Things have been going well in our Club over the past year or so: with new waters, good match attendance, national/club events held and rising membership numbers. However, the latter does create its own problems, as our paper-based membership system is awkward to operate, expensive and time consuming – and also hinders our attempts to accurately bailiff our waters.
After many many years at the helm, Roger Higginson (ably assisted by his wife Shirley!) indicated a while back that he wished to end his Membership Secretary role this year, and it seemed unrealistic to expect anyone to stand in their shoes. The Club owes them both a huge debt of gratitude, and it is very sad to have to report that Roger passed away last week. Our condolences are extended to Shirley and family.
With Roger’s intended resignation in mind we have been considering alternative methods for handling memberships, and from 1st April 2022 have decided to implement a new online club membership system called Clubmate. See https://clubmate.fish/ for general information.
We will be using a part of the Clubmate website dedicated for use by HAC members. The website will securely store and process key membership information, allowing members to manage their information and join/renew quickly and easily – including online payment. A further benefit of the system is that the Club will gain verified email addresses (useful for occasional communications) and our bailiffs will have real time access to membership lists.
To use the system members will need an email address [their’s or a partner’s/friend’s etc] to validate*or create an account, from which membership info can be provided and payment made. If you cannot trace your email address on the Clubmate system contact the Secretary, Paul Edwards, who can look it up for you.
*Where we already have an email, member’s details have already been partly uploaded.
After payment has been made, a [slimmed down*] pdf Clubcard will be issued, via email, as membership confirmation. Members will need to print this off, place a photograph on it to validate it, and carry it with them when fishing.
* Club Angling Rules and Match dates will in future be posted as laminated copies on notice boards at key entrances to each of our waters (as well as being on our website), rather than, as in the past, taking up many pages of a paper Clubcard.
The new system will need formally adopting via changes to our constitution and related rules/processes, and we had hoped to be ready to do this at our AGM last month – but were unavoidably delayed. However, we are now ready to proceed and to formally ratify the change intend to hold an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) on Tuesday 22nd March at 7pm. Due to holidays and other logistical issues this will need to be held online using ‘Zoom’. The meeting is a formality, but in accordance with our constitution all members are welcome to ‘attend’ it – and this email constitutes the required 14 day notice.
A link to the Zoom meeting will be separately posted on our website and Facebook page shortly, with a link to our Clubmate page being placed on our website/facebook pages after the EGM.
Whilst not everyone likes to use the internet, it is increasingly the only viable way for us to manage the Club’s administration. For the first year or so, at least, a slimmed down manual system will still operate (at the same fees) for those without ANY access to the internet. We are grateful to Geoff Perkins for agreeing to become our new Membership Secretary and manage this side of things. However, he will be looking to add members details to the Clubmate system wherever possible, and will be encouraging members to provide an email address that can be used to identify & communicate with them in future. If you do not have your own email address please consider ‘borrowing’ someone else’s [you trust] – to enable the club to simplify its adminstration and gain the maximum benefit of the Clubmate sytem.
Whilst this is a major step for us, and there may be teething problems, we would like to assure you that this change is being made for the best of reasons. Together with the rest of the Committee, we believe this is the most viable way for Hodnet Angling Club to move forward and thrive.
Eric Brown, Chairman
Terry Nutt, Vice Chairman