AGM 2020 – Presidents Report

AGM 2020 Presidents Report

Where did this last year go?  We started off the year with a picnic  afternoon tea out at Amberley after being hosted by the Amberley ladies through the Sod cottage and Suffrage Hub out there, the weather was fine and it was nice just to relax in the sun and chat to you all afterwards.  A really nice way to start a busy year.

Our outings last year were all favoured with fine weather. David Bundy gave us a most informative talk through the old school house in Governors Bay and the Lock Up in Teddington which was tiny. We  managed to squeeze almost all of us in, standing room only!

Still with fine weather our lunch at the Chateau was great, we wined and dined in style and of course with the usual fine company, no complaints from anyone so we must have got it right.  The afternoon tour of the new Central Library in August was well attended too, some of us caught the bus in although the weather was crisp. Then in October we used Heritage Week to go and have a generous afternoon tea in the Transitional Cathedral followed by a tour of the Christchurch Club which was most informative and interesting.  The views from the upstairs windows were surprising now that the surrounding area has been cleared from the earthquakes and made reserved land. Lots of sunshine streaming in and probably more like it was originally when it was built.

Once again on Dec 16th the weather was fine, not hot but fine, I live in dread of another wet miserable sou’wester day on the 16th like we had a few years ago.  Quite puts a dampener on what should be a celebratory day.  The Reverend McLister gave us a blessing and afterwards there was much chatter before we adjourned to The Brickworks for lunch. It was nearly 4pm by the time I returned home, needless to say it went well.

We were lucky with our Speakers too this last year.  While Annette Bulovic couldn’t make it to the meeting she had made a film on Addington Prison that we showed after the AGM.  The video from the Torpedo museum was interesting too, access to the Museum was difficult hence the video but I believe they are in the process of improving the steps and walkway so it remains on our list of possible visits for the future.

Beverley Evans came and talked about her collection of old newspapers and her family history trees, all off the cuff, as well as some of her family tree presentation pictures, sending us home with lots of ideas.  No doubt about it to see a face alongside a name gives it a whole new feeling.  I have spent a lot of time since looking for family photos with varying degrees of success.

September our speaker was unable to come due to a family bereavement, so Peter Williams stepped up and talked about the amount of work that was going into his upcoming family reunion in October, including a family history book no less.  What a marathon effort.  We are lucky enough to have Peter agree to show us the book today and tell us how it all went.

Finally in November Ken Booth agreed to come and tell a little of the early Anglican church here in Christchurch and it’s hopes and aspirations from England.  Not all of which came about as we are all aware.  Ken was an interesting speaker with a great grasp of his subject and he conveyed it all with enthusiasm and humour.  We have asked him to come back again this November!

Our membership in 2019 increased with 13 new members, the majority from the Canterbury region which is heartening news.  However we don’t want to rest on our laurels we still need more members to ease the strain on our budget and the committee.  We run a tight ship and the last couple of years our finances have almost managed to break even.  Next year we should with any luck be back in the black. We do not aim to ‘make money’ but we need a cushion against inflation  for our Centenary and any donations we may wish to make to worthy causes.  One such worthy cause we donated $5000 to is the Mariners Bell Tower at St Saviours Holy Trinity Church in Lyttelton which is now completed.  You are all invited to attend the opening ceremony on March 29th at 9.30am when there will be a blessing service and no doubt a ringing out of the Bell.  Linda and I will find and photograph the brick with our name on it. A descendant of the original bell donors will be there, Mr. Somers-Cocks, which I think is quite fantastic.

In September we had a Special Meeting at which you all approved some Rule changes for the betterment of the Association.  These were passed and approved by the Registrar of Incorporated Societies and are now on their website for all to see. It was 16 years since our Rules were reviewed and the changes were surprisingly small to bring us into line with the upcoming Act changes.

The fact that we had a successful year is due in no small part to the hard working efforts of your committee.  Mara who was our Treasurer for so many years has decided to step down from the committee and devote more time to her family.  We thank Mara for the work she has put in over the years on the committee.  Mara has accompanied me on occasion ‘to hold my hand’ when I have been asked to give a talk and it has been appreciated. Linda keeps me on track and although working manages to do all those extra jobs that a good Secretary does with great efficiency and goodwill, it makes a huge difference to our association. Our new Treasurer Michelle who put her hand up when we needed her has worked wonders and dealt efficiently with the BNZ and streamlined our system.  It has made a real difference, thank you Michelle. The rest of our committee are equally generous with their time and efforts for which I give my heartfelt thanks, you all make me look good and for that I thank you most sincerely. To you the members, I couldn’t have done it without your support, you all greet me with a smile and it makes everything so much easier. Thank you everyone. We can all look forward to 2020 being really interesting.

Beverley Bolland.     Hon. President

Beverley Bollard
President – Canterbury Pilgrims Association

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