The Royal Navy Club of 1765 and 1785 (United 1889)

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Chairman's Report - 2012

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It gives me great pleasure to render my Annual Report for 2012.

Following a lower intake proportionally from last years selections for promotion, membership has declined in numbers to {865} compared to 887 last year.  In looking critically at this, and notably at changes in the Fleet and its Officer structure, the Committee has identified a number of measures to improve the marketing of the Club amongst the pool of potential new members.  Foremost amongst these is a recommendation from the Committee that henceforth, and to exploit the exclusivity of the Club, full membership will be offered to Officers of Lieutenant Commander rank appointed to command a ship of war at sea.  This offer will not be retrospective. An amendment to the Rules for this was put to the AGM on 11 October and approved.

I am pleased to report that dinner attendance in 2011/12 improved over the previous year with 311 members and their guests dining compared to 274 in the previous year. The June 2012 Dinner in HMS OCEAN alongside in Devonport attracted a capacity turnout which bodes well for a return to the West Country in the future.  Meanwhile, the Committee has decided that whilst the Founders and Trafalgar dinners should continue to be held in London, there are sound reasons, in terms of serving and retired officer location and costs, to hold the other dinners in Portsmouth – or occasionally in the West Country or elsewhere.

Members will be pleased to note that both the General and Surplus Funds remain in good health, notwithstanding the volatility of the market and the uncertain economic times. The Committee has decided to hold the present subscription and dinner charges unchanged for the next year as a result. As outlined below, the charitable purpose of the Club continues to be most ably discharged in the management of the Surplus Fund by the Trustees and I thank them for their efforts.  Details of the Independent Examiner’s reports on the Club’s Funds are available on the Club Website.

I reiterate the appeal to members not to resign when they are no longer able to dine for whatever reason, but instead to bear in mind that their modest subscriptions do help to support the Club’s charitable work. Members are asked to let the Secretary know of any changes in rank, address (in particular email) and to report deaths of members.  I also commend the Club’s website to members, which is well worth visiting for information and notices of changes to the dinners programme.
Finally, my thanks to the Secretary John Hall for his unstinting work on behalf of the Club, and also to the Committee who play a important part in its governance and administration.

Admiral Sir Ian Forbes