RSA - A Gift is a Gift

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Levin   12 May 2015

I, John Craig, Committee member of the Levin RSA am opposed to the sale of the R.S.A Bowling club situated in Clark Street, Levin.

My objection is because the land was gifted to the R.S.A. Bowling club many years ago.

I regard the R.S.A. Bowling club as a separate entity to the R.S.A club and therefore should not be included ín a property sale to pay off debts incurred by the R.S.A.

Unfortunately, I was not present at the Special meeting of the R.S.A. held on the 3rd May when this decision was made.

J Craig     Levin

1 June 2015

My father was W G (Bill) Clark and my grandmother Maud (Clark) Lett.
    She gifted the land to the RSA to be utilized as a bowling green for returned services personnel. He was a past president and patron of the bowling club.
Her son and Bill's brother Thomas died in 1922 from illnesses contracted in service during WW1. In 1948 the land was gifted to the RSA for a bowling green to be used for the welfare and enjoyment of returned services members.
     The RSA club has recently incurred a period of losses and it appears that the bowling green is now under threat of sale to offset this debt owed by the parent RSA club, not the bowling club. This loss has not been a result of the bowls club activities and their members should not loose the facility as a result of the Devon Street operations losses. I believe that every avenue should be pursued to maintain the bowling green for the future generations of bowlers in Levin as per the gifts original intention. 
     It would be an extremely sad day for all descendants of Maud Lett if this property were sold off. I support all legitimate action to preserve the property as intended by its original gifting.

L W M (Murray) Clark         Brisbane Australia

HOROWHENUA Chronicle  June 5 2015

RSA sell-off
At the Levin RSA AGM last September members were told finances were tight and more patronage and members were needed. A convoluted explanation was given why figures were incorrect and in wrong places.
     Offers were made to serve on a social subcommittee to help with social events and fundraising, and to draft a survey for members but didn’t eventuate.
     So it came as a shock to members at the March meeting to be given a week to rubber stamp the decision to sell buildings or have the bank foreclose. More time was gained, extended to two weeks with opportunity to send in ideas. At the end of the meeting the president asked members not to talk about it outside the club. However, many did, resulting in speculation and confusion in abundance. Even if the “in-committee“ motion had been passed at the beginning of the meeting it would have been too much to expect people to stay quiet, especially those affected.
     The second meeting was a bit more positive and the executive was charged with investigating options more fully.
     However, on May 3 members were again presented with a fait accompli. They were told the bank would help with interest-only payments for a year but had stipulated both buildings must be put up for sale immediately and required an answer within three days. A raft of proposals was presented and members expected to vote on these in one block. This made discussion on various things difficult and confusing and there seemed to be little understanding of how to move amendments to motions. I moved an amendment so the vote on the sale of the two buildings could be separate.
     Two hands went up to second it but this was ignored. None of the three meetings followed meeting procedure. No correspondence from the bank has been tabled. The question remains unanswered the bank can recoup its $200,000 from the sale of the main building reputedly worth $1.5m so why would it insist on the sale of the bowling club as well? Meeting procedures were not followed, information was put up on a screen that not all could see, nothing given to members to take away and peruse and no minutes produced to be read and confirmed. I was one of many who left that meeting feeling very concerned and “railroaded”.
     No wonder members are voting with their feet - we had 1500 financial members at the end of December 2014, but Bronwyn sent out 700 renewal notices on February 15.

C DAVIDSON  Levin

6 HOROWHENUA MAIL. MAY 28. 2015

Bar and pokies not the answer
The Levin RSA decision to sell both buildings was not unanimousand now appears unsafe after the statement in your paper, that the bank is not insisting on buildings being put up for sale and no correspondence from the bank has been tabled (Levin RSA seeks way out of debt, May 21). As long as the focus is on the income from bar and pokies there will always be a financial problem. Times have changed. Since the ACM last September, many great ideas have been put forward to increase funds and conduct a survey of members, but this focus prevails. If the club has 1200 members two questions are begging. Why do so few patronise the club, and why have 400 (a third of the membership not renewed by mid year? Declining trends is only part of it. I am told the bowling club members paid for materials and erected the building on the RSA gifted site for that purpose. Rates should then be shared. The bowling club paid them for about 34 years, then the RSA took over. That would seem to be a fair division. It also complicates a sale when land is owned by one part and building by another. Keeping 1200 members fully informed requires a communication system that reaches them. There is a reason for using standard meeting procedures. Without either of these, confusion reigns.

C Davidson     Levin