By Karen Buck
THE management committee of the Denmark Country Club has been ‘put on notice’ by disgruntled members, who narrowly failed in their bid to sack the entire 11-person committee at a recent special general meeting.
While the motion was defeated 62-58, in a separate vote, all decisions made by the committee since April were rescinded, including the appointment of current president Bob Smith and the termination of employment of operations manager, Graeme Buckland.
A move to install a temporary committee to administer the club until its annual general meeting in October sunk with the failed bid to oust the management committee.
The special general meeting was called following the circulation of a petition, which 80 of the club’s 300-plus members signed.
Club member Annette Harbron, who moved the motion to sack the management committee, said after the meeting that some members had been concerned that decisions were being made beyond the remit of the constitution.
“Over the past few years the club has been moving forward. It’s now a business with a constitution, and there are a series of legal obligations that we are required to comply with,” she said.
“It was obvious by their actions that most of the management committee are not aware of their responsibilities as board members.”
Some club members who spoke to the Voice of the South following the meeting did not wish to be named, fearing repercussions for speaking out, but it is believed the dissatisfaction within the club was precipitated by the resignation in April of club president Paul Fyfe.
Following the resignation, the management committee held a meeting and appointed Mr Smith as president, and took action to end the employment of full-time operations manager Mr Buckland, who took up the role in May 2017.
Ms Harbron said that if the management committee wanted to end somebody’s employment there was a correct process that should have been followed.
She said other Karen Buck actions considered unconstitutional were the failure to advise all management members of the April meeting, the failure to give three days’ notice of the meeting, and allow proxy voters to attend the meeting.
One member at the meeting said despite maintaining control of the club, the management committee was sent a clear message.
“At least the issues were aired and it sent a strong message that they’re on notice,” they said.
“They know that members are watching closely what they’re doing.
“Half the members of the 122 who attended that special meeting were indicating to them that they were extremely unhappy with what they’ve been doing. Things have got to be done in a transparent and accountable way.”
Denmark Country Club acting president, Irene Stone, said the management committee did not wish to comment on the meeting.
The committee released a statement saying the club is a private members’ club and information and discussions held are for members and not the public.