Introduction: The weather seems to be changing every ten minutes and, as far as I am concerned , I have been taking a rest from croquet with the result that I have also been neglecting my duties. Or so I have been told. This is therefore a rather hurried attempt to make up for lost time and let you know both what has been going on and what is on the drawing board.
South West Federation : The AGM on 4 November w as attended by Ian Wilson, Malcolm Hooper, Rosemary Bradshaw and me. There was more talk than action but a number of decisions were made:
a. to recommend to all Clubs within the Federation that Association handicaps start at 28.
b. to change the allocation of bisques for B League matches (we voted against). The new tables will be published in the spring.
c. that all players in Golf League matches should have properly assessed handicaps. ( Motions to require players to produce their handicap cards or otherwise prove their handicaps at the start of each match were defeated).
d. Motions to alter the handicap limits in B and Federation League matches were defeated.
An announcement was made that there would be a course for Golf Coaches at Taunton in mid-April. Anyone interested in this should let either me or Ron know.
Finally, Rosemary was formally presented with the Townsend Cup and plaque (we have already received the ch eque ) . I will be asking Howard to hold the cup for the year we are entitled to keep it as it cannot stay on display in the pavilion for obvious reasons . The plaque is already on the wall at the pavi l ion (in a temporary position) . I should emphasise that it is largely due to Rosemary’s efforts in making the application (a magazine-sized written submission) that we were so successful.
a. Tony Jennings was welcomed to his first meeting as a Co-opted Member.
b. Discussions on the level of subscriptions for 2008 resolved into a likely recommendation for the AGM to settle on a £90 basic annual fee. This represents an increase over the last two years of a little more than 2½%.
c. Club Days for the winter season would be introduced, to start at 1 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays for Association and Thursdays and Sundays for Golf.
d. The AGM will be held on Sunday, 16 March, 2008, at the Polgooth Institute, starting at 3 p.m. The usual contributions for tea will be invited.
a. On the first Monday of each month through the winter, members are invited to turn up at about 12.30 for a cup of coffee and, possibly, lunch together, either on a b.y.o. basis or in the clubhouse. This might be followed, depending on the weather, either by playing croquet or any other social activity (cards, monopoly, discussion, line dancing or whatever).
b. Christmas lunch at the Kingswood Restaurant on Thursday, 6 December, at 12.30 as organised by Joyce.
c . Mulled wine at the pavilion on Saturday, 15 December, at about 4 p.m. Participants are invited to provide mince pies, sausages or whatever and also to make a contribution to Club funds. David and Barry will be providing the wine.
d . Post-Christmas Party at Porthpean Farm, courtesy of Howard and Shirley, on Saturday , 2 February. More to follow in due course.
Members are encouraged to think of any excuse for a get-together during the off-season and then get on and organise it. Such efforts will, I am sure, be much appreciated by us all , whether or not we are a ble to attend.
Honesty, Integrity and Suchlike:
You may have noticed that , in my comments on the SWF AGM, I mentioned that a motion for those playing in Golf League matches to be required to produce their handicap cards was defeated. It was strongly opposed on the grounds that croquet players are their own referees first and foremost. If they cannot be trusted to be honest about their handicaps, they should not be playing at all. This was accepted by those in attendance without demur . It follows from this that all players are similarly trusted to keep their cards up-to-date, entering all relevant matches however unwelcome the consequent effect on their handicaps might be. I cannot over-emphasise this latter point , it being integral to the ethics of the game.
While on this subject, the Handicap Committee do need to peruse the cards of members of handicap 18 or higher. This has nothing to do with the moral issue in the preceding paragraph but reflects the SWF policy of starting handicaps at 28. So would all members either leave their cards in the pavilion or mail them to me at home by the New Year, please.
Discussion Point : Is Croquet a sport or only a game? I see that darts is classified as a sport in The Times – what a load of nonsense! And if croquet is a sport, would it cease to be one if it became professional? Topic for Monday’s lunchtime get-together.
Finally, may I wish all our members a very happy Christmas and a solvent and successful New Year.
2 December, 2007 .