After his election as Club President for the next two years, Robin Copland (left) was congratulated by Jim Stirling, the new Vice-President (centre), and Andy Anderson, now wearing the Past President’s badge (right)

On Wednesday 20 April 2022 CRSC held its 90th Annual General Meeting: it was our first ever hybrid AGM, with an ‘actual’ audience of 28 at Jurys Inn, Glasgow, and an online audience of over 50. Stuart Craig was in the ‘actual’ congregation and gives his impression of the proceedings.

AGMs can be fairly sombre, but there were many fascinating moments at our latest business meeting. While our technical chaps were setting up their equipment, they asked outgoing President Andy Anderson to give a quick preamble into the microphone. For once poor Andy was lost for words – a rare event. He soon found his voice, however, in delivering his ‘farewell’ President’s Report, where he reflected on the difficult two years of his tenure.

Andy is a ‘people man’, and the difficulties in conducting meetings in the conditions enforced on him by Covid were not what he had anticipated. However, he shone through and the Club owe him a debt of gratitude for the manner in which he doggedly stuck at the task of chairing meetings online and overseeing the running of the Club. I think he looked a touch sad at handing over the mantle, but he can be justifiably proud that he has left the Club in a stronger, more resilient position than perhaps it has ever been. One of our members has even dubbed Andy the “Zoom King” of CRSC.

Andy Anderson (right) gives the president’s report, flanked by Eric Schofield (centre) and Billy Tomlinson (left), who have served in their posts as Club Secretary and Treasurer for 40 and 56 years respectively

So Andy handed over to our new President, Robin Copland, thus ensuring we still have a strong hand at the helm. Andy’s final quip, when pinning the President’s badge onto Robin’s lapel, was “if you hear a hissing sound, I’ve gone too far in!”

Robin, looking justifiably proud, then gave a brief statement in which he promised to try to live up to the “reputation of the legends” who had preceded him.

His first duty was to nominate a Vice-President. Robin suggested Jim Stirling and gave a glowing account of Jim’s credentials. Following this, other office-bearers were re-appointed to their respective posts. The two ‘ordinary member’ positions on the committee will be filled by Alex Forrest and newcomer Carrie MacKinnon. Our two ex-officio committee members, Iain Quinn and Gordon Law, will continue to serve the Club. Carrie will also take on the role of Assistant Secretary.

Next to give their respective reports were Secretary Eric Schofield and Treasurer Billy Tomlinson. Eric gave a brief account of the many Zoom committee meetings we had held, and likened the running of the Club over the last couple of years to the art of spinning plates. He also mentioned the recent passing of two past presidents, Archie MacCallum and Alastair Cormack.

Billy then took us methodically through the Club accounts. An important issue was the raising of the subscription for the 2022-23 session to £30 to cover increasing costs – especially the spiralling postal charges. This is the first increase for seven years. The £10 introductory subscription will remain as before.

Andy Anderson (left) congratulates Robin Copland on his election as CRSC President for the next two years. Robin will preside over the Club’s 90th anniversary celebrations, including a dinner on Friday 14 October in Glasgow

The business of the evening over, Iain Quinn gave us a thoroughly interesting presentation on the post-war history of Craigendoran Pier, and the wonderful steamers that called there. The pier closed in 1972 and didn’t take long to decline into sad dereliction, but Iain’s photos and encyclopaedic banter brightened up our evening.

He paid particular tribute to his father, Club member and keen photographer Edward Quinn. Now we know that Iain is a ‘chip off the old block’.

The evening had some genuinely funny moments. When comparing the different liveries of his favourite steamer (Waverley) over the past 75 years, Iain Quinn had us all laughing when he declared he was “not a yellow-funnel buff”. Shortly after this, our new President, evidently still attuned to Iain’s talk, announced that our next excursion, on Saturday 7 May, “will be to Craigendoran” (the cruise will actually be on Loch Katrine, followed by lunch — book here). But my favourite moment was during Andy Anderson’s address. A  mobile phone rang out from the back and several heads turned round, thinking there was an ice-cream van in the room. The  chap next to me woke with a start and shouted “two 99s and an oyster, please!”

So there you have it: our 90th AGM, and members can be assured that the Clyde River Steamer Club is in good hands. Thanks are due to Club member Robert Newth and his colleague David Cherry for their expert help in broadcasting and recording the meeting.

Videos of the AGM proceedings and of Iain Quinn’s presentation are available here (members only).

Published on 22 April 2022