Dear members of The Armidale Club,
RE; Annual General Meeting
The Armidale Club
6.00pm Wednesday 8th January 2014
The financial year 2012 to 2013 saw many changes take place within your club. At our last AGM, it was explained to members that the club was struggling under the load of a large amount of debt. In order to clear some of this debt, it was decided by the membership to sell our last remaining asset…the club building and land at 91 Beardy Street. Our then president, Mr. Chris Serow guided the club through this process, and we were able to sell the property with a contract which enabled us to lease back the premises at a very reasonable rate, and retain the option to buy back the property if able to after three years. After paying many outstanding accounts as well as our credit providers, we were left with a balance to help us continue to trade.
Early in the New Year, our manager Mr. Chris Curcuroto resigned, and was replaced by our current manager Mr. Steve Jackson. Steve has been very successful in boosting the club’s turnover quite substantially. During his tenure we have seen average weekly takings almost triple.
Other improvements that the board has overseen this year include:
• Modernising and overhauling of our financial operations systems. This gigantic effort by Regina Davidson has brought our book keeping up to date. Besides efficient account and salary payment methods being introduced, we are now able to access more immediate profit and loss figures. This has been recently supplemented with our new POS system which enables the manager and board to oversee the financial position of the club on a weekly basis. Ania Tomaszweska has now taken over our financial administration and is providing invaluable assistance and advice as well as providing a visible financial position to the board on a weekly basis.
• Updating and streamlining our membership register. Thanks to many hours of hard work by Jon Anderson, the club now has a complete membership register. Jon has also worked hard to introduce an online membership renewal process, and streamlined the distribution of barcoded membership cards. We currently have 500 financial members, which indicates the depth of support for the club within the community.
• Regular use of social media, emails and other digital media to publicise events at the club. Steve Jackson has used this method of publicity to great effect during the year.
• The Armidale Club Foundation trust fund was set up by Chris Serow, during the year as a dedicated fund to purchase back our premises at the end of the lease agreement. Chris has also donated many professional hours to the club during the year.
• A new stage has been constructed, thanks to Duncan Clyde-Smith and some very dedicated members Bill and Andrew who lent their time and skills to this project.
• Donation of new stage monitor equipment, and energy efficient stage lighting by various musicians led by Mark Cooper.
• John Harris continued to provide excellent food and service in Turntable Restaurant during the year, and works late into the night to provide meals and coffees to patrons. John has recently entered into discussions with the board regarding a new rental agreement with the club, and we thank him for his efforts to make the provision of food services advantageous to both parties.
The Armidale Club continues to provide an important and relevant role in the local community. Many musicians have graced our club throughout the year, both local and travelling. The club remains a unique part of our community and plays a valuable role in the social and artistic life of its members.
Unfortunately the year has also had a number of significant events which were not as positive in nature. We are currently under audit by The Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing due to incidents which occurred at the club in late September. The board has instigated some changes to our operating procedures since then in an effort to comply with regulations and the RSA code. These include strict application of sign in rules, the regular employment of security, and a dedicated door person. These measures have also impacted on our profitability. The club and board also came under attack from a disgruntled former member, and although the claims made are spurious, the campaign has had a negative effect on our brand.
Since the sale of the club building and land, We were able to pay off a significant portion of our debts, however our bank balance has dropped significantly, mainly due to negative trading figures earlier in the year, increased stock levels, high operating costs, and ongoing payments from the remainder of old outstanding debt. The board has carefully considered the option of placing the club into voluntary administration, and has been in contact with, and taken advice from an administrator. However, our current financials indicate that we are capable of remaining solvent, and the board feels that a move into voluntary administration at this time is premature. A budget has been conceived which will guide us into the remainder of this financial year, with ongoing assessment of our financial position taking place each month, We feel confident that with careful and frugal financial strategy we can continue to trade and maintain a positive bank balance.
We would really like to thank all of our membership volunteers who help us throughout the year and assist us in keeping our costs down. In particular Gerry Dangar and the firewood team who braved the elements last winter to keep our log fire burning. Gerry also mows our grass in summer. Also to Josh and Lindsay who help out with the door duties and the running of the open Mic nights.
I hope that you will find the time to attend our AGM which is to be held at the club on Wednesday the 8th of January 2014 at 6.00 pm. You are invited to nominate for a position on the board, especially if you feel you have skills which may contribute the future wellbeing of The Armidale Club. If you are interested Please email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will forward an application form and further details to you.
Paul Mailfert, on behalf of The Armidale Club Board.