Mr. Captain’s Speech at the Swan Song Dinner 18th February 2017
Mr. Captain’s Speech at the Swan Song Dinner 18th March 2017
“Lady Captain, Mr President, Ex Captains, Vice Presidents and Hon Life Members
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Firstly, thank you all for coming out to celebrate the (almost) end of the term for the Captains for the 2016/17 year.
There are more people here than we had at the inaugural dinner so I can only assume that people are happier to see us go rather than when we arrived!
The year has for sure been an interesting year for your Captains. I think that we have both learned and understood so much more about the club its workings, members and traditions.
I have tried to fulfil the obligations of the Captain and support as much as possible the wide range of games and inter club matches, either playing in the games or turning up to cheer our team on.
Sadly, we have not had the weather we would have wished. We have seen possibly more games cancelled or postponed due to bad weather than in any previous years. Nevertheless we have managed, thanks to the juggling of our handicaps Chairman Ian Speakman, who has done a great job in managing to get games played.
He has been a major help to me and the club this year. I have enjoyed the presentation evenings, which with Ian's organisation, have all gone well. Thanks Ian.
This is not the evening to be making long speeches about the club and its future but I do want to acknowledge that the staff and the volunteers have achieved a great deal this year in setting the scene for growth over the coming years. Thanks to a wide range of people and I am reluctant to start naming names because for sure I will miss someone out but as you know a plan for growth has been produced. Following initiation by Steve Slater and a great deal of input from our talented members led by Phil Alsop and Steve Seddon, we know where we are , we have a good idea of where we want to be and some idea of what we need to do to get to where we need to be. We do now need willing, enthusiastic members to form the teams to deliver the goods. Your club needs you!
I began the year saying that I wanted to leave this temporary job with the club in slightly better shape than I found it. Fairly soon in my tenure we had some problems and complaints about the course , our management and other issues.We took the complaints seriously although I would say some complaints in my view were unnecessarily over the top. However, the complaints presented the club with some challenges and a need to examine those areas under criticism. Mainly, but not exclusively, the course.
We stated our case through a presentation by Peter Banks and a presentation of future plans for the course.The club has now gone a long way to meet those challenges and as everyone can see we have done massive amounts of work on the course and we are working already on improvements to the clubhouse. There is a long way to go on all fronts and it can’t all be done in one season but we do now have a plan and the resources are being found to progress those plans.
On that basis I am content to say that we are in better shape today than we were a year ago.
I have a number of people that I have to thank.
I do have to thank a number of ex-Captains who have supported me throughout the year . The immediate past Captain Stuart has been on hand with advice, stood in for me when needed and been a great support. His predecessor Steve Blackman has also kept a watch and when he has felt guidance was needed or encouragement, which we all need, then he has come good.
So thanks to them and others who have been so generous.
Thanks to the ladies of the club all of whom have been so supportive towards me this year. I recall the inaugural dinner when one of the ladies said to me… “Don't worry we are all on your side”. That was a brilliant bit of encouragement.
I want to thank members of council for their support and dedication to the club. Peter Banks for the enormous amount of effort and time working with our greens staff and with Nigel who has put so much effort into work on the course. Tony Derbyshire for his suggestions and input into the re-design of the club house and surrounds. Steve Blackman, again for his work as Chairman of House. All the members of the committee are owed a big vote of thanks for turning up at the monthly council meetings, preparing reports and generally trying to make things run smoothly.
The President, Ex Captains, CEO, Our Treasurer, the Ladies’ Secretary, who is never backward in coming forward with her firm view on issues, especially protecting and promoting members rights, all deserve our appreciation.
We also need to recognise all the help and input put in by John McCabe and Tom Wilson who I see ensconced for hours on end with Steve pouring over the many issues that need to managed in running this club.
We have to thank all those on our social committee who make these events come together. They do their best to promote events and we need to improve our appreciation of the work they do by trying to attend those events. We have a hard core of members in the club who always attend but a bigger hardcore of members who for whatever reason don't attend. It’s everybodys’ choice of course and we can’t critisise peoples’ choices, but hopefully we can find ways of improving that situation.
NOTE WE NOW HAVE SKY SPORTS IN THE CLUBHOUSE!
I have to thank Steve Slater for the time and dedication he has had to put in. The formation of our new company among the many tasks he never knew he was letting himself in for when he took the job on.
Dave Haley doing a good job for us as CEO and especially in keeping our website up to date and keeping us informed of events and carrying out a million and one tasks as required. Thank you gentlemen.
And thanks to Ruth in the office for her help through the year always with a cheerful disposition.
Andy our Pro couldn't be here tonight has been brilliant for me through the year and I have enjoyed those pro challenges with him and the challengers. We did lose two of our games and the best scoring pair will be announced soon and a small token presented. Thanks to all those who we were able to p
Daren and Julie, our Chefs and bar and kitchen staff. They are just brilliant. As you may know I have organised two events for two different branches of the ‘International Wine and Food Society’ and our staff and chefs have earned really good reviews from those groups. Our kitchen conducted an outside catering job for the same organisation and that was a major success for all concerned. Well done to them and Thanks
There is a cast of thousands putting effort into our games of golf who deserve our thanks. Chris Taylor, has been the Captain of our seniors for several years while Albert Walker keeps the accounts for the seniors’ section and Keith Dyer is the Seniors’ Secretary. Dave Wright is our main link with the NWMGA. Peter Jordan is our Roll up Master, and three times a week musters anything up to 25 or even more players, without whom this club house would be a bit like the Marie Celeste on those days especially in winter. Mark Carpenter with his Scrubbers Day Out, Andy Barlow with team matches along with John Farmer, Ed Mellor and many others help to organise golf events throughout the year.
I cannot mention all those who make things happen in this club and I apologise to anyone if they feel left out but its thanks to them all.
We are likely to have quite a change of personnel on the Council next year. We have excellent prospective candidates for positions of President, Chairmen of House, Greens, Handicaps and of course we have with us tonight our two nominee Captains, Mike Cassidy and Sandra Beard. We had a good council in the current term and we owe a great deal of thanks to retiring council members for their input this year, in some cases it has been for several years.
I believe that assuming the elections go as expected the new additions to the team are well qualified to carry the club forward and I look forward to being part of the developments as Mr Ex Captain.
Now I do have to thank my long suffering wife Gillian for putting up with the demands on my time doing this job. Never have we had to consult the diary so often before we could accept an invitation or arrange a trip somewhere and there have been many clashes. I don't just mean with dates! But she has taken it all in good part and said never mind Darling the golf club comes first… Yeah Right.. But we have survived.
I have to thank the Lady Captain for being such good company, so supportive, a joy to play golf with when we did manage to play. Who can forget the TuTu drive-in and that set the scene for the year. She has, I know, done a great job for the ladies and her charity this year. She plays a major roll with the social committee and brings lots of fun to events such as the Children's Christmas party.
Lady Captain, it gives me great pleasure to present you with these flowers as appreciation for your work for the club this year.
So there we go Ladies and Gentlemen.It has been an honour to be your Captain to date this year. I thank all the people here and those who couldn't make tonight for giving me such warm support throughout the year, many of whom I am privileged to be able to consider to be friends and some close friends, who make my time at this club such an enjoyable experience.
Thanks for listening and enjoy the rest of the evening.
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