Neither thunder nor storm could keep forty-four members from the twenty eighth Annual General Meeting of the Lambton Outdoor Club at the generous meeting room at Tourism Sarnia-Lambton in the Ontario Travel Information Centre. Similar to last year, the club broke with tradition and offered coffee and cookies, and the meeting opened with a quiet minute as we remembered those who have taken their final hike on this earth.
President Les McDermott delivered his annual summary, once again he reported on a busy activity schedule for the hiking, biking and paddling contingent, and only a lack of snow prevented the winter aficionados getting into local action.
Hiking chair Louise Gibson has recruited more weekend leaders, and Lester Earle and Tony Arnold were thanked for organizing midweek hikes.
The club’s back office continues to develop, the website and e-newsletter are evolving, the logo was professionally updated and eye catching “business cards” for members and “rack cards” for public display are available. Always conscious of the need for skills upgrading, we offered Wilderness Training, Cycle maintenance and event leader training, updated the liability waiver and refreshed the First Aid kits. Departing membership secretary Larry Suffield was thanked for his years of envelope licking, and Phil Valance welcomed as his replacement; the task having been vastly simplified by the mostly online membership submissions. Nico Van Dyl was greeted as the new VP by Les, who was most gracious with his thanks. Joan Elliott was acknowledged for her diligence with minutes, archives and all other tasks as Secretary.
Treasurer Rod Richmond delivered his favourable report, budget $6,000, expenditure $5,946, result, satisfaction. The results were audited and approved by Mike Elliott. Over 80% of membership transactions are now electronic, results instantaneous. The few trickling in by mail take a little longer, up to a month to trek from Camlachie to the downtown PO Box. The executive was acclaimed, and each of the activity chairs, Louise, Cynthia, Judy and Brian reported healthy committees to support their programmes. The Social Committee has regrouped under Sharon’s able hand and is set for the Christmas dinner at Olive’s by popular choice. Chris introduced her media committee covering website, newsletter, publicity and social media, and introduced new member Brian St Pierre.
The new business involved discussion of a significant change to the membership and fee structure. The present inequity was graphically presented by Phil, and the proposal to discontinue family memberships, being replaced by universal individual memberships for people over 18, was approved with only two dissenting. The new fee of $25 is hoped will be revenue neutral; guests may still be invited to attend social events, and the honorary category is unaffected. There was two questions from the floor, John Timar asked about club policy for supporting local “political” initiatives in support of outdoor facilities (eg bike lanes, waterfront trail), and John Lovegrove questioned the provision of liability Insurance for event leaders. both issues to be discussed by council. Door prizes winners Brenda Lorenz, Greg Hogan and Doug Clarke who will enjoy eating, drinking and enhanced wardrobe opportunities.
The business meeting was adjourned after an hour, and after a break we were transported to the Everest base camp with the locals who trekked there in March, including members Winston Ramharry, Dave and Sharon Crowe, Lori Clancy. The pair of ladies outlined this amazing trip with colourful anecdotes, breathtaking slides, and a liberal injection of humor. Our members go on amazing trips, do neat stuff, have fun and return with engaging stories.
Please note these are not minutes, just a personal reflection of an enjoyable evening (never thought I would write that about an AGM!)