Why are Committee members resigning?

The President’s last letter advised that two Committee members have joined Secretaries and Treasurers in leaving office.  They were elected to a two year term for the Club in late 2019.  Why resign after only 8 months?
 
We can only speculate on why they left.  Could it be that they have despaired of finding a decent venue for the Club?  Have they noticed that, during the pandemic, when every other Club/ sporting group / local restaurant is reaching out to its members and patrons to encourage them to stay in touch, the best the Celtic Club can do is the occasional vague letter?
 
Perhaps they took a long overdue look at the financials that the President circulated, without any context, immediately after the last AGM.  It’s worth a closer look, accounts are often dismissed as boring but they can tell you a lot.  Just one example, the Celtic Club is paying ME Bank $6,738 in fees. Mr. Treasurer, could you look into this?
 
The great thing about depositing $16 million in cash is that all banks welcome you. They compete with each other for you to invest with them by offering a favourable rate of interest (and waiving any administration costs). The idea of paying the bank fees would be funny if it were not so serious. So exactly why are we with this BBB bank? What did they do to persuade Shanahan to invest with them…….. Of course, if we only knew the interest rate!  That might explain everything.
 
Perhaps the resigning members saw the figures that Brian Shanahan recently distributed to the membership, showing that the Club spent $50,864 on advertising and $69,293 on ‘computer expenses’ in the last financial year. Who has ever seen an advertisement for the Celtic Club? Where was all this advertising and what was it about?  Given the collapse in member numbers – halved in three years – a little advertising might be very helpful.
 
Computer expenses – well $69,293 buys you a lot of I-pads. In fact it would buy a respectable mainframe these days. Surely very little if any of this money can have been spent on the current website – it’s just as unappealing and dysfunctional as ever. Can this possibly refer to the famous podcasts?
 
Dire Straits has discovered that the Committee expressed interest in the recent sale by tender of the Dan O’Connell hotel in Carlton – a bargain at $2.5 million – but decided not to proceed. As the current premises were the President’s disastrous choice, it would be useful to know the basis of this decision. A major review of the Club is also going on behind the scenes – what, without any input from the members? What are the parameters of this ‘review’? Will members only be told about the outcome 5 minutes into the next AGM? Good computing facilities these days mean that you can ‘livestream’ debates and meetings and involve members in decisions.  If the Lyceum Club can do it, why can’t the Celtic Club?
 
Another disturbing development is the ‘weeding’ of the membership list.  Several members in good standing received no notice about membership renewals.  Be sure you do renew your membership – you are still within the time limit. Consider standing for the Committee.  Neither of the two recent members had much experience in governance.  The Club urgently needs people of good will and commitment to choose better premises and swing the membership behind it.
 
While the Stage 4 restrictions are on, we at Dire Straits wish all our readers a safe and reasonably happy six weeks.
 
Published with the permission of Dire Straits.

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