Zooming in on a virtual success

The AGM attracted an audience of remarkable geographical diversity, including members from Switzerland, Woking, Gerrards Cross, Godalming, Sutton, Solihull, Hexham, Carlisle, Aberdeen, Rothesay and Millport — many of whom have rarely, if ever, attended a meeting in Glasgow. A large number ‘stayed behind’ at the end for an enjoyable chat. The technical side of the evening was masterminded by Robin Copland, the Club’s incoming Vice-President (top right). Also pictured are newly appointed Review editor Douglas Allan and Publicity Manager Colin Smith (Glamis Consultancy)

With a paid membership approaching 580, the most since more than a decade ago, CRSC is riding high — a sign that positives can be found in times of adversity. Those positives were well to the fore at the 2020 Annual General Meeting, delayed since April and now achieved by Zoom video conferencing. Beneath Stuart Craig’s report and accompanying photos, we publish a selection of members’ unsolicited afterthoughts, as well as a short guide to Zoom designed to encourage others to join our next virtual meeting, expected on 13 January.

Well it was a different kind of AGM. The constitution declares that we must have one – and have one we did. Up until March this year I thought Zoom referred to a primary-coloured ice-lolly, shaped like a Tintin rocket. Now I, and the 47 others who logged-in to the meeting, are Zoom experts.

The 2020 AGM on Wednesday 11 November was a resounding success because our new Vice President , Robin Copland, had set it up perfectly, and because those in virtual attendance willed it to be. When it kicked off, the audience were suitably muted while the row of talking heads on our screens gave enthusiastic testament to the healthy state of CRSC.

Our outgoing President, Roy Paterson, started the proceedings by reminiscing about the last time members were able to meet at our Jurys Inn venue in Glasgow – a presentation by Iain MacLeod in March. He then paid tribute to Ian McCrorie who sadly passed away in December last year.

Honorary Secretary Eric Schofield was then the subject of praise for getting the spring mailing out just as Government restrictions were turning the key on us all. Can the author of this ditty just add his own appreciation of Roy: he gave great service to the Club during his two years as President.

Eric was next, giving the Secretary’s report in his usual succinct style. Although this was the Club’s first virtual AGM, he drew attention to the seven Zoom committee meetings we had had since March, adding that future virtual meetings for members were planned for early next year.

Gordon Law was praised for consistently raising the quality of the Club Calendar: the 2021 edition is available online through the Club Shop

Our Treasurer Bill Tomlinson then explained the mysteries of the accounts and reassured us all that the subscription will be held at £25.

Our new President is Andrew Anderson. Andy immediately embarked on his personal CV and his outline vision for the Club over the next two years. Where Bill used lots of numbers Andy regaled us with lots of words. He reminded us that his late brother Gibbie was Club President in 2007-08 and that the Andersons are not the first brothers to have served in this exalted position for the Club – two Thomson brothers took up that mantle many moons ago. Not quite the ‘Thomson Twins’ but our own Captain Haddock will clearly enjoy steering the CRSC ship through these restricted times into the brighter future that lies ahead. And he’ll do it with great enthusiasm, you can be assured.

The meeting ended with a recording of our Membership Secretary in reverential attire giving a lugubrious impression of some of his fellow committee members – I hope they were still laughing at the end of it!

Finally, great thanks are due to Robin Copland for his expertise in setting up the meeting. The proceedings were perfectly coordinated and flowed seamlessly due to his careful preparation and skill.

If you haven’t yet paid your 2020-21 subscription, please do so now. You can pay online here.

The ceremonial handing over of the President’s badge from Roy Paterson (left) to Andy Anderson (right) took place at Largs a few days before the AGM

A representative selection of members’ reactions to the AGM via email and social media 

“The session last night was both informative and entertaining. [It] looked very well produced and well-choreographed (do we have Robin to thank for that?). Such a format does have the advantage of allowing members who live some distance from the Club’s epicentre to truly feel part of it. I knew many of the names, but last night I was able to become familiar with the faces too, so I hope that, even when things ‘normalise’, you might be able to continue such ‘broadcasts’. I’m sure also that it will encourage additional folk to become members. Well done ‘Team CRSC’ and sincere thanks (probably also on behalf of all those who live far from the urban metropolis of Glasgow!!).”

“Well done to all concerned. A most enjoyable and informative meeting.”

“An excellent attempt from the committee and a sure sign to all the members that the Club is in fine fettle. I thought it went splendidly and was great fun, especially Stuart’s take-off of Rikki Fulton.”

“Loved the take-off of Rev I.M. Jolly/ Rikki Fulton by Rev P S Goodship aka Stuart Craig. Congratulations to our new President and many thanks for an interesting AGM.”

“As a new member it was good to be able to put faces to names. Compared to some Zoom meetings I’ve experienced recently it seemed to run pretty smoothly. I stayed to the end and enjoyed the Rev Jolly take-off! I look forward to the next meeting in Jan.”

Honorary Treasurer William Tomlinson addressed the gathering in time-honoured fashion, stating that the Club was in a ‘decent financial position’

Numbers at the AGM took a wee while to build up as members unfamiliar with Zoom grappled with the technology. There was also a slight tail-off at the end, though many stayed for a chat. Among those pictured here are Cruise Coordinator Neil Guthrie and Past Presidents Douglas Brown, Robert Cleary, Deryk Docherty, Gordon Law, Iain MacLeod and Ken Mills, as well as Aberdeen-based member Donald Thomas, CRSC cruise regulars Paul McVittie and Graeme Roy, Millport-born newcomer James Gallaher, CalMac’s Hazel O’Neill and Waverley manager Paul Semple

Guide to Zoom

If you wish to join future CRSC ‘virtual’ meetings, you will first need to download the Zoom app from the internet (it’s free). You will also need a Meeting ID and Password, to be supplied in advance by CRSC. Suitably armed with those two codes, click here for the Zoom website and then click ‘Join a Meeting’ (centre right on the toolbar at the top of the home page). Insert the Meeting ID where indicated. Then click ‘Join’ and follow the simple instructions from there. Once you have found your way through, you’ll realise it’s actually quite easy. Additional queries: email info@crsc.org.uk

As well as writing the above AGM report, Membership Secretary Stuart Craig provided one of the highlights of the evening — an address by ‘honorary CRSC chaplain Rev P. S. Goodship’ in the spirit of the late Rikki Fulton’s TV legend I. M. Jolly. It was a real hoot, creating comic relief after the evening’s formal business had come to an end

If you haven’t yet joined CRSC, click here for an introductory £10 subscription.

Published on 13 November 2020