Chairman’s Update March 2020

Good evening to you all, gentlemen. I write on a dark day for anyone that has shares or a pension fund, but a bright day if you happen to be a Hedge Fund manager or own a hand sanitiser company. It’s been three months since I was last moved to put finger to keyboard (why start now just when we were enjoying the break, I hear you say). Since then, we’ve had Santa’s Sleigh, Christmas Meal, Christmas, Chairman’s Drinks, New Year and a great meeting on 5th February which was enhanced both by my absence and the presence of a great speaker. Thanks to Head of Vice for chairing in my absence, good training for the year to come.

As we move into uncertain times, I thought it would be nice to reflect on pleasanter times – namely Ladies’ Lunch and President’s Night. Two very enjoyable events; one enlightened by skilled musicians, the other by an exciting (some would say bold – others foolhardy) choice of jacket.

Those of us driving 4x4s or living on a hill were able to make the treacherous journey cross-country to Fairlawns (or Fairlakes, as it is now known) to enjoy a sumptuous repast, company of the highest quality, and great ents. A change from previous Ladies Nights (most notably by not including a night) and extremely enjoyable. Many thanks to David Dimeloe for organising, to Sonya and Glen for wonderful songs, and of course to our lovely ladies.

Sadly, we had a few absences due to illness and what is now seen as the first of several biblical plagues: flooding. A great shame you missed it.

(Pestilence is here now as well, so watch out for plagues of Lice and Locusts. And Boils)

President’s Night was a wondrous event, with a colossal score of 103 attending. Two dropped out at the last minute, probably because they got wind (of the President’s choice of attire, not the other kind). I was fortunate enough to sit next to our illustrious President, which meant that I was the only person in the room who didn’t have to look at Michael Portillo’s cast off all evening. For those of you who didn’t attend, or who’s memory has gone into self-defence mode, here’s a reminder:

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You will note that Roger has his eyes closed, in case he catches sight of his own jacket in a mirror.

I couldn’t believe how many chaps Roger had got to attend, and he even arranged for a birthday cake to celebrate the club’s 65th birthday. He tried to persuade me to bring my grandfather’s old sword out to cut the cake, but when I told him what condition it was in, he swiftly changed his mind. I offered him the use of my own old chopper but he declined for the same reason.

We were honoured by speaker Mike Broad, (a splendid choice), National Vice President Peter Good, not to mention many, many guests (too numerous to mention).

A brilliant evening, and one that will be remembered by all those lucky enough to attend, for all sort of reasons.

On a sombre note, one of the sad duties I have had is to attend a number of funerals over the last few months, and it is with even more sadness that we saw the passing of Jeff Hall’s wife Ann just a few weeks ago, and Colin Shakespeare (RT250 Chair 1972) also died in February. As ever, our condolences to all who have lost loved ones.

We head towards our last informal of the club year, which will be at Bittersuite pub in Lichfield on Wednesday 18th March at 7:45pm. A council meeting precedes, at 7pm, and as RT 250 have booked the other room for a pub quiz, it should be a raucous night.

On April Fool’s Day, we hold our AGM (how apt), at which I will be standing down as Chairman, and I look forward to handing on the chains of office (metaphorically as well as physically) to David Dimeloe. He will be a great Chairman and I hope that you will give him and his council every support. In like fashion, I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone on council who has helped me over the last year – it truly is a team effort, and we have had some amazing events and meetings.

I very much hope that you all are able to stay fit and healthy over the challenging months ahead, and urge you all to take whatever precautions become necessary to avoid illness. For once, in all seriousness, please do not be afraid to put your own health first, and if you would prefer to keep your distance (or indeed if you feel at all ill) then do not feel an obligation to come to meetings. Obviously, everyone enjoys coming along, but we must all take whatever steps are needed to minimize chances of spreading infection. I would much prefer that we are cautious and prudent until we are all less at risk.

That said, I do look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the Informal Wednesday 18th March, Brewery trip Friday 20th March , and AGM in a few week’s time.

Keep smiling


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