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ANNUAL MEETING. SATISFACTORY FINANCIAL POSITION. HIGHER SUBSCRIPTIONS. IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENTS FORESHADOWED. CHAMPIONS ENGAGED. PAID SECRETARY. THE COURSE LEASE NEGOTIATIONS. The annual meeting of the Tenby Golf Club, which was more than usually important and interesting, was held at the Cobovrg Hotel on Wednesday evening of last week, when Dr. Charles Mathias (the Captain) presided over a large and representative gathering of members. Mr J. S. Brown, the Hon. Secretary, sub- mitted the annual statement of accounts, which showed a balance of £ó9 lis. Id. brought for- ward from the last account, and receipts of £563 Os. 7d. The receipts from annual mem- bers showed an increase of £29 7s. 6d. and those from visitors of £69 12s. On the other hand the expenditure had practically remained stationary, amounting to £40468. 6d., as against £395 lis. 7d. in the previous year. The balance remaining in favour of the club is the substantial one of B158 14s. Id. Mr R. Hulton (formerly Hon. Secretary of it the Club) proposed that the financial statement be passed. Mr Hunter Kent seconded. After some unsupported criticism of the accounts from Mr Herbert Allen, the resolution was put to the meeting and carried, Mr Allen being the only dissentient. The next business on the agenda was to con- firm the increase in fees for members joining the Club on and after October 1st, 1910. Mr Brown explained that the Committee had passed a resolution in August, that future annual members from October 1st of the present year should pay an entrance fee of two guineas and a subscription of a similar amount, whilst the entrance fee for ladies was to be increased to one guinea, though the subscription would remain as before. The entrance fee of county members was raised to two guineas, and their annual subscription to a guinea instead of 15s. as before. With regard to the daily tickets, these would in future be 2s. 6d. instead of 2s. Mr A. W. Massy proposed that the alterations as suggested should be given etfect to. Mr Montagu Leeds enquired the reason as to the raising of the entrance fees. Mr Brown replied to the effect, that in any undertaking which was successful a man if he wanted to 0 buy the shares had to pay an increased price. They were simply asking people to pay for the successful establisment of the Club. Mr Hulton seconded the motion, which was unanimously passed. The third item of business on the agenda was to alter Rule XX. to read "The annual general meeting of the Club shall be held in the first half of January in each year" instead of as at present in October. The Chairman said he was responsible for the suggestion. October was a very slack month in Tenby, and a great many people were away. If they held the annual meeting in January they would have a much more representative body of people present. Mr Hulton said he quite agreed with the Chairman's remarks. There were several play- ing members of the Club who could not be present at that time of the year, and he thought that after Christmas they would be more likely to capture members than in the autumn. He thought it was just as well that these members should be given an opportunity of attending the annual meeting, as their advice on various things might be of considerable advantage to the Club. He had much pleasure in seconding the recommendation. The Chairman said he took it that the holding of the annual meeting in January would make no difference to the accounts; it would not interfere with the financial year. Mr Herbert Allen- When will the next ac- counts be passed ? Mr Brown—In January, 1912. A Voice—A good rest. (Laughter.) The Chairman said the next business they, had to deal with was the War Office lease. He was pleased to announce that the negotiations with the War Office for a lease of their portion of the Burrows had practically come to a satis- factory termination after many weeks of waiting and writing. Mr Brown supplemented the Chairman's statement with the further one that the War Office had given the Golf Club a lease for the whole of the ground they (the War Office) had purchased from Sir Charles Philipps. The lease would be an annual one only, as the War Office were unable to grant it for any longer length of time.. Satisfactory arrangements, the Secretary added, had been made for the sub-letting of the grazing. Mr Herbert Allen asked if any information could be given as to the negotiations for a lease of the Tenby end of the Burrows. It was im- portant that the question should be settled, as one of the chief requirements of the Club was a pavilion, which could not be provided until they had a sufficient tenure. Mr Brown replied that it was intended to convene a special meeting at which the nego- tiations would be laid on the table. He added, amid applause, that there was a probability of an early and satisfactory solution of the diffi- culty being arrived at. "To propose that the Secretary be paid an annual remuneration of £50, dating from Octo- ber 1st, 1910," was the next item on the agenda. Mr J. S. Brown, who had acted as Hon. Secretary of the Golf Club for the last couple of years, addressed the meeting at considerable length before the recommendation of the Committee was put. He said :—May I be allowed, before the next item on the agenda is discussed, to lay before you what has led to the proposal being made. To those who have been actively engaged in the manage- ment of the affairs of the club for the last few years two facts stand out most prominently, and time only makes these facts more undeniable. The first is that if this club is to continue its progress, and in all human concerns it is either progress or retrogression, there can be no standing still. The fuel necessary for working the machinery cannot be supplied locally in other words, the club cannot look for a very marked increase in the number of resident members. I think we may reasonably expect more members in time, but these will be chiefly country members. The other fact is that if progress is to be looked for, and we are all, I take it, in favour of this, we must look for help from the visitors. Now, if this be granted, how are we to attract them to the course ? First of all then we must provide a course that is worth coming to, and in this respect we have nothing to fear. From the remarks that were made to me during the summer by visitors, some of whom were unaware at the time of speaking that I was an official of the club, and consequently were much freer in their comments, the quality ( of the golf provided for them was highly appre- ciated. The assistance and advice given by Braid during his visit will remove the main difficulty that the committee has been con- tending with, namely, that several of the holes converged too much, and rendered the carrying of a lot of players at any one time not such an easy matter as it should be. I may add here that some of our members, I understand, have the idea that the committee is obsessed with the intention of making the course so difficult that only a certain class of player is being con- sidered, and that the medium and long handi- cap players—and these always form the back- bone of any club—are not being thought of at all. Now, such an impression is absolutely erroneous. The aim of your committee is much wider than this, namely, to provide sport and enjoyment for all classes of players. If the Welsh Union or other championship is to be held over the course, and there is much more than a possibility that the Welsh meeting of 1912 will be held here, a course for such all occasion is being provided, and the provision will be found to be—on the authority of no less a player than the present open champion— of a most complete and nerve-testing character. But it doesn't follow for a moment that because the provision is made that the nerves of players are to be strained on every round. With the exception of a few special occasions it may be taken for granted that the course as played at present will be substantially the regular 'one. It would be perhaps as well here to allay the fears of members who have the idea that Braid has advised the committee to plaster and dis- figure the course with what they consider need- less bunkers. Braid's own words are, "You have an amply supply of these already but some of these holes are to near together, and must be thrown apart; and the only way to accomplish this is to restrain players by the fear of a bunker so that they may take another line to the next green. It will be found that the guarding of the greens has only been arranged in very few cases in fact, Braid's moderation in this respect struck me very much. It is the intention of the committee to provide alternate tees at every hole if possible during the winter, so that if the course is stretched at any time it will be at the option of each individual player to decide for himself from which tee he will drive. In addition to this it is intended as far as possible to protect ourselves against a long spell of dry weather by having reserve putting greens. Now, there is no doubt that we have the course to meet the requirements of all classes of golfers, and it will, I think, be allowed that the visitor, if looked after, is willing to pay for his sport. Then it is clear that we must advertise. Our course is one of the best, and it behoves us to let those outside of our own immediate district know its value. A remark that was frequently made during the last season was that the course was unknown, and the quality of the golf quite unnexpected. Players who were making their first visit spoke of their intention to return next year, and bring others with them. Well, Imving done our best to bring them, I think it will be granted that we must then take steps to provide competitions, etc., for them, for this is what they want. I was absent from Tenby during last August, but I was interested in trying to find out what response the visitors would make if competitions were provided, so I returned for the golf week, and to my great astonishment and delight the receipts from visitors for that one week amounted to no less a wm than JS30. Just think of this amount, and consider how with a little trouble and attention this could easily be increased. But to carry out this you must have someone on the spot, and if you agree to my proposition I will undertake that task, advertise the course, and run and advertise competitions. With this in view I have already made a provisional arrange- ment that James Braid and Harry Vardon shall play a 36 holes exhibition match in the middle of August next year, and the money to meet this heavy item of advertisement it is proposed to raise in a way that will be no charge what- ever on the funds of the club. I think that you will be able to see that my proposition now assumes a different aspect to what it apparently has to some of our members, and I will deal briefly with some of their objections in a moment or two. The crux of the question is this, if the club accedes to my request the visitors themselves will really make the neces- sary payment by being induced to come, and, when here, finding their wants looked after. It is urged that the proposal is premature. Is it premature to increase the profits of the club, both by the reduction in working expenses which can be made by further personal atten- tion on the part of the secretary, and also in the bringing and catering for a greater number of visitors ? By such a process not only is the official himself to benefit, as undoubtedly he should for such a sacrifice of time and energy to the affairs of his club, but, in addition, the club itself, and also the town of Tenby, will participate in the benefits of such an increase. Granted that the tenure of the town end of the links is not yet secure—though, as I have already stated, this is a matter of probably early solution—it cannot fairly be urged that this is a valid reason why an attempt to strengthen the financial position of the club should be postponed. The competition for visitors at the various holiday resorts is keen, and delay in making the attempt only means that the competition will be keener still if others are allowed to step in before us and we are left to pick up the crumbs later on. I think I have said enough to make it clear that the proposal to be brought forward is essen- tially for the benefit of the Tenby Golf Club, and eventually also for the good of the town, whose interests are bound to be affected by the success or non-success of what is by degrees becoming, if it has not already become, one of the most important institutions of the place. I can only add, in conclusion, if you do me the honour to re-elect me as secretary, that my utmost endeavours will be used to benetit this the oldest club in South Wales, and to place it where it ought to be, in the very forefront of Welsh golfing resorts without in any way adding to the liabilities of the club. (Ap- plause.) The Chairman, at the conclusion of Mr Brown's able speech, said it had been his privi- lege to propose that the Secretary be paid an annual remuneration of £50. He (the Chair- man) saw as much of Mr Brown's work as any- body, and a good deal of it passed through his hands, but everything ran along in the smoothest and most extraordinary manner. There was no trouble at all. He thought it was absolutely essential that a man who gave his time and trouble, and would continue to do so on behalf of the Club, should be paid some small salary for these services. (Hear, hear). They ought not to put on Mr Brown's good nature, and he (the speaker) thought that the financial position of the Golf Club was such that they would be able to stand the payment of a small sum like this. Major Sellar seconded the proposition. Mr Herbert Allen said he did not think that the Club was in a sufficiently strong financial position to be able to undertake the payment of £50 a year, and he thought that they should store up their money in order to pay what he understood would be an increased rental on the town end of the lease and for the building of a pavilion, which might cost anything under a thousand pounds. Of course, the Golf Club had not got a thousand pounds, or anything like it, still they could borrow it, and if they bor- rowed say £800 for the cost of the pavilion at four per cent., that would be £40 annually as interest, and would be a good proportion of the J350 they proposed to pay the Secretary. He did not wish to be personal to Mr Brown, but at the same time he thought there were other members of the Club who would be patriotic enough—for the good of the Club—to take over the secretaryship for nothing. Mr T. D. S. Cuninghame expressed it as his opinion that the Golf Club owed a debt of grati- tude to Mr Brown for having acted as Honorary Secretary so long. Under him the Club had made great progress, and he thought the least they could do was to pay him some salary, as they could not expect him to give up his time for nothing. He thought the Committee were unanimous in voting him this sum. (Applause.) Mr Hulton said he quite agreed with Mr Cuninghame. He had himself been Honorary Secretary of the Tenby Golf Club, but the work then was nothing like what it is now. He thought they ought to be glad to pay something when they had got the right man, and he (the speaker) should certainly vote for the proposal. (Applause.) Mr A. W. Massy said that as one of the oldest members of the Club he wished to move an amendment that the renumeration to Mr Brown be fixed at fifty guineas per annum. (Loud applause.) Captain Plumer, R.N., seconded, and the amendment being taken as the substantive motion was put to the meeting and carried nan. con. Mr Brown said he was very much obliged to them for accepting the proposition, but even if they had not lie would have gone on in the old way. He was prepared to do his best to carry on the Golf Club to the best of his powers. (Hear, hear.) With regard to the future, he was confident that they would be able to bring visitors, who would find the money necessary. He thought that the outside golfing public only wanted a chance of knowing t1.J.t such a course as that at Te.tby existed. If the Golf Club, continued Mr Brown, went out of their way to bring visitors to the town the Great Western Railway Company would have to meet the demand thus made upon them. The question of engaging Braid and Vardon to play exhibition games at Ten by was simply a question of advertisement. The Club were bringing them down in the middle of the sum- mer season, and he had no hesitation in saying that such a thing as this, well advertised, would be the turning point with numbers of golfiing people in regard to where they should spend their holidays. (Hear, hear.) At present he had only provisionally engaged the professionals for one day, but his suggestion was to go round the town and solicit subscriptions, not exceeding 5s., and by this means raise sufficient money to bring these men down for two days. He thought he would have no difficulty in thus getting what money was required. With regard to visitors' subscriptions to the Club he believed that they could be turned into a very much larger item year by year. People only wanted to know about the place to be brought to it. On the motion of Mr Massy, seconded by Colonel Voyle, Mr Brown was formally elected secretary of the Club for the ensuing year. Sir Charles Philipps, Bart., was re-elected president, and General Curteis and Captain Hughes Morgan added to the list of vice- presidents. Captain Plumer proposed the re-election of Dr. Mathias as Captain of the Club. Mr Lawford Evans seconded, and the motion was carried by acclamation. Dr. Mathias, returning thanks, said he had acted as captain for several years now, and wished somebody else would take it, but as nobody seemed inclined to take on the job, he would try to do his best again. (Applause.) The next business was the election of a committee, and upon a ballot being taken the result was announced as follows:—Mr J. F. C. Burgess, Mr Lawford Evans, Mr R. Hulton, Mr Hunter Kent, Captain Plumer and Major Sellar. A vote of thanks to the chairman closed the proceedings.







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