The Roxborough Agricultural Society held their AGM on Saturday, January 27, 2024, at North Stormont Place in Avonmore. The 12 existing directors allowed their names to stand, and no other members were nominated, so this will be the board for 2024. (From left, front row): Donna Lee MacDonald, Linda Holland, Wendy Trenholm. (From left, back row): David Wattie, Shayla Fraser, Charyl McLaughlin, Charity Stucki, Molly McDonald, Bryce Robinson, Neil Robinson. Missing: Brennan Canham and Tammy Clifton. Tinkess Photo

By Terry Tinkess
AgriNews Staff Writer

AVONMORE – The Roxborough Agricultural Society, in the opinion of their president, David Wattie, is headed in the right direction, and the plan is to stay the course going forward.

Wattie was speaking during the Society’s annual general meeting (AGM) held on Sat., Jan. 27, 2024, at 12:30 p.m. at North Stormont Place in Avonmore.

The event started with a potluck lunch, which gave attendees a chance to sit, socialize, and catch up with each other. There were more than 30 members in attendance, far more than required for a quorum.

Shortly after 1:00 p.m. the business portion of the meeting got underway with a call to order by the president. The board of directors were asked to stand to identify themselves, after which the minutes from the previous AGM were approved with a couple of very minor corrections.

With no guest speaker and no correspondence to deal with, the meeting moved on to the financial report from the treasurer, Linda Holland, who presented the balance sheet, profit and loss statement and budget for the coming year. A couple of things were worth noting:

With total assets of $327,250.67 and liabilities of only $6,345.04, the society is in a healthy position in terms of equity ($320,905.63). Holland cautioned however, that they must always be aware of expenses that may be incurred down the road. The Society has their building paid for now, but nothing lasts forever. “Just keep in mind that the building was what, 12 or 13 years old,” said Holland. “It will eventually, probably within the next five years, hopefully at least five years from now, have to be replaced.”

In terms of profit and loss, the Society had a good year, with a net profit of $22,197.30 as compared to $18,505.08 in 2022.

A motion to accept the financial report was submitted and approved, as was the budget for 2024.

Society President Wattie next spoke on the year completed.

“For as what we were able to do with the community and our events, we were able to do this year, just like last year, so we had ten events, even with the two that we had to have cancelled. The breakfast (power failure) and a 4-H dinner [were] cancelled. Still, we were able to do quite a lot. We went up in what we had for bursary last year; we were only able to do $250, then we went up to $500 and with the upcoming budget we will be able to hopefully have a lot more allocated for this coming year.”

Wattie went on to point out some of the positives in the financial reports, things like how revenues were up 26 per cent over 2022 and net income was up 20 per cent. He spoke of how great it was to have the building mortgage paid off, and how putting money away might mean they wouldn’t need to have a mortgage when the time comes to replace the current building.

Wattie also identified how volunteer hours were up, as was fair attendance. “There’s a lot more activism within the community, within the fair, and very much appreciated all the work that comes in and all the while with our fair attendance went up almost 10%…, so more people coming into the fair, more people participating, and we’re doing more with it.”

He completed his report by thanking the board of directors. “I’m really happy and thank you very much to the board of directors for all the work you’ve done,” said Wattie.  “A lot of it is things [that] don’t get seen by most of the community. They see the events, they’ll see the fair, but they don’t see the work behind [the scenes] that takes forever.  Most people in this room probably have an understanding of that, but most [others] don’t.” 

Elections were held as required, but there were twelve nominations for twelve positions and each of the nominees accepted their nomination. Similarly, the executive agreed to remain in their positions for another term. The executive for 2024 will be:

  • President: David Wattie
  • First vice: Charity Stucki
  • Second vice: Charyl McLaughlin
  • Treasurer: Linda Holland
  • Secretary: Wendy Trenholm

Following the elections, Wattie presented his remarks for the year beginning. “Coming into the new year, the fair dates are July 19-21,” said Wattie. “And with everything we’re doing…we’re continuing to grow the fair and or other events, other programmes with increased positive impact and community involvement. And I think the numbers and the stories of what we’ve had happen this year, show that we’re taking that path, and I just want to continue with that stage of growth.”

The final item on the agenda was the presentation of various service awards. Years of service awards were presented to Bryce Robinson and Shayla Fraser. Accomplishment awards were presented to Nancy Lafave Lague, Jill Robinson, Jennifer Waldroff, RBC Communities Together Fund (accepted by Charyl McLaughlin), and The Properties Group Management Ltd. (accepted by Bryce Robinson). A Meritorious Service award was presented to Donna Lee MacDonald.

With that complete, the meeting adjourned.