s UpdatePublished on 21st January 2022 in Committee, Members News
Greetings fellow members and Happy New Year to you all!
I am sure 2022 will present us all not only with the opportunity to continue the enjoyment of our great game in the fantastic facilities of our Club but also with anticipated and unanticipated challenges to come.
On Friday the 7th January we hosted our annual ‘Junior Open’ which was well attended with upwards of 62 juniors from our own club and across the State (see the article for Peta an Wyk our Junior Coordinator). Numbers were slightly down which we believed were due to the threat of Covid combined with the lack of available accommodation. Many juniors stay on for the junior event hosted by Capel on Saturday and Sunday.
Beginning last year this event has been sponsored Treendale Estate with their two principal Directors in attendance in the persons of Annette and Kevin Coote. As we all know, without the generous financial support of sponsors hosting such events would be substantially more difficult and on behalf of the Board I take this opportunity to sincerely thank them.
Along with our sponsors the willing involvement of several members volunteering their time and assisting our professional staff makes sure that the events runs as smoothly as possible and I thank all members who were involved in whatever capacity. Captain Errol along with Chris Morris and Peter Martinson did a great job of marshalling and assisting in all manner of things that helped on the day. I am sure you will agree when you look at all the photos taken on the day that the participants had a great time and fundamentally that is really what it is all about. Peta Van Wyk as Junior Convenor continues her outstanding contribution in this role and I congratulate her for involvement in another outstanding junior event.
Naturally there are always things that can be improved upon but the feedback we received from visitors was outstanding and this event is certainly one that all members can take pride in and reflects very well on our Club overall.
One of the significant early challenges we are all going to face, is when our borders finally come down and we are faced with what seems to be the inevitability of getting sick with Covid. None of us knows exactly what to expect as we go from living in one of the safest places anywhere on the planet to one where Covid 19 will be a feature of our daily lives. Our staff have already been looking at contingency planning but we will all need to play our part in ensuring that we can, as far as possible, minimise the exposure to ourselves and others whilst enjoying Club facilities. No doubt there will be much more to say about this post the 5th February or whenever the border comes down.
We will be guided by WA Health Department directives and Des is receiving information from Golf WA. Whether we go back to having limits within our Club or having to wear masks I know that as members, you will give these and other measures your fullest support when required.
Late in 2021 the Board received two submissions for Life Membership from members. Given the proximity of the AGM it was decided that there was insufficient time to properly consider the nominations and that this should be delayed till this year. Chief amongst my concern as the then Vice President was that there appeared to be no ‘formally’ adopted criteria or protocol in place to properly evaluate the merits of the submissions. Indeed, it appeared that various criteria had been used over time and in my view, we should look at what other clubs do in terms of granting life membership. Our GM Des then sought feedback from several clubs which was not long in coming and which proved to be very interesting. Without exception all of them had taken the path of formally adopting set criteria and, in most cases, had also affected changes to their Constitutions in terms of setting a ‘cap’ on the number of life memberships that their clubs could have.
Amongst other things all responses indicated that there was an attitude amongst their members that the nomination of a potential life member was a ‘rubber stamp’ process that would simply be approved by the Board without much deliberation before being submitted at their AGM. A number of clubs spoke about issues they had when a nomination was rejected because it had not received unanimous support from their Board. The simple fact is that many Board members who must vote on the submission were not members at the time the nominated member was active in the Club and therefore had very little background as to the contribution that these members had made other than the submission and in many cases the submission itself was limited.
On this basis I have asked Vice President Greg to form a committee to make a recommendation to the Board in relation to a set of criteria that can be formally adopted. Amongst these criteria would be longevity of membership, contribution to the Club past and present etc and whether the Club should consider a ‘cap’ on total life membership. BGC currently has 8 life members. Importantly, in my view, the committee should have involvement from a couple of our Life Members who can bring their experience and knowledge to bear in assisting the Board in setting up a robust process which is fair to members who are nominated for this prestigious award. If you would like to be actively involved in this process, I am sure Greg would appreciate your contacting him to discuss.
Along with a couple of dozen members I am off to Albany for a week to participate in events leading up to their Wittenoom Cup. I wish you all happy golfing in that time and look forward to seeing you all over the Australia Day Classic weekend.