Yesterday saw Over-Seas House, London, play host to the Chairman's Lunch and AGM, both of which were very well attended by members from across the world. The day began with a drinks reception in the Central Lounge, before members headed up to the Hall of India and Pakistan for a two-course lunch and a speech from Delia Jarett-Macauley, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Caine Prize.
After lunch, members headed downstairs to the Princess Alexandra Hall for the AGM, which saw Sir David Brewer joined on stage by Honorary Treasurer Phil Nicklin, and Director-General Diana Owen. Following the national anthem, played by Annual Music Competition alum Gamal Khamis piano, the Chairman addressed the audience and spoke of the changes in personnel at ROSL throughout 2017, which has served to strengthen the management team, led by new Director-General Diana Owen, and the difficult decision made by Central Council to close the Edinburgh clubhouse. Following this, the Honorary Treasurer gave his report on the state of ROSL finances and the one-off charges in 2017 associated with changes in the management team and the costs of structural surveys at both clubhouses. Accounts for the year were then received and adopted by the assembled members and auditors were adopted for 2018.
Following this, Tony Lavender, Dena Arstall, Clive Carpenter, and Vice-Chairman David Fall, were announced as retiring from Central Council and new appointments were made, including elevating Professor Meryll Dean as the new Vice-Chairman.
Then came Diana Owen's report, which detailed her plans for the future of ROSL, including a governance review this year, as well as her commitment to getting the best deal possible for members from the closure of the Edinburgh clubhouse, and the future maintenance work required at Over-Seas House, London.
Questions from the floor covered a variety of topics, including the reasons behind the closure in Edinburgh and ROSL's carbon footprint, details of which can be found in the upcoming edition of Overseas, plus finances, and the future of the London clubhouse, in particular plans to get more members using the Restaurant.