The Annual Meeting of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club took place at the Braehead rink yesterday. It was well attended, with some 180 clubs sending representatives. I was there, not in any media capacity this year (although the new Scottish Curler had both reporter and photographer there), but to represent my own club, Reform.
The headlines were that Bob Tait, the current Chairman of the RCCC Board, was not re-elected to serve another term on the Board. This had been the result of a postal vote, announced yesterday. Anne Malcolm was re-elected (with 112 votes) and Bob Kelly (with 102 votes) was elected as a new Director. Bob was in fourth place with 86. (The full voting will no doubt appear on the RCCC website on Monday)
Bob's disappointment was palpable. But, as he said, "Members had the opportunity to vote, they have voted, and I accept that result."
It is likely that Bob's failure to be re-elected has been, in part at least, a consequence of the failure to get the Vernon issues resolved in a timely fashion. This was a situation he inherited, but despite his efforts it has hung over his time as Chairman. He was forthright in his comments about what happened in Vernon. "No preparation," "Abject communications," "Poor leadership," "Inept media handling," were just some of the words he used. He highlighted the Royal Club's own shortcomings in procedures.
He emphasized that the Board is looking to the future. He stated categorically that the National Coach should be an employee of the Royal Club, rather than of the Scottish Institute of Sport, as at present. The mood of the meeting certainly was to move forward, lessons learned, whatever that means.
I was appalled to see that in the postal vote in which 259 clubs had voted, only 228 votes had been valid. Not for the first time the ignorance and ineptness of some club secretaries had led to votes being declared invalid (thirty-one of them), for all sorts of stupid reasons, like failing to sign the form, or voting for more than two candidates!
However, the democratic right of members was upheld when the proposal to give voting rights to individual members, rather than clubs, was passed... just. In the card ballot at the meeting, 176 clubs voted, with 133 in favour and 43 against. For the motion to pass, a 75% majority was required and this was achieved by less than one percentage point! In the debate prior to the vote, the cost, particularly for mailings to members, seemed to be the biggest concern. However, democracy was the winner on the day, and the Royal Club may well see considerable change in the years ahead, as a consequence. I personally am pleased that 'One Member One Vote' was passed.
Sandy Morton has more about the day on the Scottish Curling Forum here. And of course the Annual Report can be downloaded from the Royal Club website here.
Bill Marshall (left) is now the President of the Royal Club. Robbie Scott defeated Pat Edington in a ballot for the Vice President position.
In his speech, Bill empasized the importance of the ASC and said he hoped it could move back to have it being more like the old Council, in the days before the Board. He also tantalisingly mentioned the posibility of a 'mixed tour' in the future.
This is the new Area Standing Committee.
It was not all politics. Here World Curling Federation Vice President Kate Caithness presents the winners' banner to World Champion skip David Murdoch.
Pics by Bob.