It was once again an honour and privilege to serve as the Chairman of a wonderful group of people that is the Central Chapter. It is my second year as Chairman of the chapter.
We are currently 76 members strong, as opposed to 81 at this time last year. The difference is due to some members having resigned stating that the club no longer has meaning for them, they wish to do their own thing, and others have sold their bikes having given up riding due to health issues. We also gained some members during the year. We also lost a member to cancer in the person of Leon van Rensburg. However, I can safely report that not one member has left the club due to dissatisfaction with the way we do things. We therefore have a nett loss of five members. I think that this is purely due to the great diversity of people that we are, the friendship and camaraderie displayed by the members, all joined together by a common passion for the bikes that we ride.
During the year we completed the process of renaming the Chapter from East Rand to Central, and in general it has been overwhelmingly well received with literally a few isolated concerns, rather than real objections. The Chapter sponsored the manufacture of “Central” badges that all our members are now wearing on their colours. We are in the process of obtaining prices for metal name badges with the “Central” logo for the colours of the members, which will cost around R80 each. This process will be completed within the next few months.
As you will hear shortly from our treasurer’s report, we are very healthy from a financial perspective, due primarily from the income we generate from ride-along fees and our monthly lucky draw.
We have held nine runs during the year, to a diverse selection of destinations. At our AGM last year, our committee decided that we as a committee would arrange all the runs with input from the members, as we had experienced some problems earlier utilising the lucky draw system of allocating turns to organise runs to members. So far, it appears as if it has been working well. On average we have around 28 bikes taking part, but the runs to Gas Monkey Bar and Grill and Black Horse Brewery set a joint new record with no less than 48 bikes and 62 members taking part. I’m certainly glad to see members enjoying their bikes.
As a committee, we held three meetings during the year to discuss general operational and membership matters, which I also assume as being indicative of members being generally satisfied with the way things are working.
We also held a very successful Wing Fling in Bethlehem over the week of 13 to 19 October 2017. For those of you who were not there, might I suggest you speak to those who were there, just to make you properly jealous.
The AGM of the Wing Riders was held on 18 October 2017, and a range of issues were discussed. We will talk about a few in more depth a bit later in this meeting. In general, the Wing Riders are just over 130 members strong, with the Central Chapter still representing the majority. The elections of office bearers were also held, and as you no doubt know, I was elected to National President, Delphius Symington of the Western Cape Chapter is our Vice President, Melanie Lynn remains our Treasurer, and Suzette Grobler has her hands full with the role of National Secretary, National Marketing Co-ordinator and Secretary of this Chapter. I have full confidence in this committee, and I know that we will take the Wing Riders to the next level.
On the subject of my election as National President, I have thought long and hard about my continuation as Chairman of this Chapter. I think we all know of undercurrents that have been going around for some time now regarding the composition of the National Council, and specifically the representation from the other Chapters. I have therefore decided that it would be in the best interest of the Wing Riders of SA if I were to vacate the position of Chairman of this Chapter. I’m in the position now that I must put the interests of the Wing Riders of SA, as a whole, first and foremost in my mind, and in all decisions that I take. But I’m not going to forget this Chapter. I’m still a member here, and I don’t want to be anywhere else.
That is my report for the past year. At this time, I think it is appropriate to thank all the members of the Central Committee for their efforts and unwavering support over the past year. I also need to thank our National Committee for their support and I must mention that at all times when I phoned or sent a message asking a question or an explanation or an interpretation, I got exactly what I was looking for. That is the way it should be.
Thank you once again.
Feedback from the National Council Meeting (NCM) and the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on 18 October 2017
- Annual reports:
The Chairpersons of the various Chapters presented their, as well as the financial reports of their Chapters. In general, the Wing Riders is healthy with no serious complaints being recorded. Where some issues did exist, these were addressed at Chapter level. A few issues of general dissatisfaction between members of a Chapter and the leadership of that Chapter were noted and were addressed by National Council and resolved, and the affected members are back on board.
- National Council:
As was already reported during the AGM held in Port Elizabeth in October 2016, our National President, Hendrik Sadie, and his wife, Maria (National Secretary), would be standing down during the NCM this year to concentrate on personal matters that are being left behind, and also to start the process of joining their children in New Zealand. Now I am glad to say, that they will still be with us for a while yet, as this process will take some time. But their resignations then also resulted in the requirement for an election of new office bearers for the National Council. Therefore, an election was also to take place during the NC AGM later that day.
- Chairman’s handbook
The re-writing of the Chairman’s and Member’s handbooks is a work in progress but has stalled on more than one occasion. I am happy to report that this has now been placed in the capable hands of Suzette, and I am sure that we will be seeing real progress very shortly.
On this subject, proposed changes to the Constitution as tabled in Port Elizabeth in 2016, relating to the proposed Code of Conduct, have been accepted, but the detail will be set out in the Chairman’s and Member’s Handbooks. This will make proposed amendments simpler and quicker.
- Membership and joining fees
This matter was discussed and it was decided that we are fine for now, and that no increases are therefore proposed. It does remain a challenge, and it becomes more and more difficult each year, to host a Wing Fling at a standard that the members have become to expect. We will therefore try very hard to keep membership fees as they are currently, for as long as possible, but obviously there are no guarantees.
Just to remind members, annual membership fees are R500 per person, and R250 per person for Honorary Members who wish to retain voting rights. Joining fees remain once off at R250. Of the annual fees, R300 goes to National together with the joining fees. R200 remains in the Chapter. An additional R100 of this R200 will be paid over to National for each member that will be attending the Wing Fling. Members joining after 1 July will be liable for only 50% of the annual fees. Joining fees are still fully payable, as these cover, among others, the costs of the badges and colours issued to new members.
- Election of office bearers
The elections were held on conclusion of the Agenda of the AGM, and all I can add was that they were held in a free and fair manner. There was a long discussion on the issue of whether or not proxies can be used, as a result of a point raised by Johan Hatting. For those who do not know him, he is an Honorary Member of the WC Chapter, but he is also a Founder Member of the Wing Riders. So, he’s been around in like forever. His concern was that the Constitution did not specifically allow for the use of proxies, and therefore members could not use the proxy votes given to them. After an in-depth discussion, with pros and cons from both sides, it was decided that the use of proxies is an accepted principle within any organisation where elections need to be held, and that therefore the current proxies will be allowed. It was further decided that the incoming NC would take it upon themselves to work through this issue in detail, and to report back at the next AGM.
Over the past year, several members expressed dissatisfaction with the website. Suzette submitted a proposal that we change the hosts of our website, and that the entire website be redesigned to bring it up to date and give it a contemporary look. On top of this, the costs will decrease from R195 per month to R120 per month with a 3GB storage limit. This is to accommodate photos. There is a once-off administration fee of R2 000 payable. These proposals were accepted and Suzette has already started development.