SAGES SENIOR GOLFERS

The Website of Sages Senior Golfers of South Africa

President: Martin van Eeden, 082 826 0172
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Vice President: Andre Blom, 082 902 0632
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Secretary: Elfie Alston, 082 775 0827
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Treasurer: Eddie Mantle, 082 465 4031
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PRESIDENT NEWSLETTER

SAGESPresidentAlecDixsonApril 2020

Dear SAGES friends

COVID-19 VIRUS: IMPACT ON SAGES ACTIVITIES

I have no doubt that by now, we have all realised that we have a serious situation which should be approached seriously - Covid-19 is not a joke, not a fake media exercise, not some sinister evil plot but it is a global crisis of immense proportions. We, as South Africans, have not escaped the fall-out and while limited restrictions were initially prescribed, we are now in a national lockdown situation - a situation that many of us thought would never happen in our lifetime.

 

  

As a result many of our local competitions have had to be put on hold and the T.O.C. of our National competition recently decided to cancel the event due to the circumstances. East Rand and their T.O.C. should be congratulated for a bold decision which might not be fully appreciated by all.

This means that the AGM that is normally held during the Nationals will no longer take place at the envisaged time, but the SAGES Constitution determines what is to be done in such circumstances, namely.

21.1 An Annual General Meeting of the Executive shall be held each year during the inter-branch Tournament of the Society at the venue where this is held. Should the tournament not be held in any year the Annual General Meeting shall be held at such time and venue as the President may decide provided that this is held not later than 15 months from the date on which the preceding Annual General Meeting was held.

In theory, the above is a logical process that should lead to a meeting being scheduled/taking place before 11 July 2020. I respectfully suggest that the Constitution does not necessarily offer a practical framework within which we can achieve the objectives normally required of an AGM given the current circumstances. For this to be possible we have to assume that after the current lock-down period life will simply return to normal and we will be able to meet, travel, play golf, etc. as if nothing happened. This is totally unrealistic and we can expect continued restrictions especially on travel and gatherings for a significant period after the initial lockdown (also assuming the lockdown will only run for the scheduled 21 days). In all probability it is unlikely that we will be able or permitted to hold a physical meeting within the constitutional timeframe. Apart from the above, the cost of bringing some 62 representatives (travel and accommodation) to a central point for a meeting of 2 hours hardly seems justifiable.In theory, the above is a logical process that should lead to a meeting being scheduled/taking place before 11 July 2020. I respectfully suggest that the Constitution does not necessarily offer a practical framework within which we can achieve the objectives normally required of an AGM given the current circumstances. For this to be possible we have to assume that after the current lock-down period life will simply return to normal and we will be able to meet, travel, play golf, etc. as if nothing happened. This is totally unrealistic and we can expect continued restrictions especially on travel and gatherings for a significant period after the initial lockdown (also assuming the lockdown will only run for the scheduled 21 days). In all probability it is unlikely that we will be able or permitted to hold a physical meeting within the constitutional timeframe. Apart from the above, the cost of bringing some 62 representatives (travel and accommodation) to a central point for a meeting of 2 hours hardly seems justifiable.

So it appears that we are faced with a seemingly insurmountable problem with no apparent solution if one applies the Constitution pedantically. In my opinion, when the Constitution was adopted, the possibility of a crisis of these proportions and how to deal with subsequent scenarios, was not even considered. The question is then – how do we deal with this dilemma?

It has been suggested that the current NMC continue to function until such time as more clarity is available on the way forward in the country or until an alternative solution is possible. However, this does require the agreement of branches and it will be appreciated if you could convey your branch’s decision as soon as possible.

 

Yours in Sages,
Alec Dixon
President
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For further SAGES information or queries please contact the National Secretary
Elfie Alston, Cell phone 082 775 0827, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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