Philip Whearty gave us his Viewpoint this evening and said,
'I've been a member of this club for over 30 years and thoroughly enjoy it.
'When Ted Nation asked me if I'd be interested in joining, I was somewhat shocked, knowing it was the domain of self-employed or executive, rich, white cis men, although back then this didn’t constitute a crime.
'So I guess I currently only score a 2 on this scale .
'I already knew some members - John Barber, Walter Double, Randal Shaw, Ross Garner and Ted, so you can easily see how I arrived at my conclusion.
'It wasn’t a Groucho Marx moment, "I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member” but I was frightfully overwhelmed.
'To set the scene, speakers' gifts were sourced from Kirkcaldie and Stains and wrapped in their trademark green.
'I recall that my first official rostered duty was to say grace and I was a complete mess all day, wandering around the office chanting like a Tibetan monk.
'I had practised it till the folds in the paper were worn through and I had to clutch the four quarters separately.
'I was about to deliver my two liner to rival Hamlet's most famous soliloquy, when Adrian Brady snatched my notes and I was marooned.
'Classification was taken seriously, albeit with social credit-like creativeness to capture more than one Banker or Builder.
'The status of Senior Active seemed another manipulation in this regard, effectively doubling particular classification metrics.
'The DG’s visit was billed as the most important night of the year but I have yet to find anyone who wasn’t bored silly.
'I always threatened to ask the DG to explain the matching grant funding algorithm so as to inject some real excitement into the evening.
'Is it the same club I joined? No! it has evolved, (evolved being the perfect word as it reflects the comfort with the glacial rate of change), into something that, by many measures, is even better.
'It has matured, is more diverse - mellowed like a good red.
'No protest about calling wives "partners".
'Sure the muster has halved but the upside is that the badge box is essentially redundant.
'There are never awkward silences because you can always direct conversation to medical interventions, hip, knee, shoulder replacements, bits and bobs lopped off, or compare medications, some to slow things down others too speed them up.
'Our ageing has meant we can no longer implement some projects with our previous vigour but the desire and intention are still there.
'So how would I rate our club out of 10 ?
'For me it’s a solid 9.5.
'Why not 10?
'Well, there is one little niggle that I’ve observed over the years and it occurs when we are looking at celebrating ourselves.
'We tend to adopt a pauper mode, a kind of Opus Dei experience as if our discomfort and thriftiness, will bring us closer to god.
'I, and others, have spent countless hours on behalf of the Fellowship, Club Service or Admin Committees, (see evolution), looking at venues, menus and entertainment only to find that the budget is $30 including a bus that probably won’t turn up.
'So we invariably go full circle and end up at the Club House or Tawa Rugby Rooms, with a bun, boiled ham, some carbs and a piece of pav, and Watties fruit salad doused with a couple of supporting rock melon slices, to add authenticity.
''Entertainment is cleverly in house also, drawn from senior members playing the organ and a tambourine or by kidnapping a school choir under the pretence that we are providing a real live audience opportunity.
'Decoration is mainly dusty rotary memorabilia supplemented by potted plants generously supplied by Leacroft.
'Any cost overruns, and typically $2 per head is cunningly accounted for by a raffle.
'My point is not to come across as a big noter, and I may have cartooned matters slightly, but now and again I think we should aim higher than thirty bucks inclusive.'