For logistical reasons, we had our AGM a week earlier than the date given on the programme and I was delighted that nearly all the members were able to make it. As always, it was a more informal affair than the title suggests and all the better for that, I think. We began, as always, with the Treasurer’s Report, and once again find we have a healthy balance.
Although we still charge no subscription and only ask for £2 per meeting attended, we have been lucky enough to be able to subsidise two splendid ‘end of term’ suppers, one at Christmas and one last July. We also had another supper around an inaugural 500 word evening. This was so successful we are planning to repeat it in October. All these events take place at the New Inn in Westfield, as do occasional meetings, and we are grateful to Patrick and his staff there for looking after us so well. We also visited St Mary in the Castle for the Renaisscence Theatre Groups production of Anything Goes which raised £1300 for St Michaels Hospice. A heartfelt vote of thanks was taken for all Tony’s work
In the resume of the year, as Chair, I endeavoured to do a rapid précis of Shorelink’s history, as I have become aware that many of our members were unaware that Shorelink has been functioning for over 25 years. Obviously, a quarter of a century has seen many changes, and Alvin, my Vice-chair for all the nine years I have held office (!), and a member nearly from the start, filled in some of the earlier exploits of Shorelink.
I was also able to congratulate Tony and Sian for publishing books this year , his 4th and her 5th, and Jenny and Ro for publishing novellas. Brian helped to organise the Austin International Poetry Festival in Texas, and Alvin is in line for yet another major poetry award. We are very proud of them all. But perhaps most of all the incredible quality of the work presented week after week.
This was the second anniversary of Shorelink’s move to the Tesco Community Room, which has been such a good one for us. It is largely because of this accommodation that we have funds to spare and members unanimously approved a donation to Tesco’s charity partners, the British Heart Foundation and Diabetes UK as a token of our appreciation.
I admit to some inability to stick to my own agenda, but I was kept in order by our secretary, Ro, and we got down to the business of electing our committee. In fact, once more we re-elected our excellent committee and officers. Daniel stood down from the committee for technical reasons, but became our Provisions Officer. I was pleased to be able to thank all the committee, for their input, especially the officers, Alvin, Tony, Ro and Jenny, our hard working administrator.
The meeting over, we finished the evening in our usual way, with some very special food and drinks – and, more thanks to Tony for that! Next week is our last meeting here this term, a reading week, followed by our end of term supper at Westfield the following Monday. And then, as always, we shall have our two garden parties in August, before resuming in September with our traditional start of the year quiz.
I would like to add a small postscript to this as a couple of people have mentioned to me some comments on Facebook about Shorelink being political. This is total nonsense, as members know. Whilst we will never censor anyone’s work, I can say with my hand on my heart that of all our members I only know where two of them stand politically and they are both close friends of ours. I should hate such a rumour to gain credence and damage the reputation of Shorelink, the most supportive and un-judgemental group of people I have ever known. Sally