Well that’s the Annual General Meeting done & dusted for another year and here’s an update to keep you, our Membership, up to speed with what is going on within your Association.
There was an extremely disappointing turn-out on the evening – we have somewhere in the region of 70 local members who are all entitled to attend and make their voice heard at the AGM, however only 18 people attended the meeting. Of those, 10 were Committee members, 4 were Life members and only four ordinary Association members were present. This is the only meeting in the year where members of the Association can, and do, question the Committee about how effectively the Association is being run – so you have missed the boat this year if you wanted to have your say.The evening started with a presentation to three new Life members who, between them have given over 85 years service to the Association, fulfilling various roles on the Committee.
- Tom Cass – 28 years a Committee member and organiser / chef for our Annual Dinner for 7 years.
- Stef Grzybowski – 31 years a Committee member & 25 of those years as Secretary & Treasurer for the Association.
- Les Henderson – 26 years as a Committee member.
Our thanks and appreciation go to these stalwarts of the Association for everything they have done for the Association & our membership over the years.
Kenny Galt, Biologist with the Tweed Trout & Grayling Initiative (TTGI) then gave a presentation in relation to the Electro Fishing carried out in the Spawning Burns & Head Waters of the River Gala. The overall picture shows healthy populations of Fry & par in most of the upper catchment of the Gala Water. However one spawning burn in particular is almost completely devoid of Trout Fry or Par and the Association hopes to support the work of the TTGI to identify & rectify this particular problem area.
Moving on to the main business of the AGM I gave a recap of the main points of interest from last season which included our Open Day for Juniors to try & encourage more youngsters into our sport, the success of our Annual Dinner & the Competitions we ran to determine our Champion Angler – Congratulations again to Frank Daly. Frank, and the other Competition winners who were presented with Trophies at the Annual Dinner.
Our Annual audited accounts & balance sheet were presented for scrutiny by the membership – we had another successful financial year showing an operating profit and the Association continues to enjoy healthy Capital balances.
Permit fees will remain unchanged for the forthcoming season and work is in progress to get all the paperwork ready in preparation for the opening day on 1st April. Of course permits will be on sale well before that date so watch our website for news about where & when you can buy your permits for the 2016 season.
A proposal was presented to the AGM to amend our Competition rules to run them on a “Catch & Release” basis.
A counter Proposal was also presented for Competition rules to remain unaltered.
After written submissions both for & against the proposal, the floor was opened up to debate and most, if not all present had the chance to have their say. The matter went to a vote and the Proposal attracted seven votes, the Counter Proposal attracted ten votes therefore the Counter Proposal was carried and Competition rules will remain unaltered.
The Honorary Secretary & Treasurer were re-elected.
The meeting concluded with “Any Other Competent Business” and queries were raised regarding the website content, predator numbers on our waters and the Constitution governing the running of the Association. Opinions were expressed & a lively debate was had amongst the members.
All in all I am pleased to report that the 2015 season has been a relatively good year for the Association and in writing this update for you, I am already looking forward to the 2016 season and all that it will bring.
It only remains for me to wish all members of the Association, all the very best & “Tight Lines” for the coming year.
Chairman, Gala Angling Association.