Douglas bows out on a high at AGM

Monday 21st May, 2012 - 3:32pm

The Bath Inn, Penzance, was packed on Monday evening, 30th January, 2012, when the members gathered to review their activities during a busy 2010-2011 period. While it had been sad to record the death of senior members Garfield Mathews and Alec Nippard and the loss of three other members on health grounds, the balance had been maintained by five new full members and a further seven were completing their probationary periods. Membership had grown to be the largest in the Cornish Federation of Male Voice Choirs. This was held to be, in no small measure, the results of the efforts and co-operation of its President, Officers, Musical Director and his deputy, and their wonderful Accompanist, Annette Turton.

Mousehole Male Voice Choir made a fond and regretful farewell to its President, Douglas Williams, M.B.E., when he announced his retirement at the AGM at the end of what was universally acknowledged as ten outstanding years of service.

In his opening remarks Douglas said that in many years of attending various AGMs when members were thin on the ground here was one where extra chairs had been brought in because some members had had to stand last year.

Douglas rejoiced in reviewing those ten years which began in troubled times for the choir after the retirement of Tom Waters, the popular Musical Director who had steered the choir through many earlier successful years. He had seen the choir survive the body blow of a cancelled Ireland tour when the tour arranger suddenly ceased trading days before the off and become stronger despite it. He had had the honour of presenting Choir Officers to Her Majesty, The Queen, during her recent visit to Cornwall. And now, when other choirs were suffering falling membership, the Mousehole choir was concerned with how to get all its members into the rehearsal room and the smaller concert venues in the county.

Warm tributes to Douglas Williams were paid by the Chairman, Reg Osborne, and Choir Secretary, Tim James, with particular reference to the book of the choir's 100 year history written by Douglas. There was unanimous approval of the motion that Douglas should now join the ranks of the choir's distinguished Patrons, an honour he was pleased to accept and pledged to continue his support of the choir.

Another popular local figure, Rev. Julyan Drew, has agreed to take on the Presidency, an appointment which gained the unanimous approval of the members.

Apart from the retirement of Douglas as Choir President, the choir's main management is unchanged. Reviewing 2011 as Chairman, Reg Osborne was pleased to acknowledge the support of Peter Robinson, Deputy Chairman; Tim James, Secretary; Roger Stephens, Treasurer. He paid particular tribute to the unstinting support of the Ladies Committee and the work of the Musical Team of Stephen Lawry, David Williams and Annette Turton in leading 40 various engagements during 2011. This public profile had brought choir membership to its highest level in its 102 year history.

The average weekly attendance has been very good and the Attendance Cup for 2011 was won by David Strandberg.

These thanks were reinforced by Stephen Lawry in his Musical Director's Report. There are 27 confirmed concerts on the 2012 Diary, including the Summer Festival Concert with Faryl Smith as Guest Soloist. The choir's first concert for 2012 would be at RNAS CULDROSE on Saturday, 3rd March.and there were already bookings into 2013 and 2014.
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