I was delighted and honoured to be appointed to the position of Chairman of PCHG Ltd at the start of the summer and I thank those who have entrusted me to take the helm and try and guide the Group forward as we strive to regenerate the harbour area for the benefit of the whole village.
Having been involved with the Group in various capacities since its formation in 2003 I would acknowledge that it’s been a long hard road to get us to where we are today and at times progress has been undoubtedly slow. However it should not be forgotten that the Group became a Limited company in 2005, gained charitable status in 2009 and have prepared detailed feasibility studies and robust business plans and are now in a position to move the regeneration project onto another level.
The scale of the task getting us through the last few years to where we are now should not be underestimated. Much of this work has been done behind the scenes and goes relatively unnoticed and credit must be given to those Committee members, past and present, who have given of their time on a voluntary basis in the hope that they can help make Portgordon a better place.
While everyone in the Group have played their part I would particularly like to pay tribute to our immediate past Chairman, Ron Billing, who stood down at the last AGM after 9 years at the top and Bob Thomson, who has recently stood down as Secretary. Both Ron and Bob were instrumental in forming the Group at the beginning and they jointly chaired our very first public meeting way back in 2003.
Ron was appointed as our first Chairman and he has steadfastly continued in this role for the last 9 years through thick and thin, steering the Group through numerous public meetings and endless committee meetings and always with his usual good humour. He has also been instrumental in our annual galas, particularly bringing to the event a wide range of interesting and varied forms of transport, on land, air and sea. Despite standing down as Chair, Ron remains heavily involved with the group and continues as a Director of PCHG Ltd. In addition and in recognition of his services to the Group over the last 9 years, I was delighted at the AGM that Members agreed to the appointment of Ron into the role as our first Honorary President.
Bob was unquestionably the driving force at the formation of PCHG in 2003 and has served as a Director and Secretary throughout the last 9 years. Bob’s contribution to the Group has been massive and he has been the key player in establishing PCHG as a Limited Company with Charitable Status and guiding the Group through Feasibility Studies, Business Plans, local fundraising and of course the annual Raft Race & Gala Day. Bob excelled as Chairman of the Gala Sub-Committee and took the event from humble beginnings to becoming a much bigger and varied event attracting large crowds. Bob has decided that it’s time to stand aside in the hope that others will get involved in taking the project through to the next level. PCHG Ltd are indebted to Bob for his huge contribution and it was agreed that the door would always be open for his return to the Committee should he wish to get involved again in the future.
In addition I would also like to thank Noel McGuile for his work as Treasurer over the last few years. Noel has helped keep the Group on a sound financial footing and has ensured that our accounts are in good order, that they meet the requirements of our accountants and satisfy the scrutiny of OSCR (Office of the Scottish Charity Register).
I am grateful to all past Committee Members for their help and support they have given to the Group and to me personally.
I have lived in Portgordon since 1997 and joined Portgordon Community Harbour Group at its formation in 2003. I was elected Deputy Vice Chairman in 2004, Vice Chairman in 2007 and became a Director of the Group in 2005.
With all voluntary groups it is inevitable that members will come and go over time and there is no doubt that the loss of some key members over the last few years have certainly left a void that is proving difficult to fill. Nevertheless I was greatly encouraged that new Committee Members were appointed at the AGM and that others continue to join the Group. Interest in the project also continues to grow as demonstrated by visitor numbers to our excellent website www.portgordonharbour.org. PCHG are also working on plans to improve the harbour area including creating a replica of the Gurkha plaque, tidying up or disposal of any old abandoned boats and creels and the creation of new bench seating. There is also a tremendous opportunity to build on the good work done to date by the Village Hall Committee and their plans to build new Village Hall adjacent to the harbour. The potential for regeneration of the area is clear and with everyone pulling together we can make this a better place.
I therefore see this as the start of a new era for PCHG and we would love to see new faces at any of our meetings which are open to all. There is much work to be done and we need your help to see through our 3 main priorities for the year ahead:
· Increase awareness of the project within the Village and encourage greater community involvement and support.
· Update the Business Plan and concentrate efforts on major fundraising (despite the recession I remain confident that there are funding opportunities out there).
· Ensure the return of the Raft Race & Gala Day in 2013.
There is lot’s to be positive about in Portgordon if we all work together!
Portgordon Community Harbour Group Ltd September 2012