Due to the continued Covid-19 pandemic, we are unfortunately unable to hold our AGM this year.
However, to keep in touch, our Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer have a few messages for you all. We hope we are able to see you all again before too long.
To All Catalyst Members. Chairman’s AGM Address January 2021.
For nearly 12 months now we have not been able to run the Catalysts as we would normally do. We have very little to report so we are postponing the AGM until next year and issuing a Financial Statement and these Reports to signal the end of our year.
We have had such a strange year with only two Catalysts Talks since March 2020 held socially distant in Calry Church before the Autumn shutdown. They were so well attended which shows you that people really wanted to get out and mix. This is the essential purpose of the Catalysts. After the first lockdown the Boules and Walks continued until the final lock down stopped them as well. What a pity all the classes have ceased too but they will be back.In a few months we may be able to get the outdoor activities running again. In the mean-time every best wish and prayer to you all.
I would like to thank Robin for his years of wonderful work as “Chairman of the Catalysts”. It is a responsible job and he managed it so very well using his diplomatic and managerial skills and his warm & friendly personality to get things done. I had only begun to realise how much work there was when we were shut down, so thank you Robin. Thank you for your continuing and welcome advice as well.
I want to thank the whole Team for their dedication especially mentioning Sheena for her work as Treasurer and for her tenacious work with the tedious, bureaucratic Charities Commission and Patsy for her meticulous work as Secretary. I want to thank Yvonne and Patrick for their support and wish the Catacombs staff well in the difficult times they are having.
“We’ll meet again”. Arnie Griffin (Chairman of Catalysts).
Secretary’s Report 2021. We Catalysts commenced 2020 with enthusiasm.
Our program organized walks, talks, trips and classes in anticipation of a full and active year ahead. We had hardly laced our walking boots when a year like no other began to unfold, as Coronavirus descended upon us. By mid-March all activities had to be ceased, “Stay Home, Stay Safe” now the rule as lockdown was enforced. Summer brought a short reprieve for outdoor activities, and the boules and walking groups managed some activities that conformed to government guidelines.
It was with great sadness and a profound sense of loss that we learned of the untimely passing of our fellow Catalyst Lloyd Sweetnam, who played a huge part in all aspects of The Catalysts. He will be greatly missed, and we all extend our deepest sympathies to Hazel, Erica, Meryl, Miriam and his extended family.
In September Canon Patrick kindly made the church available, so The Casual Cats programme could resume under “the new normal’ of hand sanitizer, social distancing, face-coverings and restricted numbers. Registration was scaled down to comply with restrictions. The programme of speakers was cut short again by the Covid-19 Virus, as lockdown engulfed us a second time, and all activities had to stop.
Finances remain in a good position, and we were able to make a €500 donation to Northwest Hospice.
After 8 years as Chairperson of the Catalysts, Robin had requested to step down from his role and Arnie Griffin agreed to take up the position. So, finally, on behalf of all the Catalysts, thank you to Robin for his tireless work these last eight years, and best wishes to him in his retirement.
Let’s hope 2021 will find the solution to this virus situation so we can return safely to our group activities and our way of life.
Catalysts 2020 Financial Statement 18 February 2021. Considering all that the Covid-19 pandemic has thrown at us, our finances remain in very good shape. At the end of 2020 the bank balance was very healthy and a small amount in the Petty Cash Box has been kept for any minor purchases.
INCOME. 1. As you can imagine income in 2020 from membership was much reduced, but so were our outgoings. 2. This year we received a generous grant from Active Age, which will go towards the cost of our long overdue visit to Kylemore Abbey, whenever this is possible. 3. We have a substantial amount which remains unspent from grants given to us since 2017. We welcome, as always, ideas on how this can best be spent.
EXPENDITURE. 1. Bank fees this year were very low, a reflection of the lack of Catalysts activity, as was the Room rental we pay to the Catacombs and Calry vestry. 2. The Reduced Bank Fee Arrangement (50% given because of our Charitable Status) has been renewed for another three years. 3. Donations – This year we made a one- off donation on your behalf to the North West Hospice of €500. 4. There were no gifts for or expenses paid to speakers. 5. Sundries of € 120.00 were spent for the up-keep of our website. This has been vitally important, especially over the last year, for the sharing information with you all. Whilst totally free, our Facebook Page and the WhatsApp Group (which was formed at the start of the pandemic), have also been important for the sharing of information and a great, light-hearted way to keep in touch.
THE FUTURE. In 2021, we will continue to use our overall surplus for the benefit of our members. a. Contribute towards the cost of coaches for our trips and events, of which I’m sure you will hopefully hear more about before too long. Unfortunately, all our planned trips had to be cancelled in 2020. We hope that once this dreadful pandemic is resolved, the long-awaited, and much cancelled, trip to Kylemore Abbey will be one of the first outings we can enjoy. I am also looking forward to finally walking at Lackan Strand in Co Mayo. b. To contribute to our charity donations.
As both Arnie and Patsy have already said, the last year has been very difficult for us all, especailly with the pasing of our friend Lloyd Sweetnam. Our deepest sympathies go out to all Lloyd’s family, as they try to re-build their lives without him.
Hopefully, with the eventual vaccination programme in sight, we will be able to meet each- other again very soon.
Wishing you all continued good health. Sheena Spencer (Catalysts Treasurer)