Club Settles Down

One of the items discussed at the meeting on 2nd December before Jack STANBRIDGE fired up his projector and showed his movie films was the subject of public liability insurance. There was some caution shown by some members to the extent that a motion to take this form of insurance was diluted by an amendment to just have a cover note until the next meeting for P/L and personal accident cover.

The next meeting was held on 3rd February 1958 (after presumably a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year were celebrated by the members) and the fist item discussed was that of P/L insurance. Two members suggested that this be left in abeyance until ‘possibly the public are in attendance at shows and meetings’. They must have been very persuasive because the subject seems to have been dropped at this point. Another little legality that was examined and then not proceeded with any further was that of ‘registering W.A.M.R.C. as a club’. Max DALBY had apparently made enquires at the Supreme Court and found that it was not necessary to register the club. However, Arthur DALBY felt that there was a need to have the club’s name (spelled out clearly in the Minutes of this meeting as the “WEST AUSTRALIAN MODEL RAILWAY CLUB” thus proving that the WESTERN form of the name did not last more than seven months!) registered to ‘save piracy of the name’.

The Treasurer reported that the Club has 25 members and this led to a discussion regarding repayment of monies owing to members who had loaned money to the Club.….. obviously a confidence about the future was beginning to be felt!

There was however a slightly ‘black’ aspect to this meeting. Jack STANBRIDGE resigned from the position of Secretary ‘owing to personal reasons’. This resignation was received with regret and there was a call for volunteers or nominations. As the minutes say ‘Mr HENDERSON nominated; not seconded, (wonder why.…): Mr BEALE suggested he would accept the position as Secretary/Treasurer’. There was the suggestion that the next scheduled meeting be called a “Special Meeting” for the purpose of altering the Constitution of the Club to accommodate the position of Secretary/Treasurer. Max DALBY thought it would be a good precaution if ‘a Committee member makes himself available to write up the minutes of the (next) meeting if required’.

Syd HARVEY showed a proposed layout of the Club. Discussion took place on the future work of the Club, organising the work, etc. (shades of recent discussions about the new club layout!!). Roy BUNGATE suggested that Mr LEGGAT be elected to the position of “Chief Engineer — Trackwork” (What a grand title!). Mr LEGGAT accepted (Who wouldn’t!!). Finally, Roy BUNGATE suggested the possibility of the Club obtaining some tools. It was agreed that the Committee be empowered to purchase hand tools for the Club at their discretion. The meeting closed with a request for members to come to the next meeting, a track night, on 10th February and to ‘bring drills’. It was noted that the ‘rent money’ of 22/- was collected — it can be calculated that 11 members attended.

At the next formal meeting on 28th February, the promised change of the Constitution was readily carried (it’s still in our Constitution!) and the raffle was drawn. This raffle had been discussed on 2nd December — it was to have 1,500 tickets at 1/- each and the prizes were to be a canteen of cutlery for 1st prize, a steam iron for 2nd prize and a utility set for 3rd prize, a total value of thirty pounds, or about 40% of the proceeds if all the tickets were sold. The winners of 1st and 2nd prizes were “c/o A.B.C. Perth” — it seems that one of the members must have been working there and has a very persuasive way with his fellow employees!

As [previously] mentioned, a members’ attendance register was commenced on 10th March 1958 and an examination of this shows the average attendance at weekly ‘track nights’ from this date to 23rd June 1958 was 7.46 members, i.e. about a third of the total membership — not much different to the sort of regular attendance proportion that we now see at the Club.

Strangely, the next formal meeting was not held until 7th July, a gap of four months since the last meeting. Obviously, everyone was too busy building the layout to want to bother about meetings (What’s new!). No, not quite true as the minutes of the meeting of 7th July reveal. ‘No minutes from meeting held May 1958 — Mr LEGGAT has same. No minutes from meeting held June 1958 — no quorum’. It seems that only 4 members turned up for that meeting! Mr LEGGAT (V.P.) later said he’d lost the minutes!

On 7th July, the Treasurer reported there was £39 in the Bank but he was concerned about unfinancial members (clearly some early ‘drop-outs’), Mr BECKER brought up about obtaining equipment, etc. from Mr DALBY’s Hobbies Shop but discussion lapsed. This is one of the hazards of owning a hobby shop and becoming involved in a model railway club — just ask Jack STANBRIDGE and Norm LITTLEFIELD about their experiences and the assumptions that club members make about shop owner’s generosity!

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