Thank you to those at the AGM who confirmed me as the new MGC President for 2017-18. It is a really great honour for me, particularly given I become the third Patching to be President of the club, following my granddad Alan, and father Ian. I'd like to thank our outgoing President, Ben Loxton, for his leadership in the role over the past five years. Ben took over as President when my Dad became ill in late 2012 and has done a mountain of work in that time – including a lot behind the scenes in working with the other clubs and BMAM. I wish you well in your next adventures, Ben, and please don't be a stranger at Bacchus.
At the AGM I spoke of how we have three roles as the Club Committee. First, we are the custodian of the club’s history and the collective efforts of those before us. Second, we must make sure we meet the needs of our current members. Third, we have an important role in planning for the future.
You won’t see a large change in direction of the club as we will continue the disciplined approach of the committees over the past five years or so and to continue to build our culture.
Central to this is my belief that we are first and foremost a club of people who want to enjoy the sport of gliding. And if you are a member of the club, then we need you to help support us in both small and big ways. I’m often asked by people to be specific about the help that we need and we have been working more on this over the past year or so. Expect to see more about this soon including setting the expectations of all as club members.
The AGM elected the new Committee for the year. Returning with me are Tony Carling (Treasurer), Michael Aldridge (Secretary), Paul Spooner, Steve Coulton and Ian Northey. Retiring from the Committee were Ben Loxton, Mark Hunt, and Bob Hickman. This means there are three vacancies. If you have an interest in assisting us with our goals for the next 12 months, please give me a call.
There are a couple of new volunteers for some important positions in the Club. Firstly, thank you to Richard Traill for becoming the Club's new Airworthiness Officer. This is a really important position within the GFA system of club management. In partnership with Richard, I'd really like to drive a greater awareness of the club's airworthiness needs over the next 12 months. It's not a one person job! Keep an eye out for how you can be involved in small or bigger ways. One reason why we continue to offer such competitive rates is that much of the airworthiness effort is done in-house. But this has been shouldered by too few people in the last couple of years. On that note, thank you again to Tom Van Blaricum for your service as Airworthiness Officer (and to Ben for acting in the role over the past few months).
Secondly, after probably close to a decade as our Expeditions/Camps Officer, Max Callingham has passed the baton onto Mark Hunt. Mark's first camp will be the November Cup Weekend at Raywood where we will join onto the VSA coaching event. Thanks to Max and to Mark. Details on the Raywood Cup Weekend camp will be forthcoming very soon.
Don’t forget our ‘start of the season’ (we hope!) pizza night on Saturday 14 October. No need to register – just be there after a good day’s flying and we’ll order some pizza and enjoy some of the remaining annual awards night wine courtesy of Mark Hunt.
Please contact me any time.