Minutes of the 35th Annual General Meeting of the Highland District of the Scottish Bridge Union held in the Lion Hotel, Auldearn, Nairn on Wednesday 2nd May 2007 at 7.15 pm

1. Members Present

Chairman Bill Richardson
Vice Chairmen Dave Cotton; Tim Wickens
Secretary David Ward
Education Officer Peter Cook
Cairngorm/Grantown Adelaide MacPherson, Ann Morrison
Caledonian Lorna Matheson (Committee)
Dingwall Allan Whiteford
Forres Ken James (Committee)
Inverness Margaret Telford (Committee), Ann Wickens
Nairn David Robertson (Committee)
Ness Don Greig, George Greig, Scott Rae

2. Apologies for Absence

Hamish Cameron (Treasurer), Nancy Roy (Master Points Secretary), Sandy Hepburn (Committee), Ivan Montgomery (Committee), Stuart Staveley (Committee), Ian Andrew (Moray), John Copland (Caledonian), John Martin (Ness), George Mitchell (Thurso), Andrew Ramsay (Dingwall), Dilys Spence (Elgin Wednesday), Ronnie Spinks (Sunninghill), Anne Staveley (Dingwall), Seonaid Vickerman (Grantown), Rhoda Walker (Nairn), David Whyte (Dingwall).

3. Minutes of the 34th AGM

These were accepted as a true record of the meeting, with no amendments made.

4. Chairman's Report

Bill Richardson reported that in spite of a difficult year on a personal basis he had been able to attend most of the SBU Council meetings, and continues as Membership Secretary. He thanked the convenors for running the events during the year, and the office bearers for their support.

5. Secretary's Report

David Ward reported that since the last AGM Archie Boag had taken over as Club Secretary at Lossiemouth and that Gordon Inglis had just taken over from Nancy Roy at Speymouth. Bill Richarson informed the meeting that George Marshall was now the Secretary at Lossiemouth and David Robertson reported that the Nairn Secretary was now Rhoda Walker.

6. Treasurer's Report

The 2006-2007 accounts, unaudited, were presented by the Secretary in the absence of Hamish Cameron. He pointed out that his expenses were not £112.48 but £12.48; the other £100.00 being for room hire. The closing balance of £12,291.12 represented an increase of £916.93 over last year's balance of £11,374.19; with Income being £3,036.34 and Expenditure £2,119.41.

There were 32 sets of Bidding Boxes and 746 packs of cards available for sale to clubs that were not valued in the accounts.

Don Greig pointed out that the expenses for running the Johnson and Kennedy pairs event had been borne by the Ness Club and asked if the District would meet them in the future. This was agreed, as the purpose of the fund was to assist clubs and members in the District.

It was agreed that current expenditure and revenue levels should be maintained; and the report was adopted unanimously.

7. Master Points Secretary's Report

Bill Richardson reported that due to ill health Nancy Roy had not been able to deal with the Master Points and had resigned from the position. Lesley Annand had taken over the work in hand and they were now up to date.

Clubs were reminded that copies of results from District heats held in the clubs should be sent to the Master Point Secretary immediately.

Action: Clubs

8. Education Officer's Report

Peter Cook reported that 60 participated in the No Fear / Next Step events, but that all were from the Ness Club. This year's event, to be entitled a No Fear, Next Step and Improvers event, was scheduled for Thursday 6th September 2007 in Inverness and he hoped that other clubs would take note of this and ensure their members participated.

Action: Clubs

He was pleased to announce that the Ness Club had had good recruitment into their new beginners class. He also reported that he had sent details of the club's results in the Kelsey Competition for publication in the SBU News. It had been published but he felt that the comments by the Editor were not helpful, and the Chairman agreed to look into the issue. The Secretary stated that when he had sent a letter for publication it also was the subject of a flippant comment from the Editor.

Action: Bill Richardson

9. Election of Office Bearers

The current office bearers were re-elected; namely: Chairman - Bill Richardson, Vice Chairmen - Dave Cotton and Tim Wickens, Secretary - David Ward, Treasurer - Hamish Cameron, Education Officer - Peter Cook. Following the resignation of Nancy Roy, and the unwillingness of Lesley Annand to continue in the position, Lorna Matheson agreed to take the office of Master Points Secretary. David Ward announced his intention to resign at next years AGM.

Through Dave Cotton, Stuart Staveley sent in his resignation from the committee and suggested that the president of the Dingwall Club, currently Allan Whiteford, should replace him. This was agreed to. David Robertson announced that Andy Paterson also was resigning as he was no longer an office bearer at the Nairn Club.

The Executive Committee would therefore consist of the office bearers plus Sandy Hepburn, Ken James, Ivan Montgomery, Hamish Pringle, David Robertson, Ker Robertson, Margaret Telford and Allan Whiteford. Tim Wickens would continue as Auditor.

It was agreed that the delegates to SBU would be Bill Richardson and Lorna Matheson. (Tim Wickens would also be present but in his capacity of SBU Treasurer). The selection committee would be chaired by Tim Wickens. Other committees would be formed on an ad-hoc basis as needed.

Scott Rae asked why five Districts only had 1 delegate each, but East had 3 and West 5. What was the rationale for this and how did it affect the voting / consensus of views? The chairman agreed to investigate and to see if a more balanced Council could be formed.

Action: Bill Richardson

10. Highland District Congress

The Chairman reported that the 2006 Congress went well, although with numbers slightly down from the previous year. It is anticipated that the costs would be slightly up for next year. The 2007 Congress will be held on 9th. to 11th. November 2007, with Margaret Telford as Congress President.

Allan Whiteford asked if the format for the pairs could be changed. At the moment if a pair did not get into the final they were forced to play in the much less competitive open pairs. He suggested either Swiss Pairs or a consolation pairs should be available.

11. 2007-2008 Schedule of Events

The proposed schedule was approved with some amendments. It closely follows the 2006-7 schedule. The revised version is attached.

Action: Clubs

12. District and National Competitions

The following Convenors were agreed;

National Pairs Sandy Hepburn

Men's Pairs Tim Wickens

Ladies Pairs Ann Wickens

Rayne Cup David Whyte

Scottish Cup Andrew Ramsay

HD Teams Jim MacQueen

Swiss Pairs David Ward / Tim Wickens

District Pairs Dave Cotton

Jim MacPherson Don Greig

HD Simultaneous Pairs Ivan Montgomery

Master Point Events David Ward

No Fear / Next Step Peter Cook Action: Above Convenors

It was agreed that the venues for the events would be the Lion Hotel and the Elgin Bridge Centre as this year. Action: David Ward

It was agreed that Bridgemates would be used wherever possible, including for the Jim MacPherson now that the scoring programme had been amended to accept aggregate scoring.

Action: Convenors

13. Scottish Cup

Not believed to be any changes to the format this year. Dates as per the Schedule attached. (Entries in by 16th September 2007.) Clubs are reminded that the more entries there are the more teams go through to the next round, so please encourage your members. Action: Clubs

14. Stationery

There was still a large stock available for purchase at low cost by the clubs. Action: Clubs

15. AOCB

David Robertson enquired about the Club Directors 2 day course being organised in Aberdeen; would it be possible to attend for 1 day only? It was felt this was not possible, and it was also pointed out that some experience and the attendance at a preliminary course was required.

David Ward had run a couple of Introductory Courses in Inverness and suggested that another such course would meet his requirements. It was agreed to run an Introduction to Directing course in October and this has been put in the Calendar for Saturday October 6th. 2007. The venue will be decided once the number and geographic spread of the participants is known. All costs to be borne by the District.

Action: Clubs

Ann Wickens again raised the issue that catering and other arrangements for events held in the Central belt left a lot to be desired. In the final of the Ladies Pairs 45 boards were played yet no tea and biscuits provided or available. The SBU should be reminded of their hospitality obligations.

Don Greig informed the meeting that Laura Ross and Peter Mingay had won the Johnson Trophy for the second year running.

Date of Next AGM

Thursday 1st. May 2008. Action: Clubs