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Honorary Secretary's Report Summer 2009

It has been very much a year of changing personnel and we have had a new Chairman, Andy Mortimer, who has succeeded John Watkiss. Andy Mortimer is quickly getting his feet under the table and is eager to take the Club forward. But many thanks to John for all his tireless work and enthusiasm and he will be remembered particularly for his emphasis on membership and for introducing a much more proactive Management Committee to replace the former and outdated Old Millhillian Council. On November 26 John was entertained to lunch at the Army and Navy Club Seven members of the Committee, including the President and Chairman, were there to thank him for his work for the Club. Ronny Cohn had organised what proved to be a most convivial occasion.

Obviously there have been changes in the Office with the retirement of our secretary, Viv Wood.

Shalaka Karlekar has taken on a much fuller role, though recently Ann Bunyard has stepped in to do the book-keeping as we are still without an accountant. The credit card payment system for event tickets and merchandise is working well and we are also intending to complete the setting up of a direct debiting system soon when we shall encourage members to transfer from standing orders to direct debit when paying their membership. The Management Committee meet regularly and is well attended: Noyan Nihat has re-joined the Committee with responsibility for membership and Berinda Banks will be the School liaison representative.

We have emailed all Club members about the necessity of producing the School magazine on-line. We successfully trialled the 'turn a page/online' publication. This has to be done because of the cost of postage, the size of the magazine and 'green' issues but we shall endeavour to accommodate those who wish to continue with their collection of hard copies.

With generous support from the School, we are investing in a new website. The site should look very good and will have the mechanism to enable us to be much more proactive in keeping members updated with news etc. Many thanks to Roger Streeten who ran the original site and we hope he will continue with his excellent design work of Martlet and other publications. New and fuller information will be available on the website, such as extended obituaries, which we have not been able to include in the magazine.

We are now running a careers service from the office, both to offer guidance to present pupils and to support younger Old Millhillians at and after university. Many thanks to all those who have offered their help and the service is now in operation. It is a facility such as this that will enable us to offer more to younger members and we hope that many will take advantage. If you would like to help, please get in touch with Shalaka in the office.

The final meeting and dinner of the St Bees Association was held on Saturday 4 April. A full report appears elsewhere in the magazine but congratulations to all those who did so much in the organisation over the years, particularly the founders, David Smith and Michael Berry.

Among the subsidiary clubs it is good to report that the merger of the Old Millhillians and Totteridge cricket clubs seems to have had a positive first season and congratulations to Stewart Wernham for all his efforts in making this project work. The rugby club is also beginning to have something of a resurgence, and now running a second fifteen. The Golf Society continues to be very strong and had a great centenary year, culminating in a dinner at Lords Cricket Ground in the Long Room in December.

Finally, this is a member’s club: it can only thrive and develop if membership is strong and if individuals feel willing and able to contribute with their views and suggestions. We want to hear from you so please feel free to let us have your thoughts; they are most welcome. Our links with the School remain strong and we thank Dr Dominic Luckett, Headmaster, and Bruce Fraser, the Bursar for their continuing support.

Tim Corbett, Honorary Secretary

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