2022 - RINGS IN CHANGES IN COMBINE
10th January 2022
Traditionally the 2nd Saturday in January is when the East Down Combine hold their AGM and 2022 was to prove no exception although there had been a break in 2021 because of the lockdown . This year although strict Covid Protocols had to be observed this was just one of several differences to this Year’s meeting which was once again held in the War Memorial Hall in Crossgar on Saturday January 8th at 2pm .
On arrival members were asked to wear masks , sanitise hands and then take a seat which had been placed 2 metres apart in the Main Hall this year ,which allowed plenty of Space for the 40 or so in attendance .
The chairman Len McCavery got the proceedings underway at 2pm and after welcoming all members present requested a minutes silence for those who had passed away since the previous meeting .
Apologies were then received and recorded and the Financial Secretary Sam Duke was then requested to read the minutes of the previous AGM which were passed as a true record of that meeting . The meeting then moved on to the first item on the Agenda which was the Chairman’s Report from Len McCavery and in a very comprehensive report all the Officials ,Centre Officials and General Committee were thanked for all their hard work and support throughout the season. The outgoing President was thanked for the contribution he had made throughout the Year and Colin Smyth (vice chairman) was thanked for his help and Len had a special word of thanks for Sam Duke who had put in a tremendous amount of work as Financial Secretary , and for Dorothy Smyth for all her tireless work especially for her organisation of the Annual Dinner .
Len then thanked the PRO’s for all their work throughout the season keeping the Combine to the forefront in many areas , he also thanked the Transport Committee ,Race Controllers & Drivers & Auditors . .
The weather Committee were thanked for all the work they had put into making decisions regarding basketing days etc which although not always popular were made in the best interests of the membership based on the information available to them at the time and congratulated Doley Croskery who had done so well yet again as Race Controller.
At this stage Len went on to explain to the meeting that after some 10 years as Chairman of the East Down Combine he was not seeking re election and also went on to advise that the Financial Secretary Sam Duke was also retiring from his position after some 13 years and that the race Controller Doley Croskery was not standing for this position for the incoming season .
In Conclusion Len extended congratulations to all the 2021 prize winners . The Chairman’s report which as always was well presented was well received by those present .
The next item was the Financial Secretary’s report and as already mentioned this was Sam’s last report, Sam reiterated all of what Len had said by way of thanking all those who had worked so hard for the Combine and he had a special word of thanks for Len McCavery for his role as chairman of the Combine in 2021 and Doley Croskery for his year as President and he commended Dorothy Smyth for the outstanding amount of work she had put in once again over the year especially with the Organisation of the Annual Dinner .He also thanked all the club Secretaries and Treasurers for their assistance over the years and again throughout the past season and extended his congratulations to all the prize winners of 2021
Moving on to look at the accounts for 2021 and Sam pointed out that the membership was only slightly reduced from the previous season and the Combine was still sound financially although 2021 again showed a deficit for the year of almost £8,000 which Sam said was a result of several items mainly lorry and crate repairs but with running costs likely to increase for the 2022 season it was left to the committee to look at how best to meet these increases.
Sam then went through the rest of the Income & Expenditure account and Balance sheet in detail and then invited questions or comments from the floor but as his explanations had been very detailed the Accounts were passed with only clarification being sought on what was included as running expenses
Brendan McLoughlin then spoke on behalf of the Combine Auditors and endorsed what Sam had explained to everyone. Stating that the Combine had been very fortunate to have the books prepared and kept in such a very professional manner and this was reiterated by John Gordon the Combine’s other auditor .
As there was no Correspondence for 2021 the meeting moved on to the next item which was the election of office bearers for 2022 and Len McCavery invited Brendan McLoughlin to conduct this part of the meeting . Before taking nominations for the various offices Brendan paid tribute to the work done by the retiring Chairman and Financial Secretary for their dedication and hard work which both had done in their respective roles over many years .Brendan then Congratulated the 2021 prize winners and conducted the election of the office bearers for 2022 which was to see several major changes . Those elected were as follows :
PRESIDENT Jim Young
VICE PRESIDENT Len McCavery
JUNIOR VICE PRESIDENT Albert Lockhart
CHAIRMAN Jim Young
V/CHAIRMAN John Albert
SECRETARY Eamon Lenaghan
TREASURER Patricia Hamilton
RACE CONTROLLER Mrs Dorothy Smyth
Assistant race Controller Hugh Cully
PROs Ronnie Johnston
Mrs Dorothy Smyth
Before moving on to look at the 2022 business a little about some of the new names elected to hold office with the retirement of both the Chairman and Financial Secretary . Jim Young of Portavogie was elected to the position of Chairman and Jim is well known to Combine members racing as J & R Young and on taking the chair conducted the meeting in a very
professional manner which ensured the business was got through efficiently .
Eamon Lenaghan has been appointed as the incoming Secretary to the Combine on the recommendation of the Committee who interviewed Eamon for the post . Eamon may not be a name familiar to many not having been involved in the pigeon world for some time but comes with both a knowledge of pigeons and a great wealth of knowledge of IT and we wish him every success in this new role . With Sam Duke’s retirement this meant that the role of Financial Secretary was once again split into Secretary and treasurer and it was Patricia Hamilton who was elected as treasurer ,Patricia being Sam Duke’s Daughter and who was already familiar with the financial workings of the Combine .
With Doley Croskery standing down as race Controller Dorothy Smyth was elected to this post with Hugh Cully being elected as assistant .
With the election of the Office Bearers complete it was then time to look at the new business of the afternoon and this saw several proposals for the 2022 race programme plus a number of other items of importance . Looking at the 2022 Race Programme first
OLD BIRDS :
The 2020 EDC Old Bird Race Programme automatically goes on the Agenda for 2022 . Mullingar, Tullamore, Thurles, 1st Macroom, Skibbereen Classic , Talbenny , 2nd Macroom , Bude & Derek Wishart Classic Mallow (same day), 2nd Thurles, Penzance and Penzance Classic , St. Malo Old Bird Derby
PROPOSAL (A) SUBMITTED BY Ballylesson HPS----
1st Kilkea, 2nd Kilkea, 1st Gowran Park, 1st Cashel, Pilmore Beach, Skibbereen Classic, Talbenny, 2nd Cashel, Bude & Derek Wishart Classic Pilmore Beach (same Day) 2nd Gowran Park , Penzance & Penzance Classic ,
St. Malo Old Bird Derby
PROPOSAL ( B) SUBMITTED BY KILLYLEAGH HPS ------
Navan, Tullamore ,Roscrea, Mallow, Macroom ,Skibbereen Classic ,Mallow,1st Talbenny, 2nd Talbenny & Derek Wishart Classic Macroom (same Day) , Bude, Penzance & Penzance Classic , St. Malo Old Bird Derby
On being put to a vote Proposal (B) submitted by the Killyleagh HPS carried
Moving on to the Young Bird Programmes and again the 2020 EAST DOWN COMBINE YOUNG BIRD PROGRAMME AUTOMATICALLY went ON THE AGENDA FOR 2022.
Which was ; 1st Navan,2nd Navan , 1st Tullamore, 2nd Tullamore , Mullingar Comeback , 1st Thurles, 2nd Thurles, Mallow& Talbenny Young Bird Derby (on the same day) ,Macroom Young Bird Derby, Skibbereen Young Bird Derby.
PROPOSAL (A) SUBMITTED BY THE EAST DOWN GENERAL COMMITTEE ----
1st Navan, 2nd Navan 1st Kilkea, 2nd Kilkea ,Gowran Park, Cashel , Pilmore Beach& Talbenny Derby( same day) Macroom YB Derby, Skibbereen YB Derby.
PROPOSAL ( B) SUBMITTED BY BALLYLESSON HPS --
1st Navan, 2nd Navan 1ST Kilkea, 2nd Kilkea, 1st Gowran Park, 2nd Gowran Park ,Cashel &Talbenny YB Derby (Same Day ) , 1st Skibbereen YB derby, 2nd Skibbereen YB Derby
PROPOSAL ( C) SUBMITTED BY KILLYLEAGH HPS --
1st Navan ,2nd Navan, 1st Tullamore, 2nd Tullamore , Navan (Comeback Midweek) , 1st Roscrea , 2nd Roscrea ,Mallow & Talbenny YB Derby ( Same Day ) Macroom YB Derby, Skibbereen YB Derby
On being put to the meeting the Ballylesson proposal carried and racing is due to commence on SATURDAY 9th APRIL 2022.
With the race Programme decided their were two other proposals to be dealt with ,the first was a proposal from Downpatrick Premier HPS “that the Old Bird Skibbereen Classic take the same format as the Penzance Classic” . This was ruled inadmissible as the old Bird programme for 2022 had already been passed as just the Skibbereen Classic .
The second proposal was submitted by Crossgar HPS and read “ That The East Down Combine video on a weekly basis the birds being watered and Fed and the video uploaded to the East Down Combine website” This led to a debate on the pros and cons of such a move and it remains to be seen how this is fulfilled .
The final item for the afternoon was a presentation to Sam Duke in recognition of his services to the Combine over many years and this was made by Dorothy Smyth.
Finally in closing the meeting the Chairman sought the permission of the meeting to allow the Secretary to dispose of the 2021 paperwork .
This being all the business of the afternoon the chairman closed the meeting after thanking everyone for their attendance .
2021 Derby success for Annsborough partnership
The Annsborough partnership of Geraldine & Paddy Brown had a very successful 2021 season but as they were away from home at the time of the EDC Prize night they missed out on being able to attend in person to receive the two major cups won, the L &A Fields Memorial cup for the best Average Old Bird Classic and Old Bird derby when from the Derby (St.Malo) they were 3rd Open with a 2yo Red cock which had been in every race this season and went to St.Malo on eggs 10days The sire is of Tom Marshall bloodlines and the dam is from Annalong’s Kevin Rooney and the birds were trained regularly from Castle Bellingham and Balbriggan .
The other major trophy won was the McCloud Cup for the best average over all derbies which saw the partnership winning as mentioned 3rd open St Malo OB Derby ,14th open Talbenny YB Derby and 39th open in the Skibbereen YB Derby .
Once again the Combine has suffered further bereavements with the death of Karen the wife of Maurice Browne of the Bangor RPC partnership of M & K Browne and Betty McConaghie the widow of the late Ken McConaghie and Mother of Geoff of the Newtownbreda club . We extend our deepest sympathy to both these families at this time on their sad loss .
Well that is the Combine set for the 2022 season and I hope all have a good 2022 season .