Dear Fellow 41’ers and Friends,
The 2019 AGM is still fresh in the memory as I write to you on behalf of myself and the new Executive Council for the 2019/20 Year. After months of planning and late evening meetings paid off and the Convening Committee put together what many regarded as one of the best AGM’s for the 41’ers Association in many years. Over the weekend of the 7-9th September we held this prestigious occasion at the NH Lord Charles Hotel in Somerset West. Sadly we could not have it at the previously advertised Rustlamere Hotel and Spa, as this venue was destroyed in a fire in the early hours of the 22nd July of this year.
As usual the Lord Charles and her staff did not disappoint and we had a fantastic weekend filled with laughs, fine dining, some heavy discussions, a few “soft drinks”, finished off by a glamorous Gala event attended by over 130 delegates, wives, partners, Visitors and YAP’s. It all started with a Welcoming Party with a Rugby World Cup theme held at the Round Table Somerset West 31 Clubhouse. Saturday morning saw the boys in the usual decorum hold a rather lengthy AGM where we had some serious conversations and hard decisions to make about our membership and the road ahead for the Association. We were fortunate to have visitors from 9 different Countries attending our event from as far as Sweden in the North and as close as some delegates from our neighbours, Zambia. The newly appointed International President of the 41’ers Association, Mr. Luc Trigaux, originally from the beautiful City of Brussels in Belgium, also graced us with his presence to share some information about the situation on the International level and a few personal views in the Executive meetings held before and after the AGM respectively as is the tradition.
The YAP program, run as for the past few Years, by our esteemed newly elected Vice President (2019/2020), Mr. Nico McNamara, was made up of 17 Young Ambassadors from 7 Countries this year. Traveling from as far as Durban on the Natal Coast, ending in the fairest Cape, these children of 41’ers from Europe and India saw the best of what we as a Country has to offer and also what we as Old Tablers has to offer in the form of Home hosting and taking care of them as if they were our own children. Children of Tablers and/or 41’er between the ages of 18 and 25, are given an opportunity each year to visit Europe for two weeks and we reciprocate by hosting a group in South Africa for the two week period leading up to our AGM.
Our vision, dear friends, for this Year ahead is very simple “Adopt, Adapt, Improve”, yes the motto of our beloved Round Table. We as the new Council have adopted what we received from our predecessors as to where the Association is at the moment. We adapted it by inducting an almost completely new Executive Council, barring the voted positions. Through this process we will be improving this Association in the Year to come, by being more transparent, and by leading by example and getting out there to see our fellow 41’ers. The records have been cleaned up and we are firing on all cylinders to make sure we get and keep a correct record of all members that are in good standing. As I write this letter, the newly formulated forms are being send out in which we want to “get to know you”, where you live, work and who you are married to, rolled out by the esteemed Vice President in his capacity as Extension Officer. But it’s not a one man job, so the whole Council is involved and engaging our members and prospective members to make sure we have the details to compile the long promised “Business Directory”.
On the technology front there are also exciting things happening, we are close behind Round Table International and their App, “Tabler World”, with a spin-off called “41’er World”, an online platform through which we can keep everybody’s data up to date and you no longer need a little book, but can download and have access to information about Tablers, 41’ers, etc. at the push of a button, anywhere, anytime.
I have over my time as Vice President heard the question many times; “Why should I be part of the 41’ers Association, what is in it for me”. The truth to that question is simple, I don’t have the answer, and much like when you joined Table the answer is much the same, because as my good friend former President of RTBI, Marcus Jones, once said: “People join Table for different reasons”. The same can be said for the 41’ers Association; I can’t tell you why to join, but what I can tell you is that our passion and commitment to Round Table and supporting the young professional business men of this wonderful organisation is unaverred. It is our responsibility as their past and their future to make sure they walk the path committed and we hold them accountable. Our days of running projects and convening lengthy business meetings are long gone, but never forgotten. The 41’er Association is purely a measuring tool, to hold its members accountable, to make sure we don’t lose our connection to Round Table, but more importantly, to one another. That is why that motto shouts out “May the hinges of friendship never rust”
I thank each and every one of the members of this wonderful organization for trusting me and my Council with the charge to lead this year, my promise to all of you are that we shall NOT disappoint.
41’er Association Southern Africa