West Mersea Bowls Club
“Meet Anne Parmenter”
Hi, I’m Anne Parmenter – Trustee and past president. I thought I would start by outlining the roles of the trustees, main committee and some of my experiences along the way.
Our club facilities are owned by and rented from West Mersea Bowls Club Ltd, who are a group of share holders, mostly descendants of the people who set the club up originally. After several years of running the club themselves, they decided to take a back seat and the members then had to take over the management and running of the club. As part of this change, the share holders required that a group of trustees should be appointed to manage the financial and structural/premises side of the club. These trustees were to be selected based on their experiences in the business world.
I was honoured to be invited to join the trustees a few years ago and have since been involved in many discussions regarding toilets and sewerage systems (not sure I wanted to know this!), boilers and heating systems, lighting (I thought LUX was an old brand of washing powder), security, air conditioning, insurances, computer systems and software (now I know why they asked me!), and club finances Managing the finances and trying to ‘balance the books’ is not always an easy task especially when unexpected major expenditure is required. Our bowls club has charity status as an amateur sports club and we are not focused on making a profit but must, of course, cover all our expenses.
In 2017, I was asked to stand for election as President and was proud to be elected at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). The president’s role is to chair the main committee, which consists of similarly elected officers of the club, and is responsible for all aspects of bowling and the day to day running of the club, i.e. bar, Kitchen, grounds maintenance etc. Committee meetings were held every 1-2 months and on occasions were very lively – with 12 to 16 people around the table you can imagine the differences of opinion. However, topics discussed were voted on and followed through as appropriate, The president has a very demanding role – not just on time but also on the wallet. Contrary to popular belief, this is not a paid position, so expenses such as gifts (pens etc) for visiting teams, lunches, raffle and competition prizes funded by the President. That said, it was an honour and I held the position for two years.
During my time as President, I spoke with visitors from different clubs and teams. Our club was always praised for our friendliness, catering and the willingness of our members to perform voluntary roles. Many comments were along the lines that they never had problems getting teams to visit our club as bowlers liked coming here. It appears that many clubs were having to employ staff and bring in outside catering companies, which had to be paid for from the club funds. This meant that they had to charge much higher rink and membership fees than we pay The only people we pay are external providers such as the cleaner, the gardener who helps with hedge and tree cutting and any trades that are needed for repairs and maintenance.
Do come along to a Trustee Surgery to find out more or to have your say or email me below