Well, where did that year disappear to? 

Happily, this was a year of continual opening, unlike the previous 2 year’s continual re-openings! Though we had periods of nervousness of what might return at times, we did see the gradual easing of Covid-19 Government restrictions, whilst continuing to operate mindful of the need for health safety measures both on and off the water. 

Through the winter there was a lovely warm atmosphere in the Members Bar, as members increasingly ventured out and took advantage of what many found to be a “safe” place to socialise. We offered social events such as the monthly “Club Suppers” with various guest chefs, enabling members to meet in safe numbers and mingle, and were able to resurrect gatherings with themed food around the Six Nations rugby matches. The Commodore’s lounge also sprang back into life with larger private functions, as well as member’s events. Then spring and summer brought larger outdoor events, the Jubilee celebrations, and our Open Day; the sun shone strongly on both occasions…a good omen! Goings on waterside are detailed in the Rear Commodore’s report.

The Management Committee seized the opportunity to refresh your club. Some work may not be visible to the naked eye, such as infrastructure rationalisation and renewal, both physical and technological, essential for the smooth running of the club. Decoration and repairs, most planned, and other caused by spring storms, were completed. The staff were only mildly excited by investment in items such as fridges, dishwashers, and tills, but some members will appreciate items such as baby changing facilities, improvements in shower rooms, and the return of the wind guru. Other items in progress include a new website (the current one is fragile and limited), and a panning tilt and zoom camera soon to be mounted on the north-west corner of the Club. 

Back in November the Management Committee began discussions, as the sad deaths of paddle boarders in Haverfordwest raised again the issue of liability. Liability of the Club’s Trustees, Management Committee, and members, and therefore highlighting the possibility of becoming incorporated. Many members have engaged in discussions either by email or attending one of the open sessions, and you will have the chance to vote on this proposal at the AGM, or before by email.

My thanks go to the staff, some who have worked at times of shortage under pressure, occasionally hindered by willing Committee Members behind the bar, and are now gearing up for the busiest weeks of the year with more suitably trained colleagues. Both Staff and Committee appreciate very much the patience, and support of members throughout the year.

Heartfelt appreciation goes to the Management Committee who give their time, voluntarily, and without whom NBC could not function. This year the Committee has been a phenomenal team in terms of skills, collaboration, and commitment, which I am proud to have steered. If you have passion for your Club, skills, and some time to share, do please talk to me about what is involved as a Management Committee member – we would welcome more help. 

All in all, thanks to the hard work of the staff, the support of you the members, and the diligence and energy of the Management Committee your Club has fared comparatively well under current economic pressures and has most definitely awakened from its enforced slumbers since spring 2020. Long may it continue!

Best wishes to you all,

Niki South

Commodore Newport Boat Club