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Well, what a night! After the business and presentations at the AGM, chairs were swiftly removed and tables erected (whilst skippers went off for their meeting) for the evening meal and drinkie-poos - our ladies surpassed themselves with homemade cordials, lashings of hot food - including a triumph of culinary delight - the humble sausage! Not your average wimpish tiddler, but Colwall’s finest “butcher’s pride” banger - (I confess - I had three!!!)

Working off the excesses of “pigging out” was facilitated by the excellent Whiffeldy Ceilidh Band and the bar was well frequented, now that alcoholic beverages were on sale . . .

Pugwash has been informed that next year’s bash is to occur a week later than normal - Saturday 20th January - as near to Burns Night as makes no odds - so we are going for a Scottish celebratory theme (kilts are optional, haggis definitely on the menu - who can address the haggis?) - and the Whiffeldy players are already booked!

Committee Meeting and Cruises 2017

The following day, our august committee met (at a suitably sensible hour - allowing one to recover from a late night and too much beer) to mull things over. The minutes of the last meeting were read and - as these thing usually are - it was a rather dry monologue. Some bright spark remembered - in the dim and distant past - the minutes had been put to verse - what a hoot! This was a challenge our brave secretary took on board - I publish her attempt and the original bard’s efforts for your edification . . . .

MINUTES OF COMMITTEE MEETING HELD AT FOSSIL BLUFF ON 15th JANUARY 2017 (with apologies to Lester Copestake)

On Sunday morn at half past nine
At Fossil Bluff we’re seen
Fifteenth of Jan it was the date
In Twenty Seventeen. 

A Penguin Burgee flew the mast
Above the deck in style
The red front door still welcomes all
Jane greets us with a smile.

The task: to check the minutes
And to note what still to do
To fix the crews for the coming cruise
And plan for next year too. 

James: Commodore for his 5th year
So calmly took the chair
Jane, Julie, Jonty, Lyn and John
And Ian, all were there.

And Captain Pugwash in disguise
Sat there to take a note
Of what to brief the membership
Before they go afloat.

With apologies from David,
Charles and Andy (who were new)
And Marian took the minutes,
And tried to make them true.

We had to talk in detail
About new policy
To keep the young and vulnerable
Quite safe when all at sea.

We heard from Ian our Treasurer
How riches do abound
So we’ll make the surplus 8 per cent
Despite the weakening pound.

And then the cruises for the year:
Four boats from Armadale
To circumnavigate round Skye
And have a right good sail.

Then Shetland in mid-summer calls,
to Orkney they will go
and Fair Isle in the middle
will make a splendid show.

And finally Croatia
Where sun and isles abound,
Should round the season nicely
If extra crew are found.

For 2018 much is thought
But nothing concrete yet.
We aim to make the Easter week
A youngster-friendly set.

A Scotland trip on the Wylde Swan
Tall masts and lots of sails
Would make convivial
Penguin times And generate some tales.

James plans to contact Simon H
Who promised the Azores,
Or Southern France. A family cruise
Is what we’re looking for.

The AGM was well arranged.
The food and ceilidh too.
For next year we’ll move on 1week
And have a Burns night “do”.

Our talk concluded half past one
Our actions all but finished.
We then consumed the warmed-up lunch
Of tasty ceilidh dishes.

Our thanks to Jane for hosting us
as we drew this to a close
We meet next time in Bristol
At a boatyard Julie knows.

Lester Copestake was our minute-taker in 1989 - this is his effort which sparked the hilarity at the committee meeting . . . .

Lester’s minutes AGM and Committee meeting - 1989

On Malvern Hills the Penguin flag
flies above Fossil Bluff.
Says Paul, “a quorum I espy.”
Says Kevin “that’s enough.”

The Penguins Annual General Meet
For nineteen eighty nine
Takes place on January seven
Twixt tea and supper time.

Paul read the list of those whose cruise
This year was their first try
“Are these elected member full?”
The Penguins answered “Aye!”

“Comittee members number eight”
Said Kevin Walton, “But,
John of that ilk has now resigned,
We must restore that cut.”

“A Penguin of long standing comes
To mind. Anne Lewis, she.
The seven plus her can we elect?”
All said “Yes, let it be.”

“From Lester’s draft and Robin’s law,
Rules last year we agreed,”
Paul read some needful changes out.
All said “These meet the need.”

Though Robin Fry is newly wed,
And innocent of guile,
He’s deeply learned in the law,
He smiled a legal smile.

“The Penguin Cruising Club” he said,
“Though quite a friendly bunch,
Law could leave one to hold the can,
For all, in time of crunch.”

“A Private Company is quite,
The best way out I’ve found.
It limits risk, by guarantee,
To be, from each, a Pound.”

“Legal and Audit fees are small,
Existing Rules will stand,
With Legal Body’s scope, the Soul
Of Penguin could expand.”

“Audits,” said Derek Carver, “I
For Working Men’s Clubs can
Do, as the law allows because
I’m not a working man.”

“A Penguin I; To audit, some
Non member you will need.
This done I vote, incorporate.”
And so it was agreed.

Alyn, called Jones, then spoke his piece,
As Easter Commodore,
”The yachts are booked, Crew fees come in,
With promises of more,”

“First change of crews at Ullapool,”
Says Kevin “within our reach,
Where Salmon farmers, Kate and Paul
Would meet you on the beach.”

Jim Mandhem’s seen Youth Hostels from,
Land’s End to John O’Groats
“At Ullapool one runs,” he says,
“Ceilidhs, for crews of boats.”

“We’ve no Penguin Summer Cruise,
These last few years, but now,”
Said Kevin, “August next, one’s due,
With bagpipes on the prow.”

“The bagpiper alone has paid,”
Said David Siviter,
“As Commodore I need some more
So pay me instanter.”

“A yacht or two from August fifth,
To August twelfth I’ll book
So pledge to me, your pink forms now
For summer sun to cook.”

Rose the great form of Colin Yule;
“A possibility,
Exists,” he said, “to cruise the Med.,
So get in touch with me.”

“The trimaran from which I dive,
September next needs crew.
We’ll set out from Gibraltar’s rock
One member could be you.”

“Does any other business rise?”
Our Commodore enquired,
Responses aired the wisdoms we’ve
Collectively acquired.

It seems that a Cruise Commodore,
May have too much to do,
If none can give the time it needs,
Let’s split the job in two.

A cruise controller there might be
To organise on land,
On cruise, a ‘Commodore Afloat’,
would all at sea command.

“This the committee should set up,”
Said one, but made demand,
State who does what, in language plain,
That all can understand.”

“Make it a bylaw,” someone said
“As the new rules allow.”
Encomiums came till Kevin said
“I close the meeting now.”

A chance came next to view or buy,
The Penguin Video
Made by Ben Osborne, Easter last
A forty minute show.

And now this minute is complete
One note before it’s done…..
Henceforth the night was given o’er
To dancing feast and fun.

2017 Cruises - delighted to report - all cruises are now full, four yachts from Armadale for a week at Easter, two yachts from Lerwick for two weeks in late May/ early June and three yachts from Trogir, Croatia in September. That doesn’t mean to say that reserves cannot be considered - but suffice to say - the cruise reports next year at the AGM should be worth seeing!

STOP PRESS - a berth is going begging on the first week of the Croatian Cruise! Due to a cock-up on the application front - we have a single berth available form
2nd to 9th September - any takers? Let Simon Morton or John Marriott know ASAP!

Tight Halyards
Captain Pugwash