We are already more than halfway through our 90th year but once Wimbledon and the British Open are finished the rest of the year seems to pass by very quickly.
Our AGM was held on June 1st and whereas issues raised by members are dealt with by Danie Appel our General Manager elsewhere in this newsletter, a number of members have expressed concerns regarding the allegations made by a member at the AGM that the Club “had stepped into contracts which are ensuring the preferential treatment of a small minority of members…”
A remark of this nature in a public forum is unfortunate as an inference of impropriety behavior on the part of Management or for that matter the Club Committee is subsequently open to interpretation and unnecessary speculation.
We must reassure all members that Kelvin Grove has not stepped into any contracts and neither are a small minority of members receiving preferential treatment. The Committee regards the allegation in a very serious light and the matter is being considered in terms of Club Rules. In the interests of transparency and openness members will be advised of the outcome in due course.
Notwithstanding that clubs in South Africa remain under pressure and, that our Club is certainly not immune to the tough trading conditions, our Management team and our staff can be proud of achieving increased member support of the Club facilities despite an almost 3.6% drop in membership numbers as reported at the AGM.
In overall terms, although we did not meet our budgeted profit expectations, your Committee were nevertheless pleased to report that the Club generated a profit under tough trading conditions, a position that would not have been achieved without the collective efforts of our Management team and staff and, equally importantly, the degree to which our members supported their Club.
After four months of trading in our new financial year, we are happy to report that our bottom line is 35K better than budget. Function turnover was under pressure for this period, but we are positive that we will make up shortfall the remainder of the year. Restaurant covers are nearly 7% up on last year’s figures.
Our 90 year old Club`s pattern of declining membership is a concern and we cannot rely on the undeniable elegance and charm of our buildings, the wonderful grounds, prestige associated with membership or, the uniqueness of a Club that adjoins the homes of Cricket and Rugby in South Africa, to attract and retain new members.
Master planning options that potentially add value for our members in the short, medium and longer term have been identified, however the gymnasium and accommodation in particular, have substantial capital requirements with concomitant financial implications requiring further viability studies.
On a different note, our team put together a wonderful “Phantom of the Opera” evening combining an excellent four course dinner with excerpts from “Phantom” performed by the very talented Kalk Bay Theatre players which by coincidence had its first film version produced in 1925.
Members who missed that 90th birthday opportunity can r still enjoy the Comedy Evening on July 31st and purchase our special edition wines. There is an interesting calendar of events for the rest of the year that are not related to our 90th year including Rugby World Cup and we hope that you will support our energetic young team’s efforts.
The core value initiative was introduced in the last newsletter and whilst it has been developed by our management team, those values need to be embraced as although we will not be around to look back in 90 years from now we must collectively ensure that our foundations stay solid and that we take on the challenges of change as a matter of course.
Paul Kramer was re-elected Chairman following the AGM and we said farewell to two directors, Storm Reilly and Ian Verhulp and, one of our Committee members Ricci Gerstner and must record our appreciation of their generous participation in the interests of the Club. Storm Reilly in particular, has been involved in the affairs of the Club for many years and his wise counsel will be missed.
We welcome Johan Basson to the Committee and Peter Blanckenberg and Alistair Simpson as new directors of the Company and look forward to their contributions.
Please continue to support and enjoy your Club`s facilities and remember that constructive feedback is always welcome.
Club Vice Chairman