Captain Graham's Final Report

Captain's AGM Report

President Harry, Vice Presidents Martin, Pat, Frank and Mike, Ladies Captain Sandra ,Vice Captains Karen & Colin, Chairman Robin, the Ladies and Gentlemen of Bexleyheath Golf Club.

The current situation that we all find ourselves in was not one I had envisaged when I completed my speech, on which the majority of my Captains annual report is based, for presentation at our Annual Dinner Dance. As a club we were fortunate in being able to hold such a successful and enjoyable event and a massive thank you to all those who helped to ensure it took place and to all of you who attended. It was I feel a great night and positive feedback from many guests have been received.

Unfortunately, under the current advice we have received we, as a club have had to make some difficult but essential decisions for the good of all members and the future of the club. Firstly to Captains elect Colin and Karen my thoughts are with you and when circumstances allow I am sure we, as a club, will be able to truly celebrate your appointments as Captains and in the meantime please be assured that I and the whole of the club will help and assist you as much as they can.

I am now at the end of my tenure as your Club Captain, (the car parking space is all yours Colin) I can honestly say how truly proud and grateful I have been to have had the privilege of holding this position. In my acceptance speech nearly a year ago I stressed the importance of working together and to continue moving forward whist retaining respect for tradition and our history. Looking around at our fantastic refurbished club house, the ongoing work to the Bar lighting and the redecorating of the spike bar and when the weather and money allows, the commencement of the refreshing of the patio area , I would say we, working as a team and supporting each other have had a great year. There are always those persons who can utilise their talents and we are very fortunate to have a great band of these doers, …..you know who you are and so to them and all members I say thank you for you’re your efforts, achievements and your unfailing support.

I must say a particular thank you to our green keepers Mike and Rob and the Greens committee for maintaining the course in great condition, often playable when other courses were closed, and for the ongoing improvements that are being made so that members of all playing abilities have a continuing challenge whilst enjoying their round of golf. Thank you for your assistance and co-operation during the year, it has been much appreciated.

I want to say a big thank you to all the Past Captains who assisted in the role of Vice Captain until Colin accepted the Captaincy challenge. The Wednesday night summer 9 Hole competitions were a great success and I believe enjoyed by the members and the stand in Vices! Thanks to George & Linda for the fund raising football cards.

Also, thanks to Ladies Captain Sandra, the Ladies section and not forgetting the Vets section for their support during my Captain’s year.

A special thanks to Mike Stephens for his record keeping and organisation. To those two phrases record keeping and organisation I must add Clipboards and add a very big thank you to Nick Isom, our competition secretary for all the hard work he continues to do, and for his additional help to me during this year.

The past year has been a very positive one for the club and the Committee, under the leadership of our Chairman Robin, they have not been afraid to continue to make brave decisions in making changes to take the club forward. Thanks to Martin our Finance Chairman for his continuing stewardship of our financial matters resulting in a very successful year.

Then there is “our Julie”, what would I have done without your managerial skills, the planning, chasing, moaning, encouragement and most of all making time for me and others, even though at times it was often inconvenient. It would be remiss of me if I did not take this opportunity to thank our very own Mr. Liam Smith. Another member who gives a lot of his precious time to the club, Liam and Julie thank you very much.

Our catering facilities and services under the supervision of Nicky has I believe gone from strength to strength. They, like our Bar staff, are always willing to help and I thank our Nikki, the girls, and the Bar team for their excellent service.

I have met many new people during my year as your captain and at our Annual Dinner Dance we were able to invite many of them as our guests especially the Captains from our neighbouring clubs that we have a special relationship with. They are a great group and I have made good friends in the captains and their wives and I thank them for their support and look forward to continuing our relationship for years to come. As a result of the accepted competitive natures of the Captains, we created a new annual 9-hole winter challenge competition to be held in February at Bexleyheath and I am looking forward to Bexleyheath retaining the trophy next year!! There we are Colin another challenge!

Upon reflection, my Captains year has gone very quick. I have enjoyed all the events whether golf or social and just being involved. This club and its members are very special, and this has been shown in the support with have had for most of the events. We have had social events that rocked the club, a Cockney night with a not so Chas and Dave Duo, that was looked forward to with relish, started with great Pie & Mash, and seafood, then stunned to silence with the sad quality of the act, but in true Bexleyheath spirit the members took to the floor and made a great night of it! Great Tamla Dance nights, an interesting Captains quiz night and a fantastic family BBQ on a hot Bank Holiday afternoon, plus the normal club events. All in all, I have without exception enjoyed the experience and thank you all for your support at these events.

People have asked me what would you say stands out in the year, My reply is difficult because it is all special from an incredible drive in right up to the Dinner Dance, but I have to say the generosity in time and money of the members and friends of this club is unbelievable, and this stands out for all to see.

One of my objectives was to ensure members had a great year and in so doing the club would continue to grow (membership has and is still increasing) and we would raise a good sum for my charities. My charity day was a resounding success. We tried some different things in the way it was organised and run and people were very generous with their gifts or prizes and auction items. This is where I must say a huge thank you to James Bishop and our Manager Julie Smith. James supports our club as much as he can, and he is generous in both time and gifts. I had a great time with James, planning events and especially the Charity Day. James, I am truly indebted to you for your kindness and support. Not forgetting our Julie who faced with changes to a proven format and persuaded by James and myself came through like the excellent person she is and arranged the smooth running of the day. To you both I say a massive thank you and can announce that the total raised for the three charities so far, net of expenses, will be at least £10,000.

The club is in great hands and if you give the incoming Club Captain Colin, Lady Captain Karen and the committee half of the support you have given me, they and the club are in for another great year. Remember it is your club, be proud of it. It’s a great place to be, to play, eat, chat and socialise. Changes will occur but the committee are doing it with the best intentions for the club. Enjoy your golf this coming season. As I said nearly a year ago “we all need to look beyond our own little world and look at the bigger picture of what's best. Bexleyheath with its 111 year recognised history is a respecter of tradition and as long as we respect tradition in line with progressive change, we'll be "in a good place”. I think in this past year we have done exactly that, and I hope you feel that I have done my best to help maintain those traditions while working hard to ensure we have moved forward, grown the membership and continued to lay down the basis for a sustainable future.

Finally, I must say a big thank you to Pam and my family for all their support which has enabled me to be represent the members and the club as a very proud Captain.

I hope you will all heed the advice being issued and keep healthy and that the weather will be kind to us and I look forward, when allowed, to continuing playing golf with as many of you as possible.

Again, thank you for all your support and for having given me the honour and privilege of being your Club Captain.

Thank you.

Graham Sadler Captain 2019-2020
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