The Royal Navy Club
Chairman's Report 2008
HRH The Prince of Wales has graciously extended his Patronage of the Club for a further five years and has asked that his best possible wishes be passed to all members of the Club.
The Committee very much appreciated all that Commander Julian Malec and Mrs Porteous did to design, disseminate and analyse last year’s dinner survey.
A report on the survey by the Committee is enclosed with these Notices. A most valuable by-product of the survey was that a jump from 42% to 75% of members’ emails is now known to our Secretary which offers quicker and cheaper administration.
Does he have your email address? Our website steadily improves with an increasing proportion of the Blue Book becoming available online along with Members’ Notices.
Membership recruiting has again been insufficient to offset losses due to deaths and resignations and the number of members fell back this year – it now stands at 892. As explained in the accompanying AGM Calling Notice, the Committee is proposing a change in the Rules to allow eligible non-members to dine once only to enhance recruiting. Whilst I acknowledge the sterling efforts of some, especially the Naval Secretary’s staff, I encourage all members to do their bit to persuade eligible officers to enjoy the benefits of joining our Club.
The General Fund realised a modest surplus in 2007/08, thanks to the small increase in the annual subscription from January 2008. Regretfully, however, the Committee has decided that to keep pace with rising costs the London dinner charge must be increased from October 2008 to £60 for members, £70 for guests. The Portsmouth charges will remain unchanged for the time being. The Surplus Fund investment portfolio has followed market trends and on going to press its value has fallen to £817,000. Dividends remain sufficient, however, to meet the current demands of our charitable activities. Nevertheless, in an uncertain world, I encourage members to remember the Surplus Fund when considering bequests.
As recorded elsewhere in the Notices, applicants for help from the Surplus Fund have become rare. I urge all members to keep a weather eye open for those in need.
Attendance at dinners during the past year has declined somewhat, although 96 members and their guests filled HMS VICTORY to capacity to enjoy dinner in April, many expressing a wish to repeat the experience, preferably in warmer weather!
Finally, I commend the use of the Club’s website for those who mislay their dinner card or wish for further information. Its address is in the Notices.
ADMIRAL SIR IAN GARNETT