Paul Allcock concludes his time as SAIF’s President

April 11, 2017   //   No Comments

Following the AGM and banquet weekend in Harrogate, I’d like to take this opportunity to review the event and to thank everyone who was involved in an official capacity, plus all those who attended and helped to make it such a special occasion.

Having arrived on Thursday afternoon, rather sore (that’s an understatement) following our bike ride from Berwick upon Tweed, I was so pleased to have an opportunity overnight to recover in readiness for the packed weekend ahead.  The first event was the Associates’ Lunch on Friday, which is always a pleasure to be able to thank our associated businesses and our sponsors.

Following this in the afternoon, Jim Auld introduced our guest speaker Gordon Reid, the world number 1 wheelchair tennis player who is also the reigning Wimbledon and Olympic Champion. Gordon gave a very enlightening interview which was truly inspirational to all of us, and it was a pleasure to formally thank him for his time.  On Friday evening we had a Murder Mystery Dinner. I must admit by this time I was beginning to flag, and probably could have done with a quiet evening relaxing, but that wasn’t to be, as the actors playing out the evening were full on. I’m sure the majority there will have had an intriguing evening with a pleasant dinner.

Come Saturday morning of course was time for the AGM. As Alun Tucker had stood down as Executive Chairman prior to the AGM, it fell on me as President to Chair the meeting, which proved to be enlightening, and also gave an opportunity for the floor to ask any questions following the reports. During the afternoon, there was a NextGen meeting arranged with Terry Tennens for a number of the younger Funeral Directors attending who are regarded as the future both within their respective businesses and within SAIF. My understanding is that this proved to be very productive and was well received by all who attended.

Whilst this meeting was taking place, I was enjoying the Cheese and Wine event. This was a highlight for me, as those who joined me, I have no doubt, will agree. Being presented with 6 full glasses of wine to taste and to try to decipher which wine we were tasting from 3 descriptions proved to be very challenging. By the end my team had managed to get 1 correct answer out of 6 and I’m sure that was by luck more than judgement! A few mugs of black coffee were then required before the evening’s banquet.

Talking of the banquet, I have to say that the evening was thoroughly enjoyable, and hope that that was the experience of all of the guests. We had around 180 in attendance and a splendid meal, in great company, followed by good music ensued. As well as SAIF members we had representatives from our kindred associations and other guests in attendance. Following dinner we held a raffle which was the final fund raising activity for my chosen charity MIND. And this, together with the various events over the year, culminated in our raising over £10,000. A huge thank you to everyone who donated in any way over the last year.

Finally, Sunday morning saw the installation of officers, and this time, in place of Alun Tucker presiding, Mark Woollard took on the role of chairing formalities. We probably couldn’t have had less formal formalities if we tried, and Mark in his unique style brought events to a close with a huge smile on everyone’s faces.

My personal thanks go to Terry and Alun for their support and hard work during my year in office, and to Linda and the girls in the office for helping me along the way. I wish Linda and Alun well as they both step down from their responsibilities.  SAIF is in a far stronger position than it has ever been thanks in no small part to their great efforts over the years.

Finally I would like to wish Paul Bowley my very best wishes as he takes over from me as President. I know Paul will serve SAIF with great skill and integrity, and I hope that he and Davina will enjoy their role as much as Alison and I have done. Many thanks to everyone who has sent me good wishes, and the support and friendship I have gained this year has been a real joy to experience.

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