Outgoing Captain’s Address at the AGM

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2012 has been a year of growth and stability for Blessington Lakes

First of all I would like to welcome you all here this morning to what is the 15th AGM of the club. To start off I would like to say how honoured I am to have captained this club, having been a member since childhood it certainly means a lot to hold the position.

Back in January I posted a new year message on the website. In this message I reported that 2012 had an air of great promise to it. The committee had an aggressive marketing campaign in place and things were going along nicely.

Following a rocky 2011 I knew that my main objective as captain was survival through 2012. Survival is one thing but growth is an added bonus. In terms of numbers we have added over 600 members to the books and more than doubled revenue for the course. The cub has now laid the foundations to build a more secure future.

To have achieved this type of monumental growth has been down to pure determination and hard work by the committee. These guys can’t get enough credit and the members owe them a debt of gratitude.

The club has had some excellent additions to the committee this year

Paul O’Farrell being one of them. He has put in some amount of hours of his own time being handicap secretary and with the amount of new members that came in this year he has done a fantastic job so thank you Paul you have been a true servant to the club.

David Costigan another new member to the committee has been an incredible help in terms of the finances and I know he has also spent a lot of time helping Paul in terms of administration of the handicaps. It’s great to be able to rely on these lads and I am delighted they are staying on for another year.

I would also like to recognise the contribution that Bill Tinley, Joe Walker and Dave Callaghan have given to the club, again these are the type of guys we need more of to keep the show on the road.

Nick McHardy again has been central to the Juvenile club and I was delighted to see so many juveniles playing here throughout the summer and I know Nick has more plans for next year. Thanks Nick and I hope you can continue to keep up the excellent work that you are doing.

The whole committee have been great, thanks lads for putting the time in. This is the fourth year now I have worked with Diarmuid McCarthy on the committee, Diarmuid is not seeking re election so I would like to thank him for his contribution over the years, he has been a pleasure to work with so I hope he can now enjoy some time off now and put more time into enjoying his golf.

I was delighted when Pat Brady accepted my invitation to be vice-captain. Pat has been a member here for as long as I can remember and I know he will put his heart and soul into the role next year. I wish him and his vice captain Steve the best of luck next year, I know you will do an excellent Job.

I would also like to thank Tony McGinley who has completed his 3 year term as president. As Tony moves on Tom Bealin will be stepping into the Presidents role. To be president of a golf club is one of the highest honours there is and I can assure you that there isn’t a more deserving person than Tom. Tom has been an unbelievable servant to this club. The work he puts in is beyond words and I cannot thank him enough for his contribution. Tom has been a pleasure to work with. Without him my captaincy would have certainly been a much tougher job so thank you Tom and I wish you the best of luck in your role as President.

As always I want to commend Donie and Betty for being so easy to work with during the year. I also want to thank Donie for continuing to maintain the course to such a high standard. In terms of the condition of the course I think we can count ourselves very lucky to have the calibre of Tom Kavanagh on the books here as a green keeper.

In terms of my role as captain I have thoroughly enjoyed 2012. The main achievement has been survival and growth but I was also delighted to win the inaugural Lakeside Challenge back in September and I’m looking forward to next year’s edition when Pat will head up a team to defend the trophy down in Tulfarris.

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As my year comes to an end as captain I will be staying on the committee where I will be concentrating mainly on marketing and maintaining the membership growth by working closely with Donie and Betty rather than the day to day running of the club so before I finish I would like to appeal to all the members to support what the committee do for you. It’s not easy to run a club that has grown as quickly as ours has. The committee is understaffed and there is a lot of pressure on them to get things right all the time. It seems there is always so much to do and to do the amount of work that has to be done with such few bodies is such a very difficult job.

To take a leaf out of JFK’s book if you would

“Ask not what your club can do for you – ask what you can do for your club”

So if you feel you can contribute to help us out to run this club please put yourselves out there and volunteer to help.

Finally I would like to wish everyone a happy Christmas and I look forward to a promising 2013.

Thank you.
Niall O’Connor
Captain 2012