Chairman's Report to The AGM, March 2004

Good Morning

For my report to you today I propose not to mention the normal club activities as such. The need to keep it short in order that we have enough time to hear Dr. Corcoran means I will only mention the new initiatives we have undertaken and a progress report on others.

The report on the shows, pup of the year etc can be found in my main annual report found in the clubs yearbook.

At the last AGM the members voted for your committee to look into the problems that were coming to light about Syringomyelia. Since then considerable progress has been made in the understanding of this disease culminating in a seminar last year by Mrs. Clare Rusbridge. This will be further covered in our Health Sub committee report.

Our Lub Dub fund raising which in fact officially closes today has raised nearly 25000 and as announced we have been absolutely delighted that The Kennel Club Charitable Trust has granted a further amount of just under 23k allowing a 3 year research programme to take place. That is a wonderful achievement and exceeded our wildest expectations. I would like to say a huge thank you to the Heart Sub committee of Mrs Lesley Jupp Mrs Margaret Carter and Mrs Caroline Gillies-Compston who have worked so hard to make all this possible. Also to Dr. Corcoran who has assisted us in the bid for the Trusts funding. I am also pleased he has been able to make time to come and explain to us later the programme of research he is undertaking through our sponsored graduate student Richard Han.

Further sponsorship has also been agreed with Boeringer Ingleheim allowing further efforts in our quest to produce healthier Cavaliers.

This will be covered in our Heart Report but the tangible benefits of this co-operation have already been seen in our first Health Check Day which was held last September, with more planned in the coming year.

Our Web site has had its first full year where you can now purchase on line and pay for books, subs, make donations etc. Nearly 16k was taken in the first 12 months and has required many ours of work by the webmaster Mr. David Norris and the On line purchasing co-ordinator Mrs.Elaine Dolamore. Another massive thank you for all those efforts, I know how many hours of work that amount of revenue turnover would of taken to process each order.

At our last AGM we had a discussion on the awful problem that had come to light the previous year following the raiding of a kennels in California. Your committee set out to look at ways we could assist our members in gaining reliable information about the suitability of potential overseas buyers. The sub -committee contacted many overseas members in various countries and we were very pleased with the response we received.

It really looked like we could achieve a system of members helping each other in offering assistance to vet potential overseas buyers and reporting back to the member selling the puppy.

We naturally had to check out the concerns of data protection legislation and contacted our solicitors.

What came back was far from helpful but we had to take note of it. We could of organised the UK side of the system to avoid any potential litigations from overseas aggrieved parties if they were refused a puppy. But the wide and varied overseas data protection and defamation laws was so complicated our solicitors view and we took a second opinion about this, was the club and those members involved could face serious and expensive civil actions by the parties.

We could not place the Club at such a risk, one successful case against us could well wipe out our entire reserves and more.

Reluctantly and it was reluctantly we had to close the project. Not a happy outcome but it was the course we had to take.

So in its place our sub committee of Mrs. Joan Pagan, Mr Rob Sansom and Mrs Christine Armitt, whom I thank for their efforts will be happy to advise those members who request it, guidance on the best ways to satisfy themselves as far as is possible on the suitability of an oversees purchaser.

Turning to Welfare and Rescue the management committee have been working hard towards Charitable Status and a progress report will be given later.

This year we lose two members due to time constraints with either distance or work load. They are Dr. Annuka Paloheimo and Mrs. Dawn Black, I thank them for their efforts during their time on the committee.

Also this year we are losing two long serving officers.

Firstly our President for 5 years Mrs. Susan Burgess who previously served 3 years as Chairman and countless years on the committee prior to these positions. Always a solid reference of experience and advice to the committee and officers including times of difficult decisions, but then also with a twinkle in her eye a wicked sense of humour too. Thank you for your massive contribution to the breed over nearly 50 years. You will be sorely missed.

Secondly Mr. Terry Bettley has served as treasurer for more than 10 years and has administered our finances through considerable change in the way the club conducts its business. Not an easy task and I thank him for his efforts and wish him well along with his wife Jennifer in the future.

Finally to my committee who have given so much of their time to ensure all the clubs activities and projects which seem to grow each year, are carried out . In addition Mrs Sheena Maclaine for all her work organising our championship show, two open shows and Pup of the Year match. Thank you

Very finally Mrs Annette Jones who's never tiring secretaryship and patience as my e mail goes awol on occasions has made my job more manageable. And at the very end to my Vice Chairman, who has had to more this year then ever, stepped into my shoes when through business or my blooming back problem I have not been able to attend to all the duties required of me.

Its been a very hectic year, busier than I can ever remember, but from it we have had some very positive progress.

Thank You
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