As we approach another summer here in beautiful Pearl Beach, it is hard to believe that the catastrophic bushfires that were the focus of my autumn President’s Report were only extinguished six months or so ago. So much has happened since that the calendar seems to have become an irrelevance. COVID 19 has changed our lives in ways that we would never have anticipated, yet despite the suspension of the many activities that energise and bring together our community, we are much more fortunate than many.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Pearl Beach Hall, and we had intended to hold some appropriate activities to acknowledge this important milestone. However, the shutdown imposed in response to COVID 19 has caused us to postpone these, as well as most of our other regular events. At least the upgrade works to our Hall have commenced, notwithstanding that due to COVID 19 and some project management challenges they are proceeding less rapidly than we would prefer.
The situation is also having a serious impact on our financial situation. Up until the end of March, we were travelling quite well against our budget for 2019-20, but for the final three months we have had to cancel most of our income generating events. The cancellation of the Easter Book Fair was of particular significance, as this usually generates more than $8,000 of net income. This situation seems likely to continue for the foreseeable future, and we have reluctantly cancelled popular events such as the Food and Wine Fair and the Glee Club concerts. The loss of these popular events affects not just the cultural life of Pearl Beach, but our financial health as well. We are keeping the GoFundMe page running to support the Hall upgrade, so if you have not yet donated, please consider doing so. It will make a difference.
We will be recommencing General Meetings of the Association in the Hall, with limited numbers in accordance with the NSW Health COVID 19 restrictions. This means that the majority of our members will need to participate electronically, and you will have already received the instructions about how to do this. There has not been a General Meeting since March, although the Executive Committee has continued to meet monthly while complying with the COVID 19 social distancing requirements. None of us knows what the future holds in these uncertain COVID 19 times, but we feel that it is important to do what we can to emerge from the shutdown and restart as many of our traditional community activities as we can, especially public meetings of the Association members, while at the same time complying with personal safety measures.
Following on from the September GM, our Annual General Meeting is coming up on 10 October, and expect it will be subject to the same COVID limitations on attendees. As usual there will be a spill of all positions on the Executive Committee. I urge you to consider whether you might like to consider nominating to join the committee, and if so you will need to submit a form signed by two financial members of the Association by 3 October. You will be receiving a members pack in advance of the meeting, which will include the form as well as the Audited Financial Report for 2019-20.
This will be my last President’s Report, as I am not re-nominating for the position. I thank the current members of the Executive Committee for their support, and wish the best for the incoming Executive Committee.
Pearl Beach Progress Association