The Royal Navy Club of 1765 and 1785 (United 1889)
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Chairman's Annual Report - 2018

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It is a pleasure to render my Annual Report for Financial Year (FY) 2017/2018 for the Royal Navy Club of 1765 and 1785.

Overview

It has been another very satisfactory year for our Club with the new Committee numbers and a few new Committee members, overseeing the now more streamline governance of business. The General Fund is healthy and the Trustees have also kept a wary eye on our Charitable Surplus Fund in the rather uncertain investment market place of late. A successful dining programme has been well supported combining club tradition with more geographical “reach” and the inclusion of spouses and partners at the June dinner continues to be very popular. In governance terms it has been a steady year and I can report that we are fully compliant with the General Data Protection Regulations, that so many of you will have been pestered with in many other different guises. The new initiative to hold the AGM immediately prior to the October dinner resulted in a few more members attending (3!) and will be repeated again this year. Membership continues to remain at around 800 and charitable objectives have been met in full.

General Points

Dinners. The cadence of three dinners a year is now well established: Founder's Day in London, June in the regions and Trafalgar night in Portsmouth. You will note from your Dinner Card that with a wary eye on costs, convenience, but with a slight break in tradition, the February Founder's Day dinner in London next year will be held at The Naval Club in Mayfair. A return to the RY BRITANNIA is also scheduled in June. Our June dinner this year was aboard RNR HMS EAGLET, Liverpool and was entertained with a superb speech by Jonathan Dimbleby on the Battle of the Atlantic. Although generally well attended there is invariably spare capacity at each dinner, so I urge you to sign up early and bring a guest, except of course for Founder's Day where to ensure Chatham House rules for our speakers, we have no guests. With dining and socialising as the main raison d'etre of the club, I would ask that members try and support at least one dinner a year if at all possible.

Membership. Our Secretary does us proud, and you could help him in his role of supporting us in a number of ways. Firstly, as I mentioned in my report last year, the continued health of our club is unquestionably our ability to recruit new members. If you are able, please inform the Secretary of any potential new members either newly promoted, still serving or retired. As you would expect, a useful link with the Commanding Officer's Desig course is established, but that is only the beginning, I am sure we could do a lot better to attract new members. Secondly, please keep an eye on your bank account in regard to your direct debit to the Club. There is a small, but significant number of members where their direct debit is still to be reestablished or confirmed after the recent collection date change. I would be grateful if you all gave this a few minutes of your time. Equally, change of addresses, especially email addresses and rank should be notified to the Secretary. Finally, there has been very little take up of the option I mentioned last year for members to receive their annual mailings by email. Since this would reduce costs, I request you think about it again and contact the Secretary if you are interested. Club Prize. This Club's annual prize to the best performing student at the Command Qualification 2 Board was this year awarded to Lt Cdr Huge Harris. He was at sea for the Founder's Day dinner and will therefore receive his brass sextant at our Trafalgar Night dinner in HMS NELSON on 25 October 2018.

Surplus and General Funds

Both the General and Surplus funds are in good shape. The General Fund is in modest surplus after all bills have been paid and charitable aims met. The General Fund transferred £1000 to the Surplus Fund at the end of the financial year thereby meeting our charitable remit as a dining club. We hope to transfer an equivalent amount next year. The Surplus fund continues to be managed by Quilter Cheviot, overseen by our Trustees and the investment portfolio is in good shape notwithstanding a rather unpredictable market.
Support for 7 Memorialists is being maintained (all Club widows) through financial support and I urge you, yet again, to bring to the notice of the Secretary anyone who is in need of support and eligible to be a memorialist.

The approved and signed Independent Examiner's report on both accounts can be accessed through the Club's web site.

Summary

It has been a very satisfactory year and your Club remains in good order. The Club has again met its charitable aims in full and facilitated a well balanced schedule of three excellent dinners with interesting, informed speakers at a variety of venues. An equally interesting programme is planned for next year including a return to Edinburgh with a particular focus on our Scottish members and those serving at the Clyde Naval Base. Remember that much useful information on the club and its activities is available on the excellent web site at www.royalnavyclub.org Please view it as you see fit.

In sum, the Club is in good form and I remain delighted to act as your Chairman. Let me in conclusion express my thanks to all of the Committee and Trustees, but especially Brian Boxall-Hunt, for their continued diligence in the overall management and governance of this fine Club.

Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope GCB OBE DL
Chairman