We held the 2021 AGM on the 16th March. Ongoing Covid restrictions meant that the meeting had to be held over Zoom. We were not sure how this would be received amongst our members and we were pleasantly surprised at the turn out. A total of 27 members attended the meeting. Formalities kicked off at 20:00hrs with the approval of the 2020 minutes followed by the chairman’s report from Mike Scott.
2020/2021 has been a mixed year due to the dreaded Covid-19. However, in early 2020, we did go diving at Vobster and the Channel. Most of the more exotic hopes were dashed by various forms of ‘Lockdown’.
We closed last year with 71 members and we now have 78. As a result of those numbers, we have little problem filling slots of dive expeditions. Of the 14 listed, in the February Minutes, we hope that only 2 are likely to be cancelled, and most of them are fully subscribed.
The association with J C Scuba and the availability of the discount scheme remains beneficial to members, covering both servicing and purchasing equipment, and training courses.
Once again cut back by Covid. We continue to plan to run FREE EFR training again this year. We have proposed two sessions of 10 divers. The only possible fee is for the PADI Card if you require one.
The Club finances remain in good order, namely we have adequate funds to cover our liabilities for MOST of the year, but we have whittled down the true surplus which will be invested in the club activities over the next 12 months. The sponsoring of Trip Organizers is now our biggest outgoing expense. So successful it has been that we would only break even on the £20 membership and need to cover the ‘fixed’ costs of the club system, namely the Website, the O2 Kit, and the Rescue EAN set. As a result, there will be a proposal to increase the Membership, later in the meeting.
As the Club grows, there is a need for more expeditions within the UK and abroad.
In the year ending 31st March 2022, and in the next few months the club (and/or members) have organised trips and events as shown on the February Meeting Minutes, issued with the AGM Agenda.
We will continue to be an independent Dive Club and I would ask all members to support the Club and promote the Club to help attract new members. We will continue to liaise with other clubs in order to fill expeditions but hope that Seahorse Club divers will fill most of the offered trips.
Finally, I would like to thank all the members of the outgoing committee for their work and commitment throughout the year. The activities of the committee may go largely unseen by many members, but without them the club would quickly grind to a halt. They keep us legal, compliant to the Club Charter & ethos, and functioning financially, and try their best to promote and facilitate diving in the Club and most of all ensure that we put members first.
Finance, Resignations and Appointments
We all appreciate the work Mike has put into the Chair position over the last years and I am sure we are all very happy that he is still on the committee looking after the club membership.
After Mikes report Ossie reported on the club finances. The bank balance has remained stable over the years which shows that spending is pro-rata to the takings from the membership fees. A more detailed report is available on the web site.
After Ossie’s report came the resignation of the old committee and the new committee was voted in. Here is the committee for 2020/2021:
Your Committee for 2021/2022
The new chairman, Jim Boyd, made a short speech during which he thanked Mike Scott for his services as chairman over the years. He also thanked Mark Lewis for the work he has put in on the new website.
It is nice to have new faces on the committee and we are all looking forward to the next year. There are already a lot of diving trips on the calendar. Unfortunately, the year has kicked off slowly with the planned club practice days in Vobster over the winter not being able to go ahead and ongoing restrictions making accommodation impossible for the first few planned ‘expeditions’.
Be sure to check out the website for all the latest news about club trips but here are the details we spoke about during the AGM as a reference:
Diving - UK Destinations
Some trips are still in the balance due to accommodation and travel restrictions. The club is keen to persevere with as many trips as possible. Please remember, all trips are listed on the website and are bookable through the Buddies list.
The resumption of these trips will be dependent upon the lifting of Covid restrictions. Mike is keen to get the boats in the water this year.
Opens in April, book early as it will be busy for the first few weeks!
Website indicates the facility is closed with no advertised opening dates.
3rd April – 4th April, 6th April: Originally aimed at Novice Divers but now will be easy dives to get back in the water. Organiser Mandy Bryer. Dates are confirmed, day travel, no accommodation. 1 space left on the 6th April.
Tango Weymouth #1
24th – 25th April: Diving HMS Sidon. Organiser Mark Lewis. Cancelled due to Covid restrictions.
30th Apr – 4th May: Bouncing Bombs. Organiser Mark Lewis. Postponed until August. Spaces are available.
8th May – 9th May: Diving from Moonshadow. Organiser Mark Lewis. Cancelled due to Covid restrictions.
15th May – 16th May: Diving from Moonshadow. Organiser Mark Lewis. Cancelled due to Covid restrictions.
1st May – 23rd May 2021. Organiser John Orr. Full. Possible, more details to follow.
5th June – 6th June: Including the Coronation Trail. Organiser Mark Lewis.
19th June – 20th June: Aimed at Novice Divers but need experienced buddies. Organiser Mandy Bryer.
26th June – 3rd July. Accommodation could be an issue and individuals wishing to go on the trip should ensure they have booked this before confirming participation. Organiser Dave Hall. Full.
16th July – 18th July: Long Weekend. Organiser Mark Lewis.
31st July – 1st August 2021: Organiser John Orr. Full.
Tango Weymouth #2
4th September – 5th September: Organiser Mark Lewis.
7th September – 19th September: Long Weekend. Organiser Mark Lewis.
2nd October – 3rd October: Diving from Falcon. Organiser Artur Zielinski.
Diving - International Destinations
RED Sea Liveaboard 2021
Departing 4th June – Organiser JC Scuba.
Departing 31st October, return 7th November, 6 days diving, – Organiser Tom Bryer.
Truk Lagoon 2022
27 Mar to 5 Apr – 4 spaces available – Organiser JC Scuba. No update.
Liveaboard the Junk – October/November 2022 – Organiser JC Scuba. No update.
After discussion about the dive trips we moved on to AOB.
It was proposed that membership fees should increase from £20.00 to £25.00. This has been a thorny issue for a few years with the old argument being that we have a surplus of cash which has remained the same for 8 years now. A debate ensued. David Hall and Mark Lewis spoke for the proposal. Andrew Hancox, Tony Felstead and Clare Felstead spoke against the proposal but it was decided in the end that the membership fee should go up by £5 a year. The thought process behind this is that we want to increase club trips in 2022 and to do that the club will have to spend more money. We already spend what we earn and so there would be a deficit if the membership fee did not increase.
The proposal was put to a vote, the vote carried FOR the proposal.
As mentioned earlier, the club will be organising another EFR course which will validate participants for 2 years. The date(s) would be published and the courses would be free unless PADI certification cards were wanted which would be at the individual’s cost.
The pool at Wroughton is expected to be open from the middle of May.
Mandy Bryer suggested the purchase of the following items:
- Underwater Metal Detector
- Club SMBs of various types, mainly for practice purposes in Vobster
It was agreed that the SMBs were a good idea, research needs to be done on the Metal Detector!
The meeting closed at 21:15 and after some banter, goodbyes were said and Ian shut the meeting down.
The next monthly meeting was arranged for 13th April at 19:30. The meeting will be held on Zoom. Ian Gale will send out an invitation on the Buddies email closer to the time.
All in all it was as successful as it could have been and we will hopefully have a proper get together in the summer to celebrate 25 years of the Seahorse Dive Club.