The more things change….

President Brian Shanahan’s latest letter shows continuity and change going hand in hand.

Starting with the constants in Brian’s rule; we have had an ongoing parade of colourful characters. Now we have Carl Walsh, currently President of the Irish-Australian Chamber of Commerce – as a new Committee member.

Carl Walsh has accomplished many things including leadership roles in business as Brian has pointed out, but the information supplied on his involvement in various committees is incomplete. Carl Walsh has managed the rare feat of being banned by the Gaelic Sports Club in Keysborough. Yes, Dire Straits has a copy of their official letter to him of 5th November 2019 and a copy of their allegations against him.

Just to ask a very basic question: is Carl Walsh a member? Or is membership no longer a requirement to be on the Committee? Of course, the comforting thought is that the new Committee members from the Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce never seem to last very long.

The usual spiel about the Club’s wonderful financial position appears, this time because they have applied for JobKeeper. The most you can get under JobKeeper is $3,000/month per employee.  This means, at the very most, the Club has the dizzying income of $9000/month to set against their extraordinary outgoings.  The Club is NOT in a good financial position. It’s income sources are tiny and its expenditure is huge. Last financial year’s loss was approximately $800,000 following from a previous loss of $700,000. Check your Annual Reports!

Moving on now to the startling changes in policy revealed in the recent letter. We have been told the names of the six new members lately recruited.  In one case the news of a successful application surprised the member concerned. Given that the President’s longstanding view that even sending a Newsletter to members is a breach of privacy, it’s surprising to see him trumpeting the names of six people to the entire membership.  Does this mean that members will be able to access the membership list again, as is their right under Rule 78? Of course if Brian knew anything about the membership, he would have realised that several of these people are not new at all; they have been members on and off for years.

Another change of policy is the request for member input about overcoming the “..shackles..” of coronavirus. Well, a Club that has spent over $70,000 on computing should be able to manage to live stream a meeting to its members. How about a broadcast letting members know what current premises the Committee are considering, what other initiatives they are planning to restore the Club and allowing members to contribute their views to the pros and cons.  It can be done.  Clubs, pubs, businesses and  associations – including the Boy Scouts – all over Melbourne are communicating virtually.  Surely the Celtic Club could manage to do it as well.

A little more than an invitation to a Trivia Night on Twitter is required to begin to rebuild the Club. This initiative is probably a reaction to members objecting to paying full fees while they’re getting no services at all.

Published with permission of Dire Straits

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