Annual General Meeting & Awards Presentation

28 October 2016 / Words by Bryan Shedden, Photos by Mel Keller

Annual General Meeting

The AGM of the MX-5 Club of NSW was held on Friday 21 October 2016 at Ryde-Eastwood Leagues Club. Yes a Friday! We were forced into a date change due to room availability, but it turned out to be an inspired choice with a tremendous turnout of members. Better still, we arrived expecting to be crammed into the Denistone Room, only to discover that we'd been moved to the much larger and more suitable Ryedale Room. Win! Thank you to the Ryde-Eastwood Leagues Club for their ongoing support.

As members arrived they were presented with a tantalising buffet of salt & pepper squid, roast vegetable & feta tart, BBQ prawn skewers, crispy chicken wings, vegetarian spring rolls, Italian meat balls, prosciutto wrapped melon, and club sandwiches. Julie Sando chose very well for our menu selections - it was all delicious! We even had our own private bar at the back of the room where members could purchase their drinks. Thank you to Glenn Thomas for making all the arrangements.

59 members were present for the meeting, which was an excellent turn-out and comfortably met our quorum requirements. We had Member #145 through to New Members #3388 & #3389. These new members happen to be Blake & Stephanie from Central Coast Mazda - our Club's newest Major Sponsor. They got us to the magical milestone of 900 members in the days leading up the AGM. Special thanks to all those who made the long trip to West Ryde from their homes in the Hunter, Canberra, Illawarra and Blue Mountains. Your support for the MX-5 Club of NSW is diligent and unwavering.

In my President's report (the last of my four years at the helm), I highlighted the continued growth in membership over the last year. The key figures were 903 financial members, 8% growth, 273 new members, and 295 members with at least 5 years of membership. Several graphs and pie-charts were produced to illustrate the trends, much to the mirth and good-natured ribbing of the merry audience. Secretary Wesley Hill then read the Captain's report as Michael Soulos was down the coast for his niece's wedding. Michael praised the efforts of all our volunteers who organised the incredible number and variety of Chapter events throughout the year. Particular mention was made of the highly succesful celebrations of the Canberra Chapter 20th Anniversary and Hunter Chapter 10th Anniversary. David Lawler gave a brief overview of his Competition report, and highlighted the way in which our Club provides an excellent platform for participation in motorsport via motorkhanas, driver training days, club track days, state supersprints, door-to-door racing, and the latest addition - hillclimbs. The final report was given by our Treasurer, Julie Sando. The highlight for the year was the long overdue move to online banking which has made her job so much easier. The Club returned a modest profit of $3,113 which was precisely in line with budget. An increased profit from our track activities was offset by the hefty subsidisation of the Club 25th Anniversary event.

With the reports accepted, we then elected our new Committee. After four years as President, I retired and Keith Monaghan was elected as the new President. Thank you and congratulations Keith! David Lawler retired as Competition Secretary and Ian Combes was elected as his replacement. David will continue to assist Ian with organising our motorsport events and has accepted the new ex officio title of "Competition Event Manager". I was elected as the new Membership Database Secretary with Keith's retirement from that position. Greg Perry retired as Website Coordinator after three years - thank you Greg! On the day of the AGM, two members expressed interest in the role, but we felt it prudent to take the time to discuss it in more detail with each of them before filling the vacancy. Glenn Thomas and Michael Soulos were re-elected as Vice President and Club Captain, respectively. Thank you to Julie Sando, Wesley Hill, Ken & Maggie Liston, Mel Keller, Alan & Claudine Townsley, and Peter Battisson who all continue in their respective Committee positions. Click here to see the full Committee list for 2016 with contact details.

Awards Presentation

With the AGM officially closed, we then moved on to our Awards Presentation. This commenced with the presentation of Certificates of Appreciation to our sponsors. Dominic Nolan (Soft Tops Online), Blake Rochford-Cole (Central Coast Mazda), and Cameron Macarthur (Blue Mountains Mazda) were present to receive their certificates from Vice President Glenn Thomas. The certificates for ACDC Pty Ltd, Mazda Australia, Deckspeed Racing, MX5 Solutions, Hume Smash Repairs,, and Manning Valley Automotive will be presented elsewhere.

Next up, Membership Tenure Award badges were presented by Ken & Maggie Liston to those members who had achieved milestones of continuous membership in the Club during 2016. Although the vast majority were unable to attend, there are 42 recipients for 5 Years, 20 for 10 Years, 6 for 15 Years, no 20 Years and 1 for 25 Years. Lindsay Burke is the last remaining Club member who joined in 1991 and it was wonderful that he was there to receive his 25 Year badge. Click here for a full list of badge recipients. Thank you to our Major Sponsor, Peter Battisson at ACDC Pty Ltd, who made these awards possible through his continued generous support.

Gifts were then presented to the Club members who organised each of our major "All Club" events this year:

  • Joe Kovacic (Bathurst 12hr weekend)
  • Jan & Garry Gibson (Charity Lunch, Jinba Ittai Challenge)
  • Tony & Iris McDonald (Canberra 20th)
  • Josh Fitzgerald & Lindsay Green (Hunter 10th)
  • Michael Soulos (Tech Days, Brass Monkey & President’s Picnic)

The penultimate announcement was for the recipient of the President's Award in recognition of Extraordinary Service to the Mazda MX-5 Club of NSW. The highly deserving winners were Josh Fitzgerald and Lindsay Green. Josh and Lindsay have been the best examples of what it is to live the values and reason for being of the MX-5 Club of NSW. They have strongly advocated and enthusiastically demonstrated what we are all about: making friends, being friendly and having fun. Josh and Lindsay put their heart and soul into the MX-5 Club of NSW and it is producing the right results. The proof is in the membership numbers: Hunter has grown by 35% in one year! Thank you and congratulations to you both.

I saved one last surprise for the end: the awarding of Life Membership to Pam and Ray Estreich. Pam & Ray have clearly demonstrated exemplary, sustained and highly meritorious contributions to the Club, and their general attitude and overall demeanour reflects a dedication to the values of the Club. Congratulations Pam & Ray on receiving life membership of the MX-5 Club of NSW. Click here for the full citation.

The evening was then handed over to David Lawler to complete the presentation of Motorsport Trophies for the 2015/2016 season.