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Pinder's Report of an AGM

“My friends, my only conclusion is that the only difference between a circus and the AGM of the South Pacific Motor Sports Club is that a circus has a programme..”


Yes, it really did happen in PNG - unfortunately

Pinder - the scribeFIRST of all it is essential that one must set the various scenes for this diatribe which was virtually a trip taken into the unknown by this intrepid columnist – never to be revisited again as very few people of his age would even dare to think about such horror let alone undergo same.

Survive he did only because of his early training as a reporter when he wrote the truth about a social event. He was sent off all alone on his first and until last week his only social assignment to “the wedding of the year” in a country town in the Riverina area of New South Wales.

This was what Pinder filed after such an earth – shattering event.

The church was full to the gills as was the congregation who had break-fasted liberally for three hours in the public bar of Mick Goonery’s pub (and it was not bacon and eggs) prior to the nuptial ceremony.

The bride wore some kind of white thing that left her pimply face sticking out one end and her skinny legs out the other. The groom wore his usual look of imbecility. The happy couple anticipate a blessed event within three months.

That this old man did and never again – forayed into the reporting of social events – an art all of its own-that is until what happened last week. In either a fit of insanity or insobriety, or perhaps both, I agreed to being scrutineer at the annual general meeting of a social and sporting club in Port Moresby, overseeing the elections of various office – bearers.

Now as this tale is purely fictional, the names of everything from hereon are purely figments of the imagination. But just to invent a name, let’s say it was the South Pacific Motor Sports Club.

The agenda read something like this:

1. 6PM Member Registration – this alone is purely a nom de guerre to allow the faithful to get a belly full of booze before they all get down to the nitty-gritty of an hour or so later wondering what in the hell they were doing there.

2. 7PM Meeting commences. Somehow fell by the wayside for a while due to the fact there had to be change of kegs in both bars and the barmen couldn’t find the extra Bundy.

Finally the moment had arrived promulgated in this order (a) Previous minutes, (b) Business arising, (c) President’s report, (d) Financial report and audit statement, (e) Constitutional matters, (if any) (f) Club lease proposal (g) General business, (h) Close.

The ringmaster in the shape of Luciano Craignollini as president blew the whistle and the game started with (a) and (b) – these were quickly disposed of as summed up by one erstwhile life member who moved said be accepted as nobody present could possibly remember what happened, a year ago and who said what – Carried.

So far the agenda was being followed until the President’s report which was actually written by the outgoing treasurer. IL presidente announced he would have same read by the outgoing secretary as “I might break into Italian.”

So Jim Belford (of forestry industry fame) did the honours and an excellent job as he had never seen it before in his life. He gave the impression he did not have a clue about the contents nor that matter neither did anybody else except Tricky Dickie Dinsdale who denied he had anything to do with the repair to the bar chairs and requested his name be struck from the records.

Somehow the financial report jumped up a notch on the agenda but while this was being read out in brief, Pat Nicholls started, at great length, to discuss the first two items that had been already passed and buried in history.

Meanwhile, Garry the eggman, was still protesting or mumbling as to why he could not vote as his dues had been paid that same day by somebody or other and he couldn’t flog any of his eggs.

John Turner of PTC fame, a life member, then got into the act emphasizing all his points by referring to the 1991 financial report. This completely confused the auditor Greg Berry who had only the 1994 and 1995 accounts to which he could refer.

Ted Fuller wanted to know “if copies of the auditor’s report were copies of the auditor’s report”.

By now, it is hoped that you get the general drift of what went on – the national members of the club had rather shocked looks on their faces – utter disbelief that this was how grown – up people could act at such an important “kivung” – so, too for that matter, was this scribe as it was better than the Riverina “wedding of the year.”

Finally, after 30 minutes or an eternity the auditor man left quickly while Pat Nicholls was back on her feet talking and arguing about something that was in the previous minutes relating to 1993.

Then came the election of office bearers, something that I had thought would be similar to a conclave of cardinals selecting a new pope – Luciano even closed the bar until the two scrutineers, Vali David and yours truly, informed him that unless something wet and cold was placed in front of them, no votes would be counted. Rectified immediately.

There were only two candidates for president, viz Luciano and Rosa Birner. Somehow there were five informal votes, two for Black Bart, one for John Turner, one for Bernie Tanaka and one for Balls, the Club cat.

Voting for vice-president saw informal votes again with Black Bart and a couple of bar chits scoring heavily.

It was about then that a lady complained to her husband “somebody tried to molest me.” Hubby replied “Here, quick give him this K50 he obviously needs an eye operation urgently.”

By this time, the bar had reopened and somehow or other the elections were over purely because by the time the meeting got down to the elections of six committee members, there were only five nominations as a couple of the nominees had previously been elected to higher office, much to the scrutineers’ relief.

Changes to the constitution did not get a run and a proposal to lease the club was thrown into the lap of the new committee to bring to an extraordinary general meeting and then publicly advertise for tenders.

General business consisted of one item when a rather irate member grabbed the microphone, and moved that next year’s AGM be held with the bar completely closed for its duration. This was immediately defeated on the roar of the voices.

The meeting closed immediately when Luciano announced he was throwing K200 over the bar.

My friends, my only conclusion is that the only difference between a circus and the AGM of the South Pacific Motor Sports Club is that a circus has a programme.

All names used in the above are entirely ficticious and bear no reference to any person, living or dead or insane or cannot remember the actual event. No correspondence will be entered into.

More historical info
Images, annual reports and more

- Historical images

- President's Annual Report 1970

- Treasurer's Report 1970

- Pinder's Report of an AGM