Minutes of AGM of Keepers of the Green and Keepers of the Green Foundation

04 June 2013

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of Keepers of the Green held on Tuesday 4 June 2013 at 5.30 pm in the downstairs lounge of the St Andrews Golf Club

In attendance:  David Joy, Jack Willoughby, Frank Cougan, Iain Stewart, Dennis Clark,  John White, Jack Munro, Hamish Steedman, Donald Stewart, Jamie Gardner, Janet Finlay

Apologies:  John Woodman, Jack Curley, Iain Bett, Barry Kerr, Eric Brown  Welcome and Apologies

DJ welcomed all present to the meeting and apologies were noted as above. DJ explained that there was a statutory requirement to hold an annual AGM. 


2     Annual Report

       DJ, Patron of Keepers of the Green, presented his annual report for the year ending 31 December 2012:

Congratulations to any Founder Member for completing a full round (this is now the 18th year of Keepers of the Green.  There were three Policy Committee Meetings with an average attendance of ten members including our Hon Secretary, Janet Finlay.  I stress that meetings are open to any member with the minutes of each meeting circulated to all.  This gives every member a chance to respond directly and to offer their comments or any new ideas that could be opened for discussion.


       On the first meeting in 2012, we had a special guest in Eleanor Bowman, known for her successful East Neuk Wheelchair Appeal through the years.  She graciously accepted Honorary Membership of Friends of Keepers of the Green.  It was hoped that we could help each other out occasionally through joint presentations for chairs which are specialised and therefore more expensive.  Eleanor had cut her ties with the annual Peter Alliss Masters at Elie but was duly acknowledged as a kindred spirit of Keepers. 


       Two more Honorary Friends of Keepers were announced:  Mike Reeder, an American double amputee who in 2011 was the first to complete a round on the Old Course – and he broke 80.  The other was Ben Houser, who produced a highly emotional documentary on Mike on behalf of ESPN.


It was hoped that Ben could arrange for our wheelchair presentation during the Open Championship at Muirfield 2013 to be edited and shown as part of the American coverage.  During the St Andrews Golf Festival in March, Mike Reeder was presented with a Tom Morris bust, awarded on behalf of Keepers for ‘Courage’ at a grand ceremony in The Younger Hall.  No cost was incurred as Golf Illustrated had hosted the whole event.


Our Hon Secretary, Janet, was directly involved in raising £6,000 through an auction at the CMAA Conference in the Rusacks Hotel here in St Andrews.  We acknowledge the continued support of the Club Managers Association of America.


Hugh Paterson, originally from St Andrews, raised £6,400 during his year of captaincy at Penwortham Golf Club.  The successful bidders of a golf package within his membership were treated to a memorable visit to St Andrews where they met up with members of Keepers.  Special thanks to Jack and Sheena Willoughby for hosting them for three nights in The Dunvegan. 


Jack Munro had organised a membership review which made interesting reading.  Approx 50% of the respondents were unaware of our newly re-vamped website.  Great improvements were made to the Keepers website under the supervision of Jack, with the help of Buzz Services. 


In response to the question on an annual fee or a donation, the responses were:

40% in favour of a continued membership fee
32% in favour of a donation
24% had no preference


Jamie Gardner organised an inter-county hickory challenge with our members from East Lothian against St Andrews at The Renaissance Club, owned by Founder Member Mark Noble.  By not mentioning the result, it is probably obvious that we (St Andrews!) did not win a game! 


Our Keepers of the Green office within the St Andrews Golf Club is now shared with a golf travel organiser and Global Golf Post, whose manager, James Bunch, a local golfer with a +3 handicap, hopes to involve Paul Lawrie and Sandy Lyle in Keepers as they had both expressed an interest in playing with hickory. 


For the first time, we had to cancel the Spring Meeting for the lack of members unavailable to play.  This outcome was discussed at length at our meeting in May and hopefully will not happen again. 


Two powered chairs were presented without fuss or publicity in the Spring.  During the year, there was much activity in servicing and reclaiming of chairs after a new policy was adopted when recipients were advised that the chairs were Keepers property.  We were able to assure the recipients that the regular servicing and upkeep would be the responsibility of Keepers.  Refurbishment and re-presentation on the advice of Med Ecosse was put in place – it was agreed that this was a great step forward, creating an ongoing relationship between Keepers and the recipients. 


At the Annual General Meeting in June, Peter Crabtree and George Peper stood down from the Keepers Foundation.  George now spends most of his time in the US – he was acknowledged for offering contributed articles promoting the traditions of the game of golf to our website.  Peter, as a Founder Member, will always be a ‘kindred spirit’ and thankfully is still fully supportive.


Four new members were welcomed during the summer: Bill Dunlap, Eric Brown, Nick Hyde and Michael Palmore.


In summary, despite the disappointment of the cancellation of the Spring Meeting, we look forward to enhancing our profile at the Muirfield Open 2013 and continuing to help improve lives through powered mobility. 


3     Treasurer’s Report

       The Annual Accounts for Keepers of the Green for the year ending 31 December 2012 had been prepared and audited by Henderson Black & Co.  The Accounts had been signed off by the Directors. 


       The Accounts were unanimously approved. 


4     Affiliation fee for 2014

       It was agreed by all the members present to approve the recommendation from the Policy Committee to continue the subscription rate of £25 / $50 for 2014. 


5     Re-election of Directors

       David Joy, Barry Kerr, Donald Stewart, Jack Willoughby and Jack Munro were due to retire as Directors of Keepers of the Green and all offered themselves for re-election.


       David Joy:  proposed by Frank Cougan, seconded by Hamish Steedman

       Barry Kerr:  proposed by John White, seconded by Jamie Gardner

       Donald Stewart: proposed by Dennis Clark, seconded by Jack Willoughby

       Jack Willoughby:  proposed by Jack Munro, seconded by Iain Stewart

       Jack Munro: proposed by David Joy, seconded by Donald Stewart


6     Re-election of Policy Committee

       Although there was a regular core of members who attended the Policy Committee Meetings, DJ reminded everyone that it was an Open Committee and any member could attend and participate.   


7     Appointment of Independent Accountants

       It was unanimously agreed to re-appoint Henderson Black & Co, St Andrews, as the Independent Accountants.