Minutes of the Meeting on Sunday March 17th at 2pm
– MORAY PROVINCE –
Arradoul Village Hall, nr Buckie
Present: Mike Watt (Chairman), Mike Pickthall, Sandra MacIver, Alan Campbell, Gordon Kennedy (Temporary Secretary), Neil Durno, Alastair Maltman, Mark Jacklin, Campbell Ross, Gavin Nicol, Ann Munro and Susan Cooksley.
1. Apologies for absence.
Ken Greenwood, Colin Macgregor, Bill Nicol, Ali Asher, George Macarthur, Hugh Robertson, Robbie Craigie, Stuart Mackenzie, Bill Duncan, Mike McInnes, Moira Clark, Hamish Clark, Gregor Ewen, David MacPherson,
Adoption of Minutes of the previous Province Committee Meeting
Not on agenda
Matters arising from these minutes not covered in the Agenda.
Not on agenda
2. President’s Report
Mike Watt started off his report by showing a vote of thanks to the late Graham Grant for all the hard work and time he put into the Moray Province prior to his death in January. It was noted that even up to Graham’s last few days he was still working for the curling community by ensuring his role was handed over in a timeous and organised manner. Mike went on to thank all the curlers who attended his funeral and commented that it had been a great comfort to Heather and the family that so many came to pay their last respects. Mike went on to thank Stuart Mackenzie for stepping into the void Graham’s passing left and taking on the role until the end of the season. Sandra MacIver enquired as to why the meeting was being held in the format of a Pre AGM Committee Meeting as opposed to the Special meeting she had requested to deal with the matters now on the Agenda as “Item 8”. Mike Watt explained that the item could be dealt with in that way to provide one less meeting for all concerned to attend and felt it could be dealt with just as well in this format as in a special meeting convened for that purpose.
Not on agenda. No Secretary’s Report submitted due to no secretary in post. At this point Sandra MacIver asked if minutes were being taken and Gordon Kennedy volunteered to do so for the remainder of the meeting
3. Match Secretaries reports.
West: No report submitted
East: No report submitted. Mike Watt went on to say that the reason for Stuart Mackenzie not being present was that there were outstanding issues that required resolution in Division 5 that directly affected the promotion and title outcomes and as he was in that division he felt it inappropriate to be at a meeting where those matters may be discussed. Gordon Kennedy at that point enquired as to what the problems were. Mike Watt highlighted that the Grampian Police team have been using a player from Inverness province who is alleged to not be a member of Moray Province and Aberlour Curling Club have been using a player that does not show as being a member of their club on the RCCC database. Discussion then took place that queried how this matter is best dealt with. Sandra MacIver pointed out who in the constitution is responsible for a ruling on these infringements. Ann Munro commented that in the past there has been a trust in the honesty that all participants are adhering to the rules and while some of the problems have been the result of ignorance of those rules, there required to be a tightening up of their application by province officials in both player eligibility and non-conformance to the substitution rules. Ann also brought up the “fudging” of the rules over date changes of fixtures. One specific fixture was mentioned between Sunninghill & Elgin Tennis & Curling Club which was re-arranged from October 2012 to Late February 2013. Queries came from Gavin Nicol as to why a ruling hadn’t been given on this matter when it was so clearly in breach of all the rules in the province re fixture re-scheduling. Mike Watt said that it would have to be a decision made by the Executive of the Province, as already highlighted earlier by Sandra. Many at the meeting were shocked that a decision on this and the other matters had not been made already. Mike Watt was pressed by Mike Pickthall to set a date for the meeting and agreed that all the matters would be resolved by the 31st of March. Mike Watt also conceded that part of the problem for not being able to resolve these issues has been that there are insufficient post-holders in place on the Executive Committee of the Province. A letter is being prepared to go out to all clubs in the province seeking applicants for the posts that are vacant along with a job spec/description. Further matters on this and related topics would be dealt with in item 8 and in AOCB.
4. Treasurer’s report.
Gordon Scott was not present and no Treasurers report was submitted. Mike Watt did say to the attendees that there was concern being expressed by both the treasurer and Moray Leisure Centre as to the continuing quantity of defaulted games and their resultant non-payment by the offending parties. Discussion followed as to how the matter could be resolved. Suggestions included pre-payment of first round KO games by Sandra MacIver, entrant’s e-mails to be on entry forms by Mike Watt and a query if it would be possible to make it individual entries rather than club entries for competitions from Alan Campbell. Alan also expressed a feeling that communications between East and West areas of province need to be improved. A general feeling came out that overall the communication of event availability, their draws and their rules needed to addressed prior to next season. Mike Watt also pointed out that there was an ever increasing cost differential arising between income from entry fees and trophy expenditure and took it on board that that would be addressed this year and acted upon prior to this season’s prize giving in an attempt to improve the current financial standing of the Province in general.
5. Area 10 Report.
No report submitted. Mike Watt made mention that the dates for the Area 10 Bonspiels should be out a month earlier than usual.
6. Web Site Report.
Bill Nicol Submitted the following via Gavin Nicol “This season has been another disappointment in the quantity of articles from the clubs and individuals within the Province. New material has not been supplied in the sort of quantities that there should be available given the number of competitions and the participation levels out with province. There have been teething problems with the implementation of the new operating system for the web-site, the primary reason being the lack of training offered pre and post going live. Work will be done during the summer to try to improve both the look and feel of the site as well as transferring on some of the archived material from the old system. The message is the same as every year…please please give the information/results to the web-master to allow him to keep local curlers up to date with what is happening both locally and nationally to Moray Province curlers.
7. Curling Development Report.
A detailed report from Bill Duncan was read by Sandra MacIver and is supplied as an addendum to these minutes. It was further commented that the Nairn Academy and Elgin Academy teams had acquitted themselves well at the Scottish Schools finals and once more represented the area well both on and off the ice. (See Addendum I)
Letter from Sandra MacIver: – (See Addendum II)
Sandra read out a prepared statement outlining the matters highlighted in her letter
(See Addendum III)
After this first prepared statement was read out Alistair Maltman was asked if up to that point the facts tallied with his recollection of events he acknowledged them to be accurate in their content.
Sandra then went on to read out the second statement querying the way the decision was reached by the Province. (See Addendum IV)
The floor discussed the matter at length as to how, where and when the decision had been made and it was verified by a number of the attendees that there had been no meeting discussing the matter in the changing rooms at MLC on the night in question. Mike Watt reiterated this and said the decision had been made over the phone with Graeme Grant and Graham tasked with the job of passing on the information. All were in agreement that the matter could have been handled in a better way and the result of the tie should have been “decided” rather than “awarded”. This could’ve been done via a draw shot challenge or a simple toss of the coin. It was also agreed that the whole affair would have been better handled in an open and transparent manner with all parts of the process being documented. Sympathy’s were felt for both sides in this matter due to the catalogue of events that brought this matter to a head and it was felt by Alan Campbell that the late communication of the original date change was at least partly to blame. It was however felt that while the agreed changing of a date and venue was entered into by both parties, the original booked date is the point where the change has to be judged and ruled from. A formal look at rules and updating where felt necessary could help prevent a re-occurrence of anything like this again. In General there was a consensus that the Moray Province Executive, while having reached the correct decision in the current rules set-up, could have handled the matter better and to that end it was agreed that a formal explanation of events and an apology should be prepared and sent from the Moray Province Executive to Moray Juniors Club, this to be completed by the 31st March 2013.
9. Update on MLC Consultation.
No formal report was supplied for this item but Mike Pickthall intimated that everything was very much “in the air” with regard to the future of MLC. Current Moray Council Budget Cut discussions are holding up the process of moving forward the preparation of the Service Level Agreement and thus the submission of a grant application to Sportscotland for funding to replace the plant. It was pointed out by Gordon Kennedy that the directive re the plant replacement had been ongoing since 2005. At that time the EU had supplied a pot of money that has been depleted by those ice rinks more proactive than MLC
10. AGM & Prize giving.
There were a variety of suggestions as to a venue change for this years AGM as the costs of the previous facility were become cost prohibitive. It was left with Mike Watt to enquire as to the availability of the Laich Moray in Elgin for the 8th May 2013
11. Nominations for the 2012/13 Moray Annual Achievement Award
Mike Watt agreed that the best way forward with this was to put a formal request out to clubs and to the web-site looking for nominations for these awards. This to be done before the 31st of March 2013
The roles of East Match Secretary, West Match Secretary, Secretary and Vice president (East representative) are now vacant within Province. Mike Picthall intimated that Elgin had had success with filling their posts after Douglas Howie had produced an action calendar to allow easy pass-on of posts. Mike Watt said that this was in the process of being done for Moray Province secretary’s duties but requested that if it was possible the Elgin CC version be passed on to allow the process to be replicated for province. Mike Pickthall was tasked with enquiring if this was possible.
Gavin Nicol queried how the teams had been selected for the incoming American
American Tour on 14th February 2012. There was a query as to why there had been no involvement from the clubs representatives in the process. Gavin then went on to outline the process that had been adopted in previous team selections for incoming tours. Mike Watt said that as far as he was aware a similar situation had been adhered to this time around and there had been a notice put up on the notice board looking for players to apply to be part of it. As there is plenty of notice when these tours are due to happen it was accepted that more notice should be given to clubs and a formal transparent selection system be brought in to allow all curlers in the area the chance to apply to play and for all clubs in the area to have at least one representative participating on the day.
Alistair Maltman intimated that the laxness of clubs to pay subs prior to the current date in September needed to be looked into. There were persistent offenders that often had not paid into December thus meaning that all games up until that point were, if the letter of the rules were applied, non-members of the province and their results voided. It was suggested that the 31st of October was a more realistic date and that ties in with the current RCCC date for paying Membership Fees. It was agreed by all present that that was an excellent suggestion and that this proposal should be brought forward at AGM for the ratification of the Province
13. Date of next meeting.
To be confirmed, but projected date would be 8th May 2013 at the Laich Moray Hotel Elgin at 7pm
MORAY PROVINCE CURLING DEVELOPMENT GROUP
Progress Report – 2012 – 13
Firstly my apologies for being unable to attend today’s meeting but have prepared the following report.
I’m pleased to report on another successful year for the Development group. During the year we have seen the juniors form their own subcommittee with office bearers incorporating a number of supporting parents.
The success of the Dev. Group is undoubtedly due to the tremendous dedication of our Lead Coaches and team of helpers who give their time freely and very regularly. However, I must ask other members to join the group, as we cannot expect the current coaches to continue forever. Please take this request back to your own club.
Barbara King and her team have continued to offer sessions to the primary 6 and 7 pupils. Due to financial constraints only Bishopmill and New Elgin were able to take up the offer. Their enjoyment was such that a challenge match was held last week between the schools that saw 10 teams on the ice rink. Bishopmill were the victors, while a New Elgin team won the prize for having the highest score. Overall, a very enjoyable morning for the pupils and the many supporters they brought along.
One positive outcome has been the number of those youngsters now seeking to join the juniors and continue to develop their skills.
Campbell Ross and his team continue to work wonders with the juniors. Anyone who has seen them play must have been impressed with the level of skill they have developed in such a short time.
The youngsters on the Talent Programme have completed well in the various Slams during the year, while in the Province, they finished 3rd in Division 4. A number of more experienced teams have suffered defeat from them in various Bonspiels. Individually they have all done extremely well. Eildh, had a successful run in Scottish Juniors finals with her girls team. Josh now leaves for University and will be joining a rink from Stranraer next season while Amy is looking to join a girls Slam team. We wish them all well and will be watching for them.
A rink of 12+ year olds have played extremely well in Province Division 5 , with 8 youngsters have applied to join the Talent Programme for next season , having had to reach the entry level of Bronze.
The ability of our youngsters have been well recognised within and out with Moray, indeed it has been overheard the opposition say on a number of occasions “Oh no, not the juniors” I feel we currently have one of the strongest and most successful group of juniors in Scotland.
Come and Try.
Les Morgan and his team continued to offer coaching sessions throughout the season. Groups from the Scouts and Kinloss Barracks as well as individuals have been supported. A number of the adults have now applied to join a curling club in preparation for next season.
One disappointing aspect to report on is the retirement of Bill Nicol from our committee, although he continues to attend the coaching sessions to maintain the register etc. Bill was the driving force behind the Dev. Group. It was his vision, enthusiasm and love for the sport that established Development Group. He must be very proud of what is happening in Moray now, especially with the youngsters. We all have a duty to continue the good work he started, and ensure the Development Group goes from strength to strength.
Finally, my thanks to Office Bearers, Coaches and Assistants for their continued support during the year, its all very much appreciated.
Bill Duncan – Convener.
1 February 2013
Mr Mike Watt
Moray Province of Royal Caledonian Curling Club
Mains of Buckie Farm
Dear Mr President
I wish to call a meeting of the Moray Province. I have the support of at least 5 clubs as required by the constitution, but as there is currently no secretary of Moray Province I am making the submission to you.
25. Special Meetings
Special Meetings of the Province shall be convened at any time the President may deem it to be necessary or, with 28 days’ notice, on a requisition submitted to the Secretary and signed by representative members of five member clubs. Each member club shall receive a minimum of 14 days notice of the meeting and only business mentioned in the notice calling the meeting shall be disposed of at the Special Meeting. Voting and quorum shall be as per the applicable sections of clause 23 previously detailed.
In view of the difficulties that have arisen, if it would assist you, I am willing to contact all the representatives of the clubs in the Moray Province and notify them of the meeting which I suggest is at 7pm on Tuesday 7 March 2013 at Forres Tennis Club House, Albert Street, Forres, but I need to be notified if you wish this to be done by me.
There are only two items that I wish to be discussed, namely
2012/2013 Moray Province Knock Out competitions
Well being of Moray Province
At all meetings, whether Annual or Special, a simple majority of those present and eligible to vote shall prevail, except for matters under clause 5.
Quorum – The quorum for an Annual Meeting or Special Meeting shall be representatives from at least 9 member clubs.
Eligibility to attend – All members of all member clubs in the Province are entitled to attend the Annual Meeting and Special Meetings and to take part in the deliberations, but each member club shall have only one vote through its representative member and only that member may propose or second motions and amendments. The Secretary shall take the names of the representative members attending any Meeting.
I am happy to discuss any of the above because; I believe we all want the best outcome for curling within Moray Province.
Secretary Moray Junior Curling Club
Mr Chairman, Ladies and gentlemen
I wish you to deal with a problem that occurred in the Province Open Knock out competition. Before I go any further I wish everyone to remember there is a man involved in this matter who is not here to defend himself and I want his hard work to this province to be respected at all times.
The rink from Moray Junior Curling Club were due to play a rink from Darnaway on 31 October 2012. The Darnaway rink failed to show so the Junior got a walk over. According to the draw, they were then due to play Alastair Maltman’s rink at Inverness on Wednesday 14 November at 9.25pm. This information was incorrect and it was in actual fact Thursday 15 November at 9.25pm but I consider this to be a distraction to the situation that developed but I am happy to discuss it if you think necessary, Mr Chairman.
On 1 November I started an email conversation with Alastair Maltman and Graham Grant about moving the game from Inverness to Elgin and then had a conversation with Graham that the game could be moved as long as there was no cost to the Province and my email says ‘Alastair can you let me know if your rink are happy with the game being played at Elgin and your rink’s availability?
On 4 November I received a reply from Alastair,’ For our Huntly players Elgin would obviously be preferred over Inverness, if this is OK with Graham. We have games on 5th, 6th & 7th in Elgin but nothing on 12th or 13th. Let me know if you have an alternative date and I will confirm it with my rink.’
My position is that, this arrangement was mutually agreeable and at no time did I say or imply that the juniors would or could not travel to Inverness for late ice.
On 5 November I replied to Alastair, ‘I have been able to find ice at Elgin on Tuesday 13th November at 7pm and cancel the Inverness ice at no cost. It will mean the Juniors have to play Eilidh Yeats as a sub for Amy MacDonald as she is unavailable any Tuesday. Can you confirm this as soon as possible and I will confirm the ice with MLC as soon as possible.
On 6 November, I received a reply from Alastair, ‘Should be ok for 13th. I need Doreen to confirm she can switch her day off and David Paterson to confirm he can play instead of Alan Fraser. All should be clear by Wednesday evening.
On 7 November I saw Alastair at the ice rink and we confirmed the game would go ahead on 13 November at 7pm.
Mr Chairman, I would ask you and the people present to accept that once the decision was made that the game should have taken place on 13 November, everything that I have explained up to now has concluded. End of that chapter in this saga.
Unfortunately for all, the MLC ice rink plant failed during the morning of 13 November and all evening curling was cancelled through no fault of either rink. On 14 November I sent an email to Graham Grant and Alastair Maltman stating I was assuming that MLC would reallocate the game as it had been cancelled through no fault of either rink. I am assuming the Ice Rink will allocate us ice but I notice the next round is due to be played in a fortnight and I know the Forres kids have exams then!
Neither responded to me but I made enquiries at MLC and learned that there was a free sheet of ice on 20th November at 9pm. The Moray Juniors could raise a rink, once more but Alastair Maltman told me his rink was already playing that night, so could not play the Province Knock Out game
During the evening of 14 November 2012, I received a telephone call from Graham Grant, explaining that the game between Moray Juniors and Alastair Maltman had to be resolved by 27 November one way or another even if one rink had to concede the game. I explained that I was not prepared to concede the game because Moray Juniors had been able to find ice that suited Alastair Maltman and themselves and it was no one’s fault that the plant had failed and therefor neither rink should be penalised. I had also found available ice at Elgin when the Juniors could play but Alastair could not. Graham asked me how the matter should be resolved and I said that I was uncertain but I thought the Province executive should be consulted. There was discussion between Graham and I who this would be. My suggestion was that the Province president and two match secretaries could possibly be appropriate, in the absence of a Province secretary. I also suggested that Alan Durno, as RCCC vice president and RCCC competitions chairman may be someone from who advice could be sought.
On Wednesday 21 November, Moray Juniors had 2 rinks playing in the Moray Province Leagues at 7pm. I was there watching the Juniors. Graham Grant was also playing and Alistair Maltman and Mike Watt (Province Chairman) were playing at 9pm, thus all involved were at the MLC Ice rink. I saw Mike Watt enter the rink and go to the male changing rooms. I saw Graham Grant come off the ice rink and go there also. As the Moray Juniors involved in the Knock Out competition came off the ice I asked them and their parents to wait so we could have a discussion about the outcome of the discussion regarding the game under review.
As I was speaking to Alan Durno about another matter, I was conscious of Mike Watt passing me and going straight onto the ice rink. Graham and Alastair came out of the gents changing room. Graham came and told me that ‘the decision has gone against you’. I was totally shocked and asked why, only to be told that ‘because you cancelled the game initially’. Alastair was close by, but took no part in the discussion. I explained to Graham that it was entirely mutual decision to move the game to Elgin but it was obvious that my remonstrations could have no gain, so I told Graham he would have to explain the decision to the Moray Junior Club members and their parents.
I feel extremely annoyed because I do not believe that the decision was made in an open and transparent way. I believe there was at least a possibility if not a probability that Alastair was able to take part in a discussion regarding the matter, which I could not take part in because it was in the gents changing room.
I believe that once the game was agreed for the 13 November in Elgin the matter of who made enquiries regarding cancelling Inverness ice are entirely irrelevant BUT if you are unwilling to accept that position I ask you to show me when I indicated the juniors could not play at 9.25pm at Inverness.