New life members with Club's current and former Chairmen (Graeme Taylor standing in for Jon Taylor)
In today's fast-paced and ever-changing world, with cricket clubs facing the twin worries of dwindling player numbers and harsh new financial realities, the average cricket club could be forgiven for entirely focussing on (or, rather, worrying about) the uncertain future that awaits them and how best they can meet its challenges.
However, casting an eye over the past can sometimes be valuable, and not just purely for the simple gratification that nostalgia can provide. Looking back across a club's history - especially one that stretches over more than 150 years as is the case with Stirling County - can offer solace in troubling times, providing a reminder that no matter the ups and downs, the club has the capacity to endure. It also offers the opportunity to appreciate how we arrived at this point and gives us an appreciation as to why we continue to play our silly little game together at New Williamfield. When one considers the clubs rich and storied history, playing cricket for Stirling County ceases to be either silly or little.
Finally, considering the club's past can allow us to achieve a greater appreciation of the effort and toil that many an ordinary member has contributed to help ensure Stirling County's continued existence and which helped make it the club that it is today. It is for this last reason that, at the recent AGM, the club decided to award four County stalwarts - Donald and Catherine Morton, Jon Taylor and John Howell - with honorary life memberships. These life memberships were awarded in recognition of the outstanding contribution that all four have made to the success of the club over many years, with all four recipients having been past winners of the Willie Little Award (club member of the year award).
Of the four new honorary life members, Donald Morton has had the longest affiliation with the club, first joining as a junior in the early '70s. Donald was a member of the triumphant 1985 County Championship-winning side, has captained both the 2nd and 3rd XIs over the years and was most recently membership secretary.
Since being roped into scoring in the early eighties Donald's better half, Catherine, has held numerous positions within the club. Cath was club secretary from 2013 to 2016 and her managing of the match-day teas and the event catering at New Williamfield has been an invaluable asset to the club.
Jon Taylor has been involved with the club for almost as long as Donald and, indeed, one can hardly imagine a Stirling County without him. Like Donald, Jon was also a part of the victorious 1985 1st XI team and was an ever-present member of the 1st XI for over 20 years from the 1980s to the mid-2000s. More recently, Jon's hard work and enthusiasm as bar and clubhouse convenor has ensured the smooth running of the clubs facilities since we made the move to our new ground in 2006.
The final recipient of the life membership, John Howell, is the newest member of the four, having joined the club at around the turn of the century. It didn't take long, however, for John to be persuaded to take on the responsibility of club treasurer, a position that he has held since 2003. As treasurer, John saw the move to the new ground and has successfully grappled with the increased complexity now involved in the management of the club's finances. John has managed to meet this challenge with gusto and numerous innovations, and has surely made the task of treasurer an easier one for whomever takes over the job.
If nothing else, commemorating the club's four new honorary life members, and in recognising the immense contributions made by Jon, Cath, Doc and John over the years, we are reminded that Stirling County Cricket Club, if it is to survive and flourish, has always required the sort of passion, dedication and hard-work exemplified by our new honorary life members. And this is, perhaps, even more true now, with the club now forced to recognise that survival in this harsher world will require greater diversification. We can no longer be content in the knowledge that we are 'just a cricket club'!
With this diversification comes an even greater need for volunteers with an ever-widening range of skills and knowledge, from marketing and community engagement to event management and the management of the clubs increasingly complex finances. If you want to see your club thrive, think you have the skills or knowledge that would be useful and would like to offer your time, please contact the club via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or speak to a member of the club's board. Any contribution to the running of the club, no matter how small or large, will be greatly appreciated!
Thursday November 2nd, starting at 7.30pm, Stirling County Cricket Club will hold what is arguably it's most important AGM in many years.
With two vital committee positions needing filled for the coming (both treasurer John Howell and chairman Rod Turnbull will be standing down from their roles at the end of this year), this year's meeting could help shape the direction of the club over the next few years. As both positions are vital for the future running and, ultimately, success of the cricket club, the club would like to ask members to consider whether they, or someone they know, would be willing to undertake either of these roles. Both John and Rod will, of course, offer assistance and support to any new appointees in getting up to speed with their new role during the transition.
The club would also like to offer their thanks and gratitude to both John and Rod for their years of service to the club in their respective roles.
As well as the election of the essential roles mentioned above, the AGM will involve reports concerning the previous season and a discussion on the future direction of the club. The meeting's full agenda is detailed below.
The AGM is always an important event in the club's yearly calendar. And as this year's meeting is arguably even more important than normal, the club would like to encourage all members to make every effort to attend on Thursday. This is your opportunity to have your say and influence the club's future!
STIRLING COUNTY CRICKET CLUB
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
THURSDAY 2nd NOVEMBER 2017
1. Welcome and Apologies.
2. Review of Minutes of Spring Meeting on 29 March 2017
(i) Matters arising.
3. Chairman’s Report.
4. Treasurer’s report.
6. Amendment to Constitution.
7. Election of Officers:
Chair, Secretary, Treasurer,
Head of Cricket,
Head of Development,
Head of Clubhouse Facilities,
Head of Playing Facilities
Head of Marketing & Commercial.
Additional office bearers:
Match Secretary, Membership Secretary, Junior Section Chairperson and
the Captains of each senior XI representing the club.
8. Opportunities – the Way Forward
Chairman Rod Turnbull writes:
During my 50 odd years with the Club, I thought I had seen some good times but this week tops the lot.
It beggared belief that we could once again be faced with the week from hell to run a major tournament - it happened twice in 2015 - but the response from the Club was truly magnificent.
From Monday morning until late Saturday, our band of volunteers worked tirelessly to fight and finally beat the elements and make sure that the gathering of eighty was fed and watered on time on each of those six days.
The result was that the Ladies t20 tournament was, incredibly, completed. Cricket Scotland and the ICC have been generous in their praise of the Club.
And to top things off, the County were promoted on Saturday and today (Sunday) have qualified for the Final of the Western Union Cup courtesy of a bowl out, which we can only assume had been practised well in to last night.
So the roll of honour for the week reads:
- Albert, Paul and their team on the ground which varied by day but included Kevin, Isaac, Callum, Tom, Kari, Andy, Ian, Colin, Donald, Alasdair, Sandy, Graeme, Hamish and Jacques.
If things were not fractious enough after the first few days, it was then decided on Thursday to abandon the main ground and move everything (sightscreens, covers, tents, advertising boards, soppers etc) to the top ground!
- Catherine, Joan, Mags and Elaine for their magnificent effoerts in the kitchen. There were intended to be four days of play but the two reserve days were added so the ladies had to devise a menu for eighty then shop for each of those extra days. It appeared effortless!
- Colin for being tents supremo, in addition to running a very successful BBQ last Sunday and supporting the ground team as required during the week.
- Andy for doing a great job operating the scoreboards - particularly on Saturday when he had to improvise due to the restrictions of the small scoreboard on the top ground. And for helping on the bar.
And last, but absolutely not least, Jon, for masterminding arrangements for the week, liaising with the ICC and Cricket Scotland throughout, running the bar and making sure that the main scoreboard was fixed for the tournament.
The Club salutes you all. You have a very proud Chairman.