The Schooner Club held it's mandated Spring General Meeting on June 23, 2020, at the club. Since we were still in the midst of the Covid 19 lockdowns, special precautions were taken and rules followed to make sure everyone who was in attendance could stay safe. Attendance was, in fact, very good for the meeting with over thirty people in attendance. The meeting got underway at the appointed time of 7pm with Gordie Cormier taking the floor first. President Cormier started out by welcoming everyone who was there and thanking them for coming. He then announced that he would not be re-offering for the club president position for the following season. After six seasons as Schooner President, Gordie said he didn't have the same spark and energy to bring to the position any longer and felt it was time to step aside. He said that he was proud of the accomplishments that he had made as president and thanked everyone who had worked hard to help along the way. Gordie finished by saying he would still be around to help out at the club but felt the president's position would better be filled by someone else. Club treasurer Lynn Kelly was the next to take the floor with her report. She said that, while some revenue had certainly been lost due to the Covid shutdown, the club was still in pretty good financial condition. She said that we had shut down the club's internet and the debit machine services had been suspended in an effort to save some money by cancelling services we would not be using during the shutdown period. Lynn said there was a good portion of the Scottie's 50/50 money left that was a great cushion for the club and it was mentioned that we were in line for some more Scottie's money from the legacy fund. Lynn also asked that anyone who had an outstanding tab or owed the club any money please pay it up as soon as possible. Payments can be made through e-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org . Brian Laughlin, Ice Director was next to speak and said that all shutdown procedures had been done and gone smoothly after our abrupt closing in mid-March. He also said that there were still some issues with the dehumidifier and it was currently not working properly. It is something that will have to be dealt with prior to the new season. Bill Farr provided an update on the website and newsletter next. He said the April edition of the newsletter had gone out and was distributed electronically through the club's email list and it was available to read and download on the Schooner website as always. He went on to say that the Schooner website had been updated with the current information on all cancellations and that the information was also posted to the facebook account. Bill said facebook has seemed to be starting to take over as the go-to platform for people to get information on the club as website traffic had slowed a bit while the Schooner Club's Facebook page had now exceeded 750 likes and followers. There were no further executive or committee reports following that. The next order of business to discuss was the equipment purchase that the club made from the Brookside Curling Club in River Hebert. The equipment included pretty much a full ice plant including chiller, brine pump and compressor. It also included some electrical as well as some other curling related equipment such as an older Ice King machine and some vinyl rock houses that can be used in our ice instead of painting. The purchase was approved by the membership at the January General Meeting. A total of $12000 for the purchase was approved, $10,000 for the already negotiated purchase price and $2000 for pickup. The trip and related expenses to pick up the equipment came in slightly under that budget. A few club members went to pick up the equipment and bring it back. It's now all in storage in a New Dawn Building on the radar base site. Thanks to Gordie, Brian, Richard and Stephen for making the trip, disassembling the equipment and returning it to Sydney for storage. Stephen Leslie provided the truck needed to transport the equipment back. While the equipment is currently stored in a space donated by New Dawn, the club executive recommended that we have the new equipment installed since it is much newer than what we currently have and it would be more reliable and efficient. It is estimated that it will cost around $5000 to install the new equipment, including some modifications to the back room where the equipment resides. A motions to allow for spending up to a maximum of $7000 for install was put to the floor and approved. All of the money being spent is from the Schooner's capital fund that is basically made up of money from the Scotties 50/50 revenue. Richard Lorway was next to speak on a topic related to the ice plant purchase. The club had applied to the province for a facilities grant, first discussed at the January General meeting, to make improvements to our building and equipment. We submitted and estimate and the Province would pay a percentage of that estimate if approved. The purchase of the Brookside equipment was a big part of that, along with some new Windows and doors as well as a labor component for everything. The total for the grant application was approximately $24000 or which we were approved for around $14000. The meeting then moved forward to discuss new business which began with making an amendment to out bylaws. Our current bylaws stated that notice of a general meeting should be posted at the club two weeks prior to the meeting. Given the abrupt closure of the club due to Covid 19 and that no one was in the club after that, a proposal to change the bylaw was put forth. The new bylaw would be that notice of a meeting would be distributed to members via email or other electronic means. That means that all members who provide an email address will be notified and that notifications will also be made available online by various means. In today's day and age, that means that pretty much all members will get notification even if they aren't at the club. The motion to change the bylaw passed. Next on the agenda was the money due to the club from what is known as the Scottie's Legacy Fund. It's basically a percentage of the Scottie's ticket revenue that gets split up among local clubs. The CBRMCA was administering the funds. The issue that arose that needed discussion was that the Sydney Curling Club had asked to get 75% of the total funds available, saying that they deserved more because they were a bigger club with a bigger membership. This was a big ask since the total amount of the fund that was to be distributed was around $66,000. The Schooner members involved rejected that claim. The resolution for the situation that was laid out in the actual bid letter for the Scotties that was presented to Curling Canada was quite involved with a board of trustees having to be set up from members of both clubs as well as the CBRMCA and could take a fair bit of time to go through. Hoping to avoid all of this, the Schooner Club countered with an offer to split the money 60/40 with the larger portion going to Sydney. The Sydney Club accepted this proposal so the executive was bringing it to our membership for approval at the meeting. It was presented that it could take a long time to resolve the issues and that there was no guarantee that we would get more than 40% as a result of all the hearings. If approved, we would get a guaranteed amount and it would be distributed to us in a short time. It was voted on and passed. As a result, we would receive just over $26,000 and Sydney would get just under $40,000. The meeting then moved forward to the election of officers for the club for the coming season. As stated earlier, Gordie Cormier had announced his intention not to run again for club president. Current club vice president, Richard Lorway, stepped forward to put his name in for the president's spot. Since there were no other members offering, Richard was named president without a vote. Anthony Boudreau offered to be the new vice president and will be replacing Richard at that spot. There were no other changes on the executive committee with Lynn Kelly returning as treasurer, Frances Ford back as secretary, Julia Cormier taking on draw master and Brian Laughlin back in his long time position as ice coordinator. The bar stewards role will be done by committee once again. There were a couple of changes on the committees side with Bernadette Cormier not reoffering for housekeeping so Yvonne Donovan will be taking her place along side Georgette Sparkes who did come back. Alison Grapes will be a new member of the Fun Night committee. Here is a full listing of all of your Schooner executive members and committee heads for the 2020-21 season.
President - Richard Lorway Vice President - Anthony Boudreau Treasurer - Lynn Kelly Secretary - Frances Ford Draw Master - Julia Cormier Ice Coordinator - Brian Laughlin Bar - By Committee Bonspiels - By Committee Junior Coordinator - Ceilidh Forrest Housekeeping - Georgette Sparkes and Yvonne Donovan Membership - Julia Cormier Public Relations - Richard Lorway Ways and Means - Lynn Kelly Fun Nights - Kathy Gale, Janet Gallivan and Alison Grapes Web - Bill Farr Newsletter - Bill Farr
The final order of business to discuss, something that was on everyone's mind, was the situation surrounding Covid 19 and how it will affect the club moving forward. At the time of the meeting, much was still unclear about the upcoming curling season. The Schooner executive said that we would just have to wait and see what the current situation was when we're indeed ready to re-start, what restrictions would still be in place and what directions would be given to us by Curling Canada and Nova Scotia Curling. It was announced that all summer activities would be cancelled including Schooner Golf and our annual washer toss tournament. The club would remain closed to any events including Tuesday Tarabish and there would be no rentals available. It was also stated that the incoming executive would monitor the situation and possibly re-evaluate based on changes in the situation and loosening of restrictions. With all the club business handled, the meeting was adjourned. It was a great meeting with lots accomplished and it was nice to see such a large turnout. Thanks to everyone who attended and a big thank you and best of luck to those who accepted executive and committee positions for the upcoming season.