Ski Club of Manchester AGM, 9th October 2020

Reporter: Andrew Walker

The AGM, which could so easily have become a victim of coronavirus, became an opportunity to reach a wider audience, including those who live too far away for reasonable travelling, as well as those for whom a trip round the M60 on a miserable Friday evening in October does not hold any special attraction.

We only briefly considered delaying the AGM before deciding to hold it on Zoom. The result was that instead of attendance being in the low thirties, as has been usual, there were 48 (or thereabouts). Some have asked that for future AGMs (when some semblance of normality resumes and we once more meet in person) we also have a video link. This is something we will certainly consider, although it does carry the risk that a couple of Committee members will be left talking to a room which is empty apart from a PC and a webcam.

We decided to make some small changes to the AGM, in particular asking for objections to decisions and appointments rather than try to conduct a poll or show of hands. Other than that, and the increased difficulty of recording who was there and who was saying what, it all went very well.

What did become a victim was the timing. I managed, after several years of practice, to compress last year’s AGM into a snappy 16 minutes (although it did start seven minutes late). This year’s timings were never going to threaten that, although in the end it did take only 34 minutes.

I had worried that holding a virtual AGM would cause such complications as to make the task of running the meeting nigh on impossible, or that attendance would suffer, but the reverse was true. Six months of getting used to a virtual world has probably developed people’s IT skills, in particular their familiarity with Zoom, and in the end there were very few problems and there seemed to be quite a party atmosphere.

And now for important bits…

The meeting opened at 7:30 pm. After apologies and after the 2019 minutes had been unanimously approved, Rick Mayers gave his Chair address, reflecting on how much things had changed in the past few months, and expressing his hope that the world would settle down again. Janet’s report as Treasurer was unanimously approved, similarly the auditors’ appointments for a further year. The current Officers and Members of the Committee were all unanimously approved and re-appointed, including Derek Kennedy, who had been appointed as a member during the year. There was a brief AOB on whether we would consider having virtual access to future AGMs (see above), and on numbers for the forthcoming season’s trips. We would consider having virtual access, and those booked would be notified by email about what’s happening on each of the three trips. The meeting closed at 8:04 pm.

After a short break Andrew Walker and Tom Russell gave a presentation on their trip to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctica in November/December 2019. We are looking at uploading a video of the presentation, as well as a copy of the presentation slides, which can be viewed along with a report on the trip here.