2017 Annual General Meeting

Minutes of the Collegiate Old Boys' Association Annual General Meeting held on Friday 21st October 2017 at the Athenaeum, Liverpool.

Present

Approximately 26 members, including the officers and other Council members.

The meeting began with a welcome from Chairman Joe Lucas, who promptly handed over the chair for the evening to Vice President Arthur Evans.

1. Apologies for Absence

Received from the following members: Bruce Beattie, Gwyn Thomas (President), Gerald Goodman, Keith Davis, Dave (Taffy) Jones, Steve Murphy, Chris Kinder, Rob Dodgson, Bill Brewer, Gerald Evans, Charles Brimage, John Stevens, Charles Crebbin, Bob Livesley, Dave Hedges and David Barraclough.

2. Minutes of the AGM held on 23rd October 2016

The minutes had been circulated to all members via the 2016 annual newsletter "Collegiate Times" and were accepted unanimously as a true and accurate record of the meeting.

3. Matters Arising

There were no matters arising.

4. Chairman's Report

Joe Lucas started his report by raising the matter of subscriptions and the proposal to increase subs at the suggestion of many members. He then reported on the Liverpool College Founders Day services of 2017 and 2016, the most recent of which took place on 14th October 2017 at Liverpool Cathedral.

Joe gave an update to the members of the matters deiscussed by the Council at two meetings in April and September, and encouraged Old Boys to attend the Remembrance Day service which was due to take place on 11th November at Shaw Street. He proposed a vote of thanks to Jill Wright, wife of late Council member David Wright, for offering to conduct the service again this year.

Joe thanked Derek Corlett for organising an additional lunch during the year at the Artists Club. He also thanked Richard Thwaite for organising the Remembrance Day services and finally thanked Old Boy Peter Robinson for offering to assist Treasurer Ron James in his efforts to identify subscriptions paid by members.

5. Hon. Secretary's Report

The Secretary began with a brief summary of his period in office as a servant of the COBA Council as he was celebrating thirty years in the post. He also thanked the members for their good wishes as he had only been discharged from hospital on 10th October but was now in better health.

He read out a list of the members who had passed away in the past year: Brian Blades, Ian Ferguson, Brian Fitton, Lawrence (Laurie) Lloyd, Eddie O'Hara, A.E. Parry, David Raphael, John Riley and Kenneth Wright.

The Secretary had also had to write off a number of members whose newsletters had been returned by Royal Mail as "gone away" - Harry Kirwan, Tom Lamb, Jason Lau, Raymond Sinclair. Others had been traced after a little detective work.

He also welcomed a number of new members, although none of them appeared to have attended the AGM: John Cottrell, John Hampson, Brian Rowlands, Barry Smith, Thomas Walsh and Frank Williams.

After deducting the lost members and adding the new members, total membership was 548, down on the 553 as reported at the 2015 AGM.
Finally, the Secretary announced that he had received a letter and a book from Rev. Malcolm Carter, the COBA Guest Speaker at the 2005 Annual Dinner, who had written a new book called "Tales from Jail", not, as he qualified, memories of Malcolm's experiences as a prison inmate but tales from his career as the prison chaplain at HMP Liverpool.

6. Hon. Treasurer's Report - given by Ron James.

The Treasurer presented his Report on the Accounts for 2015 which was his 17th year as Treasurer.

He reported that income in the year was £1,853 being £183 less than in 2014. Part of the reduction was because the transfer from the Life Members Fund had reduced by £65. He transfers £5 per year for each Life Member from the date of the receipt until there is nothing remaining for that Member.

Expenditure had reduced by £185 which left a deficit for the year of £121 compared with the deficit of £123 in 2014. This was achieved despite there being a reduction of £100 in the cost of the 2015 Newsletter.

At the end of 2015 the Accumulated Fund stood at £1,069 - a reasonably healthy position. But the Treasurer gave a cautionary note - the transfers from the Life Member Fund will reduce quite quickly from now on. Whilst the balance on the Accumulated Fund is reasonable, he could only see a continuation of the annual deficits ultimately leaving the Association with no funds. He pointed out that a resolution could only be achieved by either an increase in income - ie Subscriptions or a reduction in expenditure. This could only reasonably be achieved by reducing administrative costs, Sponsorships or reducing the cost of the Newsletter.

He pointed out that the current Membership stood at 560, but the Accounts show that Subscriptions were received from only 385. He suggested reasons for this. Some Members became Life Members many years before he became Treasurer and currently pay no Subscriptions. Some live abroad and have difficulty in paying the Sterling Subscriptions or they live in the UK but just do not pay.

He had begun to team up with COBA Member Peter Robinson who will use his skills to identify why we receive no Subs from some 175.

He sought approval to the Accounts for 2015. This was agreed.

Referring back to the future financial situation of the Association he proposed that the Annual Subscription be increased from £5.00 to £10.00 as he considered this more in our spirit than reducing the annual Sports Sections which bear our name. This was put to the Members and was agreed unanimously.

7. Section Reports

Golf - report given by Joe Lucas

Although we have a very popular, active and successful Captain in Paul Davies, the Society continues to struggle for survival. We also have a mailing list of 30 plus members but still had to cancel a Sunday meeting due to only having 3 or 4 takers. We have been fortunate in West Derby Golf Club allowing us to use their Thursday evening Twilight golf initiative, designed to encourage members to bring friends to the Club, to provide cheap golf for COB's. Our costs are normally £25 for green fee,a two course meal and prizes on our Sunday meetings but we have been successful in attracting viable numbers for Twilight golf, at a cost of £15 for golf, prizes and sandwiches.

The future of the Golf Society is in the hands of the members. Support us or we fold. Our AGM will take place at West Derby Golf Club next March, the date of which will be published on our web site and Facebook.

Rugby - report given by Joe Lucas

In the Senior Section, we were all very disappointed when the 1st XV were relegated to South Lancs/Cheshire Div. 2, despite finishing third from bottom and in previous seasons only two being relegated !

However, we are fighting back and currently lie equal top of the division. We were also k/o'd from the Lancashire Cup, losing 17 / 16 to Littleborough. We continue to turn out four teams each week, each team holding its own in their respective leagues.

The Junior and Mini Section continues to thrive. This season we have 289 children registered and expect to exceed the magical 300 barrier very soon. Ten teams are turned out each week from U7's thro' U16's and Senior Colts. To support this we have some 50 managers / coaches, all of which we intend have qualified to L1 and L2 of the RFU coaching regulations by 2018. Your Sponsorship is gratefully received and used to achieve that aim. The success of the section can be see in the achievement of having two year groups, U15's and U16's in Lancashire Cup finals. From that we had one win and one loss, both by the narrowest of margins.

Football - report given by Lionel Ross

COBFC continues to run four Saturday teams and one Sunday team. The Saturday teams play in the four divisions of the Liverpool Old Boys League. The Sunday team, the Casuals, plays a full programme of friendly games against a range like-minded veterans teams.

The teams have had a mixed start to the season. The first and third teams are currently bottom of their respective divisions and are adjusting to the recruitment of new players. The second and fourth teams have both started the season well and look set for successful campaigns. The Casuals are also flying and enjoying their games.

Club finances are still a major concern, as the costs of amateur football continue to increase. Income from annual subscriptions and match fees substantially fail to cover expenditure and the Club is heavily reliant on income from fund-raising schemes and functions. Consequently, the very generous donation of £300 from COBA is hugely appreciated.

8. Election of Officers

The officers had all agreed to stand again and were duly appointed en bloc: Chairman, Vice Chairman, Hon Secretary and Hon. Treasurer.

9. Election of Council

All Council members had agreed to stand again, with Peter Robinson being proposed and seconded as a new Council member.

10. Any Other Business

Brian Davies spoke to ask the Council how members could contact the Association. Peter Galvin spoke in response to Brian's questions and pointed out that the Association now had a web site, a Facebook page and details of the officers with contact details in the annual newsletter "Collegiate Times".

11. Date of Next Meeting

Friday 20th October 2018 at 6.15 p.m.