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A view from the floor & Officer Reports: Area AGM, 2023

East Coast Gaffer, Ian Clarke brings us his ‘view from the floor’ at the recent Area AGM, along with the President’s and Secretary’s reports.

Over 30 members gathered at the Royal Harwich Yacht Club in early November to witness a big change in the club officers. Robert and Lorna Hill stood down after nine years as President and Secretary. Clare Thomas stood down after an incredible 16 years as Treasurer.  Robert opened the meeting, after the previous minutes were agreed and apologies for absence received, with a summary of the year from the last AGM. He noted the tremendous work put in by the committee and helpers to organise and run the Jubilee Party in August. This had started with a visit to sponsors Briarbank Brewery to decide on a Jubilee ale and continued from there. The weather was not kind at many of our gatherings this year forcing the World Gaffling Championships to be put back to next year.  At the OGA national AGM several east coast members received Awards. Younger members stepped up to organise the East Coast Cruise which ended with the fleet being caught up in Chatham Marina due to a malfunctioning lock. Lorna reported the large increase in secretarial work undertaken this year including future chairing of a committee to consider a name change. Clare presented the accounts which showed the area continues to be financially solvent.

‘Top table’ at the AGM, 2023 Photo: Ian Clarke

New officers were elected: Paul Masters as President, Pete ‘the knife’ Elliston as Vice President/Secretary and Yvonne Graham as Treasurer. Paul outlined a provisional programme into 2024 to include talks at Robertsons Boatyard, the annual dinner at Burnham, a May Deben Rally combined with a celebration of the Cherub class with June Swallows and Amazons including the Gaffling championships, hopefully a Pennyhole Bay race, a rally in Southwold and the East Coast Race. Trips to support the Netherlands OGA are also envisaged finishing off with a Stour & Mistley Rally in August when hopefully Mistley Quay should be fence free at last.

A long discussion initiated by Colin Stroud about whether the National OGA should pay for social media and the website resulted in a show of hands of those present indicating a clear majority to progress with this. The Association has tried unsuccessfully for a year to find volunteers but now offers to do this at up to £200 a month. Some had reservations but there is a clear need to have a lively website (the current one being unchanged in six months) and engagement in social media. The awards for the area were announced: Beverley Daley-Yates was awarded the Francis B Cooke Trophy for her work on the ‘Sailing By’ website, the Bateman Trophy was awarded to Nick Phillips for his work with the programme for the Jubilee Party. Following the charity auction at the Jubilee Party, we were able to present a cheque for £2834.69 to the East Anglian Sailing Trust which enables disabled adults and children from the age of 10 to 95 years old to go sailing.

As I didn’t stay for the meal, I cannot comment on that . . .

Report and photo: Ian Clarke

East Coast OGA Committee 2023-2024
Area President: Paul Masters
Area Secretary/Vice President: Pete ‘the knife’ Elliston
Treasurer: Yvonne Graham
Eastcoaster Editor: Beverley Yates
Other members:
Sarah Adie, Ed Roberts, Nick Phillips, Ken Crudgington, George Hutley, Trevor & Elaine Rawlinson, Carey Stephenson