The recent months have has been very significant especially with the recent developments of the Firstlight exchange, I thought that it was important to set my presidents report for others to read. This was presented at the Auckland Branch AGM on May 9th 2021.
Firstly, I would like to thank the committee for the time and effort they have provided over the last year. From my observations, there are many social societies and groups that are currently struggling to keep numbers and interest up, however that does not appear to be an issue for us. The Auckland branch is currently one of the strong branches of Clan Cameron New Zealand, and Clan Cameron New Zealand is one of the strong Clan Societies in the country. We are in this position today by no small effort from Neil and Ruth Cameron. From the time of the branches re-activation Neil and his family has focused their efforts to help drive the committee and its commitments to what it is today. I thank Neil for his previous efforts right up until now, as it has made my introduction to this “well oiled machine” very easy. Not only that, but the current committee members also have all been very helpful, everyone has similar perspectives on what we need to do, and this has helped shaped the decisions that have come out of the committee.
What have we achieved this year? I think we have achieved what we could. Covid-19 had a big impact especially in Auckland. As a result, several events the clan is involved with were cancelled. I know some people were ready to travel to Scotland for a gathering over there and it is still in doubt when that is likely to be.
Our branch annual dinner remained the focus for the year, and the committee was able to work around the ever-changing environment to continue planning for it. We did have to postpone it from the original planned date of August 22nd, which was just down to bad luck, however we were ready to go at that time. We have a good template for the annual dinner, and this made it easy for us to move it to the new date of January 23rd, 2021 without too many changes to the programme. I also must thank the committee again especially our Treasurer Neil, who not only had to keep the venue up to date with our plans, but also had to deal with cancellations and refunds due to the dinner being shifted.
The clan had a presence at last year’s Kirkin’ of the Tartan, and this years Paeroa Highland Games and we can expect to return to the previously cancelled events in the upcoming year. Upcoming events include our Annual dinner back in August currently scheduled for the 7th, the Auckland Highland Games in November, and the Waipu Highland Games, which may become a multi-day event, from January 1st, 2022.
The First Light exchange has become a topic which has been discussed heavily over the past couple of years at the executive meetings. As Bryan Haggitt is the First Light Convenor, and a member of the Auckland Branch committee, he has been able to make some proposals which I am hoping that our branch will get behind. Discussions at this year’s AGM will determine the involvement our branch will have in resurrecting this exchange. Also with Maisie Earls recent passing, it is important now that we keep her vision alive through this exchange.
As a piper I know that the next Pipe Band National championships will be held in Auckland around March 2022. There is an intention to have a Highland Games aspect to it, and if these plans continue, I believe the clan should get involved where it can.
I feel the upcoming year will have some challenges for our branch, however I think we will be able to take these head on and get some satisfying results that will benefit Cameron’s not only in Auckland, but across the country.
Rob Cameron – Clan Cameron Auckland Branch President 2020/21