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by Clifford Browne


Good Attendance At AGM

The East Down Combine held it’s AGM on Saturday January 12th January 2019 in the War Memorial Hall in Crossgar . Unlike last year when the weather had been very wet this year it was a lovely afternoon and this was reflected in an excellent turnout of members which saw the hall filled and was very encouraging for the office bearers .
The chairman Len McCavery got the proceedings underway just after 2pm and after welcoming all members present requested a minutes silence for those who had passed away since the previous year’s 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. 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 and for her organisation of this year’s breeder/buyer and her work for the Annual Dinner. Dorothy as the Outgoing President was thanked for her contribution to the Combine throughout her year in office.
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. Len went on to thank Marshall Feeds for once again supplying the On-Board feeding throughout the season. In Conclusion Len extended congratulations to all the 2018 prize winners. The Chairman’s report which was well presented as always was well received by those present.
The next two items on the agenda were the Secretary and Treasurer’s reports and as Sam Duke combines both roles as Financial Secretary he combined his reports. Starting with the Secretary’s report Sam reiterated all of what Len had said by way of thanking all those who 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 2018 and Dorothy Smyth for her year as President and commended her or the outstanding amount of work she had put in over the year especially with the Organisation of the Breeder/Buyer , and the Annual Dinner .He also thanked all the club Secretaries and Treasurers for their assistance throughout the past season and extended his congratulations to all the prize winners of 2018
Moving on to look at the accounts and the 2018 and Sam pointed out that the membership was only slightly reduced from the previous season and the Combine was still sound financially although showing a deficit for the year of just over £1700.
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 no questions from the floor.
Brendan McLoughlin then spoke on behalf of the Combine Auditors and endorsed what Sam had explained to everyone. Stating that the Combine were very fortunate to have an excellent Treasurer with the books being prepared and kept in a very professional manner and this was reiterated by John Gordon the Combine’s other auditor.
Under 2018 correspondence was a letter informing the Combine that the Hillfoot club had disbanded and this letter was accepted with regret.
Having completed the 2018 correspondence the meeting moved on to the election of office bearers for 2019 and Len McCavery invited Colin Watson to conduct this part of the meeting. Colin congratulated the 2018 prize winners and conducted the election of the office bearers for 2019
The principal Office Bearers elected for the 2019 season are as follows;

V/CHAIRMAN Colin Smyth
Assistant race Controller Mrs Dorothy Smyth
PROs Ronnie Johnston
Mrs Dorothy Smyth
Clifford Browne

The committee were re-elected with their numbers being added to with the Election of Gary Lyttle ( Comber) and Cliff Stewart ( Bangor)
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 2019 race programme plus three other items ,the first of which submitted by ,
Downpatrick HPS That there be one comeback race for Old Birds and two comeback races for young Birds, the races to be held on Wednesdays from Tullamore.
There was some discussion on this from the membership mainly with regards to the logistics of these events ,the details of which would be finalised by the Committee . On being put to the vote this item--------- PASSED
The other two proposals were submitted by the EDC General Committee and were dependent on the East Down Combine Committee’s race programme being accepted . There were several race programmes for discussion for both Old and Young Birds and these were:

The 2018 EDC Old Bird Race Programme automatically goes on the Agenda for 2019 . Mullingar,Tullamore,Thurles,1st Fermoy, Mallow& Derek Wishart Classic ( Same day) , Skibbereen Classic, 2nd Fermoy ,Talbenny,1st Bude, 2ndBude, Penzance and Penzance Classic , St. Malo Old Bird Derby.

1st Tullamore,2nd Tullamore, Thurles, 1st Fermoy, Mallow, Skibbereen Classic , Talbenny & Talbenny Classic, 2nd Fermoy , Bude & Bude Classic & Derek Wishart Classic Mallow (same day), 3rd Fermoy, Penzance and Penzance Classic , St. Malo Old Bird Derby


Mullingar, 1st Portlaoise,2nd Portlaoise, 1st Kilkenny , 1st Youghal, Skibbereen Classic , 2nd Youghal, Talbenny , Bude & Derek Wishart Classic (same day) 2nd Kilkenny, Penzance and Penzance Classic , St. Malo Old Bird Derby.

The meeting voted overwhelming for Proposal A and this will see a number of new classic races incorporated in this year’s Old Bird Programme . Moving on to the Young Bird Programmes :
The 2018 EAST DOWN COMBINE YOUNG BIRD PROGRAMME AUTOMATICALLY GOES ON THE AGENDA FOR 2019 . And this was again the committee’s proposal for 2019 which was ;
1st Navan,2nd Navan , 1st Tullamore, 2nd Tullamore , 1st Thurles, Fermoy, 2nd Thurles, & Talbenny Young Bird Derby (on the same day) 1stSkibbereenYoung Bird Derby, 2nd Skibbereen Young Bird Derby.

1st Navan, Mullingar , 1st Tullamore, 2nd Tullamore , 1st Thurles, Fermoy, 1st SkibbereenYoung Bird Derby & Talbenny Young Bird Derby (same Day) 2nd Thurles , 2nd Skibbereen Young Bird Derby .

Navan, Mullingar, 1st Portlaoise, 2nd Portlaoise, 1st Kilkenny, Youghal , 1st Skibbereen & Talbenny Young Bird Derbies (same day ) , 2nd Kilkenny , 2ndSkibbereen Young Bird Derby .
On being put to the meeting the committee’s proposal carried and racing is due to commence on SATURDAY 13TH APRIL 2019.

As I said there were two other proposals submitted by the Combine committee for consideration if the race programmes that the committee had submitted were passed and as this was the case the following proposals were put to the meeting .
That the 3Bird Channel Championship race format to remain as before but the start of the season entry fee and pools be abolished and replaced with an entry fee for each race . This fee to be paid out in full as prize money for each race . (PASSED)
That the two IHU Meritorious awards be flown over the 3 Channel Races with a diploma for the Cock and hen with the best velocities over the 3 Races . (PASSED)
The only other items of business was the Chairman sought the permission of the meeting to allow the Secretary to dispose of the 2018 paperwork and to advise that the committee would set a date for the 2019 Breeder/Buyer .
This being all the business of the afternoon the chairman closed the meeting after thanking everyone for their attendance .

2Bird Dinner and AGM

Just a reminder that the 2 bird Dinner will be held in the Temple Golf club on Friday 25th January followed by the club’s AGM on Monday 11th February further details can be obtained from Dorothy Smyth .
With a New season fast approaching I am urging all club pro’s to send on as much information concerning their club and members performances as possible and in this age of technology this can be done quite easily.




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