The year seems to fly past after Wimbledon and the British Open and 2017 seems to be no exception.
Our extremely desperate water position in the Western Cape is still an unfortunate reality and whilst the winter rains we have enjoyed to date are very welcome, they have not made a real impression on the lowest dam levels in living memory and breaking the worst drought in the last 113 years needs a lot more rain. Although forecasting rain accurately still mirrors the uncertainties of our economy, looking ahead, there is sadly no doubt that our current year on year position measured against 2016 does not augur well for 2018.
Conserving water is not a discretionary action and we are encouraging, though not always successfully with some of our members, short, sharp showers in our various change rooms. Other water saving options are also under investigation.
The Club`s 92nd AGM in early June was well attended albeit by a relatively small percentage of our membership and it is therefore appropriate to summarize some of the points tabled.
There were three vacancies on the Club`s Committee; Marianne Kiessig made herself available for re-election, Alan Herringer retired and Athlee Maclear resigned. Tarrin Brewin and Mike Richardson fill the committee vacancies.
The Rule amendment, new membership category and new Rule considered at the Extra Ordinary General Meeting were unanimously approved
Our Finance Chairman`s Ivor Morgan`s Annual Report comment, “Good Results were achieved under continuing difficult economic conditions” encapsulated the previous year`s performance which saw the Club generating an R 872 000 profit on turnover of R27, 275 million.
Almost 54% of the turnover was generated by the Club`s Food & Beverage outlets, the Barn being the highest and the Sushi Bar being the lowest contributors with Functions generating almost 46% of the Turnover.
The cost of running the Club was R 36, 34 million and our membership subscriptions covered approximately 43% of that amount underlining the impact of functions on our bottom line. Many members question the role of functions, if we elected to have no functions, subscriptions would have to increase by an average of R 2 100 per member!
Despite ending the financial year with 5 914 members, 174 members less than the previous year, the 164 292 servings in our Food & Beverage outlets was marginally higher than the previous year, supported by growth in the Waterside and Coffee Shop.
Member support of the Terrace and Sushi remains challenging but the management team are introducing innovations that will hopefully improve support levels at two of the Club`s facilities that already offer quality menu fare and excellent value .
Work on the gymnasium and Pool Bar additions is at roof level and there are some temporary disruptions in the gymnasium and Pool Bar but every effort has been made to minimize inconvenience to our members during this phase. Despite more weather delays being likely, we still anticipate the additions being completed and fully functional in the last quarter of this year.
The Club calendar for the remainder of the year offers variety. The Cape Town Press Club recently opened their luncheons to Club members offering the opportunity to listen to interesting speakers who may at times be controversial and not universally popular. Our Club luncheons continue, the monthly gourmet dinners are very well supported, the wine tastings popular and the month end lucky draws continue to attract interest in the prizes.
We have a few Currie games in hand on the rugby front and after much speculation, Newlands will be hosting an All Blacks Test in early October. Our Club will no doubt prove to be a popular venue before and after the game.
Newlands Cricket Ground will be hosting an exciting schedule of international matches and we hope to replicate the arrangement enabling Kelvin Grove to use of one of the Cricket Suites.
Many members will be aware of the complaints regarding easy access to Kelvin Grove and regular visitor use of our facilities by non- members with tennis being an area singled out. An experimental security system at the entrance has tightened control and some unpopular decisions regarding the same non-members playing tennis on a very regular basis have as result unfortunately been effected.
Constructive criticism is always welcome and complaints regarding easy access and tennis visitors aside, we have small group of members who complain continuously but remain reluctant to record complaints and as a consequence, effective follow up is not easy or, does not happen at all.
Sadly, an even smaller group of identified members believe they are entitled to be rude, intolerant and belligerent when dealing with Kelvin Grove staff. A very recent incident involves a member making an exceptionally unacceptable telephonic threat to a staff member following up an outstanding annual subscription. Unacceptable behaviour that cuts across our value system and contradicts the spirit “of treating others as we wish to be treated”, will be tolerated and in this instance although the member settled the account and has indicated that he will be resigning, the matter is being treated with impunity.
Fortunately, most of our members enjoy the Club`s environment offering many facilities and value in a friendly, secure and safe environment and, they appreciate that whilst Danie Appel and his Management team do their best to maintain and improve the quality standards of our Club offerings and the member experience, achieving 100% member satisfaction is difficult, if not impossible.
Thank you for your support during the year that has already passed the half way stage, the next few month have plenty to offer and we look forward your continued support of the various events still remaining on the Club Calendar and, enjoying our food and beverage offerings!