Haverfordwest Target Shooting Club
Minutes of the Annual General Meeting
28th. January 2015
The meeting, held in the Mariner’s Hotel Haverfordwest, commenced at 8.00PM.
The Club Chairman, David Scheeres in the chair.
Apologies for absence. Apologies had been received from Jill and Sutton Tanner, Ian McCallan, Martin Roberts, and further apologies were accepted from the floor for Graham Williams and David Morse.
Chairman’s Statement. David Scheeres remarked on the low turnout at the AGM from what was a thriving club with an enthusiastic membership. As a club, we had experienced a very good year, competition wise, both within the club and at other venues including overseas and Bisley. We had seen an excellent run of competitions, our accounts were in order, no accidents or safety issues and a superb training regime in place. This was in marked contrast to a few years ago when the membership dropped to a perilously low level. The new membership in general was all reasonably young, enthusiastic and most importantly, competitive. Even with the club at its current membership level our books were still open and we would be looking and welcoming new members. Shooting was a sport with no age restrictions and DS had known shooters still performing admirably well into their nineties.
As a sport we are constantly under critical observation from the large body of shooting detractors. We therefore need to be vigilant of the messages and images we convey to the outside world. We want to publicise the club, but in a controlled way. Over the year we had experienced some problems with Facebook posting which did the club no favours. We have to be careful about what is published about us, as the access to things like Facebook is global. All Social Media can be problematic in portraying our image to the world. While 95% of everything that is likely to go out is OK, the other 5% could ruin us. It is therefore the club policy that if you want to publish a story about shooting which involves directly or indirectly the club, members do so through the committee and via the club web site.
As stated, we have an enthusiastic membership, but like all clubs 20% of the people did 80% of the work to keep it going. This was unfair with regards to maintaining the facilities and the club had started to look a bit shabby, untidy and dirty. We need to engage more members in the upkeep of the range and to this end in 2015 we would be introducing a series of work parties where each member would be expected to turn up or provide a cover to do the required work. This could be done one Sunday a month before shooting, but that has proved problematical in the past with people turning round in the car park and going home when they found out there was work to be done. Whatever system we adopt we cannot rely on one or two people like David Morse doing all the work. When the details are worked out, the membership will be informed and co- opted to carry out allotted tasks.
We also intended to enforce the wearing of Membership Badges on the range this year and were considering introducing a “No Badge, – No Shoot policy”. The club was becoming too big for everyone to know who was a member or not, and it was important that we could tell full Members from Probationers or mere members of the public just walking in, which had happened in the past. A comment from the floor (RD) suggested that a picture board of members be established.
This year we will try and engage in inter club and inter organisational shoots and expand our activities in this direction. We already had contacts with WWML and Penrhiwpal, and also with Narberth Dragons and Modern Print on the air side. Shoots have also been arranged at Castlemartin and Penally during the year. The cost of shooting on weekends is prohibitive due to having to pay overtime, so all shoots are in the week. People will be given ample warning to book time off if they want to shoot rifle at long range. Even if you have not got a suitable gun, and fancy a try, please come along. There are enough guns in the club to enable you to borrow one, and thanks to range officers in the club and from Penrhiwpal, we have enough range cover to ensure safe shooting. Our discipline has been commented on favourably by the Army. So come along and experience some of the finest target shooting technology available anywhere in the world. Having said all that the ranges are military ranges, and the MOD has the right to cancel our bookings at any time if they need them.
Our growing band of internationals and our increasing attendance in international events are allowing us to fully live up to the club mascot of “No competition too hard – No distance too far”
DS then stated that he thought that all forms of shooting should be encouraged, and if the club could accommodate any discipline with our facilities, then we should do so. From a personal point of view he would like to see proper Pistol Shooting back at the club, which was originally formed initially as a Pistol Club. Black powder was going well in the club, but we could extend our range by adopting Heritage Fullbore Pistol shooting. There was not a Heritage site in Wales, (6 in England) and to establish one would be costly. There were plenty of grants available from the Lottery Heritage Fund etc., which should mean that there would be no cost to the club in establishing a Heritage Shooting Centre at Haverfordwest.
DS was looking forward to the prizegiving and to the fact that there would be a lot of new faces accepting prizes this year.
Treasurers Report. Alan Davies stated that the club last year was £2K better off than the previous year, even though there had been a large expenditure on site development, especially the 100m range. The balance of funds as of 31’st December 2014 was £20,747. This balance was now considerably increased with the influx of the 2015 subscriptions.
Competition Secretary Report. Adam Kendrick said that the Gallery Rifle competitions in 2014 had been very close and with improving scores, this had led to winners being decided by counting X’s. The club was well represented at Bisley and further afield. Of particular note were the performances of Marek Pawlik and Rob Wheeler. Gallery Rifle was now the backbone of the club, instead of pistol competitions, even though LBR and LBP were getting more popular. There was also good participation in the B/P classes with Tim doing especially well. He was now eligible for GB team selection, joining John Munt. John had shot internationally in the European championships, held in Spain last year.
In 2015, there would be some changes to the shooting categories, with the Mauser action class widened to encompass any bolt action military rifle pre 1945. Also, the Victorian and Edwardian Rifle competitions would be shot on the same day, and a Classic iron sighted Gallery Rifle class would be introduced. With luck and the completion of the 100m range fullbore bench would be shot at 100m at tiny targets. Shooting trips this year were being planned to Ireland derby, Germany and Jersey, as well as the usual Bisley trips. We still need more young, bold and passionate competitive shooters in the club for the future.
Membership Secretary Report. John Munt commented favourably on the fact that the club was now at a membership level of 144, up from 133 last year. We lose between 3 to 5 members every year due to deaths, moves or just quitting the sport in the case of juniors. This year would be no different, but we already had at least 5 people already in the pipeline, with more to come. Parents of juniors, especially in the air section, often join in and become members as well. The best ever membership level for the club was 150 in the late 70’s and we were now going to get back to that level very quickly. John Rolfe, one of the UK’s best pistol shots had made enquiries about joining. Before the pistol ban John won a major 1500 competition in Jersey, dropping only 3 points on the way (1497 score). He would provide serious competition for everyone in the club. He is a very nice and approachable person, like 99% of shooters. The other 1% would not talk to you any way. Activities were now expanding beyond the club once more. In the old pistol days, the club would be represented in 2 or more competitions a month in the summer. This is the key to improving performance. At one time the club only had one world class shooter in Gareth Irving with everybody else being substantially inferior. But slowly over the years his lead was eroded and finally eclipsed by other members, all through fierce competition and competitive events.
Air Section Report. Martin Davies, for the air section also remarked on the close nature of the competitions and also the increasing level of proficiency. The Summer Competition was won by a mere 3 point difference and the Winter Competition by 11 points. The club was extremely busy on a Thursday, but also had a large turnover of juniors. Still, there were 3 or 4 new arrivals just walking in every month, more than making up for any losses. Some of these new entries were taking part in competitions from the word go, even as Probationers.
Election of Officers and Committee. DS stated that there were no new nominations for Officers and the Committee was 1 short after a resignation in 2014, with only one nomination being received to fill the vacancy. This was for Dafydd Perks, Nominated by Adam Kendrick and Seconded by Chas Rone. As the rest of the Committee and Officials had decided to stand again, there would be no need for an election. DS asked if that was acceptable to the membership, and if there was any disagreement. On a show of hands no disagreement was noted, and the existing Committee, with the addition of Dafydd Perks was elected for 2015.
DS also commented that the positions on the Committee were always open and any member could be proposed and elected at the Annual General Meeting.