At midway through December and no word from the President, we can safely assume that the Club will not be hosting Christmas this year – the first time in 132 years that the previously convivial Club’s doors have been shut to celebrations.
The 2020 AGM has gone missing too. Yes. It’s supposed to happen in October. No doubt coronavirus will be offered up as a limp excuse for putting off the inevitable moment of facing the members, but every Club, Society and Bank has held their AGMs remotely. These days computer programmes enable people both to listen and to participate in meetings. Yes. Members could even ask questions. No wonder that hasn’t happened. The Committee knows perfectly well these things can be done – they meet remotely themselves.
You can make excuses about social distance, but you can’t say that you don’t have an Annual Report. You may not be able pad it out with a photo of the Irish Ambassador looking like a deer in the headlights while the President seizes his hand, but you must submit your financial records to the accountant and provide a financial report to members. There is no excuse whatsoever for with-holding the 2020 Annual Report.
How is the membership going? Has it halved again? Is there anyone left? Reliable sources indicate that the list – as managed by the redoubtable Secretary, Conrad – is “a mess”. Hmm.
So why is this information not forthcoming? Has the Club has booked another enormous loss? In 2014/15; its last year of normal operation at Queen St., the Club made a small trading loss of about $20,000. Brian told everyone in range that this showed the Club was “..declining into bankruptcy..”. Now that he has made trading losses of $700 thousand and moved up to $800 thousand in the two most recent financial years that we know about – is he headed for bankruptcy? Or is he still claiming that the Club is in a wonderful position because it has $17 million in the bank “.. and no debt..” – just phenomenal trading losses!
At the 2019 AGM, Brian promised better answers to members’ questions in February. A remote session could answer those.
And the new Committee members? Are they still in place or have any of them resigned already? One recent Treasurer, Denis Swift seemed to resign almost immediately. Is Patrick McGorry managing the duties of Treasurer as well as being an academic and head of Orygen? Or will he be another absent Treasurer when an AGM finally rolls around? Who are the Committee members anyway and could they tell us why they think their undoubted talents in Irish Literature, Psychiatry and other diverse areas will help restart a Club? What are their plans? What is the Committee’s vision? Does it even have one? We can’t think of anything more suitable for a bumper Christmas letter than answers to these topics.
So Brian send us all another one of your lovely letters – we miss you. Don’t forget to wish us Merry Christmas, tell us what the interest rate on the MEBank deposit is and explain away yet another massive loss.
To all our readers, merry and safe Christmas!
Published with the permission of Dire Straits.