AGM 19th May 2021 – Minutes

MINUTES of the ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

of the STEWART’S MELVILLE COLLEGE CLUB

by Zoom on Wednesday 19th May, 2021

The meeting convened at 6:30pm with President Ken Russell in the chair.

The following members in attendance: Linda Moule (Hon President), R Kernohan (Hon Treasurer), R Barclay, A Seale, D Kyles, C J Anderson (Council members), A Napier, D Fortune, I Burrell, K Richards, D Mitchell, I Hastie, L Brown, A Morgan, H Cowan, G McNeil, Angus Mitchell, A Hay,  A Veitch, B McNie, A Stewart, G Macrae, R Thomson,  R Young, C J Anderson.

In attendance: Suzi Squires (Development Office), Laura McIntosh (Clubhouse administrator)

1.Welcome by the President

Ken Russell opened the meeting being the 47th AGM of the club and his first as President and welcomed everyone to the first AGM held by Zoom.

2. Apologies

Apologies were received from J Hughes, S Luxford Moore, T Scrimgeour, R Peden, R B C Young, Dr J L G Wight, L John,  D Graham, L Trotter, J Archer, C Gardner.

3. Minutes of previous Annual General Meeting held on 15th October 2019

The minute had been circulated or otherwise made available to members via the club website and was approved without further comment.

4. Minutes of the Extraordinary General Meeting held on 15th July 2020

These had been made available on the club website and was similarly approved without further comment.

5     President’s Report

 The President advised the meeting that his report for the meeting had been made available on the club’s website along with other reports for consideration and he was hopeful everyone had had the opportunity of reading the reports.

He said that following his appointment by Council he had chaired two meetings of the Council by Zoom and had had regular contact with the school development office who had been most helpful with regard to his plans for the development of the club over the next five years including his wish to see the proposal to install a lift at Inverleith come to fruition and how the club could assist in raising the necessary funds.  In this regard he was grateful for the continued assistance of Past President Charles Wilson.

6        Club Update

Laura McIntosh referred to the transfer of assets (and liabilities) agreed at the EGM to be transferred to the school and advised that all was now in place for the proposed transfer to take place.  In reply to Ken Richards, Laura advised that the process had proved less straightforward than originally anticipated in order to  comply  with the requirements of tax legislation in relation to the  realisation of investments within the club’s portfolio  which the school’s investment brokers were unable for technical reasons to simply accept the transfer of.   All was now in place with Brewin Dolphin and Brooks Macdonald to allow the transactions to be completed.

7        Constitution

The President referred to the draft Constitution prepared by the Special Committee led by Alastair Seale for presentation to the meeting and thanked Alastair for having the work completed so promptly.  

Alastair Seale said the committee had been forward looking and hoped the draft was “future proofed”.  The club’s name, “Stewart’s Melville College Club” would now reflect that of the school.

He advised two minor amendments to the draft published on the website were proposed.

In paragraph 6 take out the line which appeared in the margin.  In the heading of paragraph 15 delete “and list of members”.  Required to correct matters which had escaped proof reading.

Proposed by Alastair Seale, seconded by Ken Richards.

With these amendments the draft was proposed unanimously.

8          Election of Office Bearers

The meeting confirmed the re-election of Ken Russell as President.    Ken was pleased to announce the nomination of Chris Anderson as his Vice-President who he felt excellently fulfilled all the necessary requirements to succeed to the position of President in the future.

John Hughes was re-elected as Honorary Secretary and Rob Kernohan as Honorary Treasurer.

9          Election of Council

Bert Barclay, Alastair Seale, David Kyles and John Archer were re-elected as members of Council.   The council was authorised to fill, if wished, the remaining four available places on Council in terms of the Constitution.

10        Treasurer’s Report and Financial statements

Laura McIntosh referred to the accounts and report for the year to 31 August 2020 which had been prepared on a similar historical basis to previous years and had been published on the club’s website.  The transfer of assets and liabilities in terms of the EGM of 15th July 2020 had yet to be completed at that time.

No questions arose and the report and accounts were approved unanimously.

Adoption proposed by Ken Richards and seconded by Hugh Cowan.

11        Affiliated and Branch Club Reports

All reports submitted had been published on the club website and were taken as read.

12        Other Competent Business

12.1     Clubhouse

Bert Barclay asked if there was any news with regard to plans for the clubhouse potentially re-opening post the Covid lockdown.

Laura McIntosh advised that current thinking was that it might fully re-open when the school returned in August.  

Linda Moule advised it was hoped to use downstairs for staff use only following the Sports Day in June but no other use was in the planning.

In reply to Alastair Seale, Laura McIntosh said she hoped it could be possible to use downstairs for say sports club meetings or members’ business meetings.  Consideration was still being given to the operations of the clubhouse following Covid and the transfer to the school from the club including dealing with licensing requirements in the best way where appropriate legal advice re the operating licence and personal licences was being obtained.  Joyce Waterston had intimated her retirement from catering and Denise Mitchell remained on furlough.

Susie Squires said the school’s Health & Safety advisor could advise on any Covid related requirements but if a full opening was to be in August then  present requirements such as screens might no longer be necessary.  The thought was that any work could be completed in maybe one to three weeks.

13        Close

In his closing remarks Ken Russell thanked Laura McIntosh and Suzi Squires for the assistance they had given him since his appointment and all members present for their attendance.

The meeting concluded at 7pm.

Rugby – Four FPs selected for Scotland’s Summer Test Squad

Their selection for Scotland’s 37 man squad (absent British Lions) prior to full cap matches v Romania and Georgia and another match with the England A squad signals to former Stew Mel pupils second row Jamie Hodgson, full-back/winger Jack Blain and stand-off Ross Thompson that their pro careers are heading in the right direction. Our fourth Stew Mel representative hooker George Turner with 17 full caps already and a having played a starring role in a Twickenham win is in a slightly different place being one of the more experienced selections. Congratulations to all four – the club members will be taking a keen interest in their participation.

More on the tour on the Scottish Rugby website

https://www.scottishrugby.org/news/scotland-name-37-players-for-summer-fixtures

FP News Online

Members who subscribe to hard copies of the FP News have been sent this year’s publication. The online copy can be reached through clicking the image below.

2021 Cricket Season opens at Inverleith

Friendly match : Stewart’s Melville CC 230 for 7 (40 overs); Edinburgh Academicals 234 for 5 (37.2 overs)

The 2021 cricket season at Inverleith opened on Saturday with a friendly match against Edinburgh Academicals. The 40 overs a side match was played under the Covid rules for cricket matches introduced last year. The Stew Mel side was more representative of the 2nd XI than the the 1st XI which it was labelled and despite an innings of 95 not out by Mark Burgess a total of 230 for 7 proved insufficient as Accies passed the score with 22 balls remaining with five wickets left. A second wicket stand of 166 between Max Banks and Omar Altaf after the early loss of captain Andrew Cosh set up Accies for a comfortable win.

Notice of Annual General Meeting – Wednesday 19th May 2021 – via Zoom

Annual General Meeting

Notice is hereby given that an Annual General Meeting of Daniel Stewart’s & Melville College Club (the FP Club) will be held at 6:30pm on Wednesday 19th May 2021. The meeting will be held on Zoom.
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84553148329?pwd=UHlQRCtuNCswR2tBM09QdlVMNFBFUT09

Meeting ID: 845 5314 8329
Passcode: FVJ5P4

Agenda:

  1. Welcome by President
  2. Apologies for absence
  3. Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 15th October 2019
  4. Minutes from the Extraordinary General Meeting held on 15th July 2020
  5. President’s Report
  6. Club Update
  7. Constitution – adoption or otherwise of proposed revised Constitution
  8. Office Bearers
  9. Council
  10. Treasurer’s Report and Financial Statement
  11. Associated and Branch Club Reports
  12. Any Other Competent Business

Documentation for the above Agenda will be updated below as we progress towards the date of the meeting:

EGM-Minutes-23-7-20-2.pdf (smcfpclub.co.uk)

Accounts to Year Ended 31 August 2020

AGM Minutes 2019

Proposed Revisions to Constitution

London Club Report

Rugby Club Report

Cricket Club Report

Treasurer’s Report

Hockey Club Report

Lions and Vikings Report

Golf Club Report

Office Bearers and Council Members

Glasgow Club Report

President’s Report

Further documents to follow – please check back weekly.

Alternatively, should you wish a hard copy then please contact Laura McIntosh, FP Integration and Clubhouse Manager, smcfpclub@esms.org.uk or on 0131 311 1016.

Please advise Laura on the above details if you are likely to attend the AGM.

Please note the meeting will be recorded. If you prefer not to have your image as part of the recording, please ensure your camera is turned off.  Recording will start at 18.40pm, or when the Chair starts the meeting.

Yours sincerely,

John Hughes

Honorary Secretary

Head injury assessment helmets – Interview with FP rugby club’s Euan Bowen

Suzi Squires – school development office

Today we are speaking to Euan Bowen who plays for the FP Rugby Club despite not being an SMC FP!

He’s been working on some new technology that will assist with assessing head impacts in sporting environments and took time to speak to us to tell us more:

  • How long have you been playing for the Stew Mel Rugby Club? How did you get involved with the club ?

I’m originally Haddington based and moved up to Aberdeen for University, I changed degrees and ended up moving back to Edinburgh to study Product Design. At the time a few of my former team-mates from Haddington RFC and Aberdeen were either starting and/or were playing for Stewarts Melville FP RFC. So, I moved to and have been playing for Stew Mel since the 2013/14 season, 7 years.

  • We’ve heard about your device in development from your dad who works in the ESMS Product Design department at the Mary Erskine School.  We understand your aim is to track head impacts during sporting activities.  What was your motivation to address the issue of head injuries on the rugby pitch and in sporting arenas?

In my final year of University, I had the opportunity to create my own brief.  Through my own rugby playing, I recognised there was an issue with identifying head injuries that can be missed by observation alone. One of my team-mates at the time was suffering from concussion issues resulting from multiple concussions in a short period of time, where they had to make the hard decision of deciding between their rugby vs. their life career. I wanted understand if, by identifying these smaller impacts and the frequency in being able to catch the risk early enough to check and remove players early, would we be able to protect and minimise the injury rate in players from grassroots up to the pros before the hard decisions had to be considered. This was the moment HIT was born with a goal to protect the game and the players from traumatic brain injuries, starting in rugby and blooming out into multiple sports and activities for all ages.

  • How did you go about developing the device?  How did you test it?

We started by creating a proof of concept and researching concussion levels and trends, so that we were fully informed of what was being done, what wasn’t, and what research had been conducted into the concussion issue that was happening in sports across the globe. We, a couple of members of the FP’s team, tested the observation method by attending a Stewarts Melville Lions vs. Stirling County game as a member of the coaching team under guidance from Bruce Ruthven. The aim was to look for players throughout the game that we felt had received a large impact to their head or body. Our testing method was to mark on a player graph with their playing number and wrap a small piece of tape around their wrist for every time we felt one of these impacts occurred. We noticed straight away that getting access to the pitch constantly to wrap tape on the player was difficult by way of having to stop the game and players reacting differently, doubting our observation skills, so we abandoned this method straight away. We continued to note impacts on our player list and created feedback forms for parents to fill in and give back to Mr Ruthven at school.

We identified a tech solution to monitor, notify and log impacts throughout use as a solution. For world rugby standards we utilised the rugby headguard as a host of the device and went about testing the device functionality when we graduated by moving into the Heriot-Watt university incubator. We tested the accuracy, durability and functionality of the device within the Heriot Watt Engineering department and the Oriam Facilities. This allowed us to see how wearable, unobtrusive and functional the device was in test and pitch conditions.

  • Are there industry bodies that will approve its safe use?

For use on any hard-shell helmet, we have adhered and sought certification with a CE (European standard) mark for electronics and wireless safety as well as an FCC mark for north America through TÜV SÜD.

We have sought world rugby approval for which we can say you can happily use the device in training and elsewhere however we are looking to run trials post Covid restrictions for approval to use in a competitive game refereed under World Rugby Laws. The headguard adheres to Law 4 Reg 12 around wearable clothing.

  • What exactly is it – a helmet to replace existing protection or something to go under existing protection? How easy is it to integrate into existing sports kit?

HIT Impact is a device that monitors impact force. We have developed a universal cap that attaches the device to any existing hard shell helmet you may own or buy for cycling, skating, horse riding, skiing or other.

For use in sports or activities where a helmet is not worn, we developed our own HIT headguard and Halo Headband hosts that can hold the device into an integrated pocket design. This allows the device to be worn flush against the head so that the impact force the device registers, is that which is being sustained by the head.

  • How do you plan to take this to the next stage of development?  Do you have plans to use the data from the devices for further research i.e. determining sources of injuries and making changes to this?

We are currently crowdfunding and taking pre-order offers of the device via Kickstarter with plans to launch at a later date on Amazon. The data collected is collected anonymously, based on the sport, position and age. No personal info pertaining to the user beyond this can be transferred or held by HIT Ltd. This data has plans already in motion to be monitored and understood by researchers at Heriot Watt & Edinburgh University which we hope will help us understand more about hard impact trends in game scenarios/position frequency. Impact force relating to suspected concussions and more. The more people that use HIT the more data that can be used to make more informed decisions about law changes in sports, Head injury plans and accuracy. The research and findings will be invaluable in both protecting the games we love but also the users that wear and get notified by HIT early.

  • How do you plan to encourage youngsters to wear the device?

From a youngster’s perspective they just want to play. HIT allows them and their parents to play with the confidence that their long term and short-term health can be monitored with use of HIT Impact. We are finding that the numbers of youngsters playing contact sports are dropping year on year for ‘less risky’ sports or activities and for this reason we want to encourage parents that these unseen injuries and the risk is lessened by monitoring via the HIT Impact device. We hope that with the impact monitoring device, playing numbers will increase and kids can be kids. Knowing they can play, get bumps and bruises but the severe risk of brain injury is minimised by the monitoring of early sub concussive impacts allowing them to be diagnosed and removed early should they occur.

  • What difference do you think this will make to young people in the game?

We think that the next generation of youngsters in their respective activities will be more educated to the risk proposed by Traumatic brain injury and what to look out for. The understanding and knowledge around what a concussion is, and what it means will be far greater and the young people in the game will push that change as they grow, whether through use of HIT and or the research that comes from the data we collect.

  • Have you encountered any setbacks along the way?

Of course, its very rarely just plain sailing for start-up businesses and introduction of new ideas, we are constantly looking to develop and optimise our product range and optimise the products we have in development, which ultimately sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t, but we are constantly challenging ourselves at HIT to push the boundaries of innovation. Covid along with many other businesses were forced to adapt. We are happy to say that we are in a stronger place because of it, by pivoting and bringing future market ideas forward, we developed the device to be universal and attachable to any hard shell helmet, making it more inclusive of all activities and sports. Not just a team solution for rugby, hockey or football, HIT can be used individually and for any age with the exact same device. Because concussion is not a sport problem it’s an everyday issue that has no boundaries happening to anyone.

  • How can the school community assist with the next steps?

To drive change you need voices and support. We’ve launched on Kickstarter to raise funds for consumer stock and funding trials with Heart of Midlothian Football club and World Rugby. We want to gather support, opinions on the device and our goal for collecting data in grassroots sport where no trials or research is being dedicated. The best way to support is by backing us and/or pre-ordering a HIT Impact device allowing you to review and let us know what you think. Comment on our social media or Kickstarter campaign with your thoughts and have a say in how we tackle the concussion issue across the board.

Thanks very much for speaking with us . I wish you every success.

New FP Club President Ken Russell aims to increase mutual support between club and school community

New FP Club President Ken Russell aims to increase the mutual support between the club and the school community during his presidency as well as seek donations for the school’s Access to Excellence Bursary Fund from the wider business community.

Ken, a pupil of Melville College between 1952 and 1965, was elected for a two-year term at the January 13 meeting of the club’s Council and chaired the February meeting. His duties include an ambassadorial role representing the FP Club and school at various functions, including Branch Club events, and acting as a link between the FP Club and the school. He will also oversee the transition of the day-to-day management and administration of the club to the school.

Ken is particularly keen that the mutual support between the club and the school increases during the challenging times we now face. Having already overseen the completion of a substantial donation by the club to the school’s Hardship Fund, Ken will use his presidency to fundraise further among FPs and the wider business community for the fund and the school’s Development Office. In return, he hopes to work with the Development Office to increase awareness of and engagement with the club among former pupils, resulting in higher membership.

Opportunity

Speaking about his plans, Ken says: “The economic, financial, social and emotional challenges we face as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic have provided us with an opportunity for the FP Club to work closer with the school in supporting each other – helping the Development Office and Access to Excellence support current and future pupils and their families while working together to make former pupils aware of the many social and networking benefits of club membership beyond the ones associated with the club’s sporting activities.

“I also feel the FP Club and its members are well placed to use their extensive social and business networks to seek new donations from the wider business community for Access to Excellence in order to pass on to current and future generations of pupils the benefits of a first-rate education they enjoyed while a pupil themselves. I look forward to the support of club members in this goal.

Thanks

“I’d like to thank Past Presidents Charles S. Wilson MBE and Robert Barclay for guiding the club through a challenging period including successfully managing the Clubhouse and latterly to Robert in steering the Club through the significant challenges created by Covid restrictions.”

Ken’s links with the club and school go beyond his own attendance at Melville College and membership of the FP clubs since leaving – his uncle, Alistair Birrell (DSC 1940) was a Past President of Daniel Stewart’s FP Rugby Club and his cousin, broadcaster Mike Russell was also an FP of Daniel Stewart’s (1959). Ken has also been a member of The Royal Company of Merchants of The City of Edinburgh for 44 years.

Background

Ken is the third generation of an entrepreneurial Edinburgh family with interests in construction, property and the automotive sectors. After leaving school he travelled extensively throughout the USA before spending a semester at Lincoln Way High School, New Lenox, Illinois. Ken then spent five years as a management trainee with a national construction group before joining his family construction business in Edinburgh.

Following his father’s unexpected death Ken, then aged 25, assumed responsibility for his family’s business interests, which under his stewardship continued to flourish for the next 40 years, including acquiring one of Scotland’s most award-winning motor dealerships and being a co-founder of the internationally-renowned Howtowdie Restaurant in Edinburgh’s West End.

A Fellow of the Institute of Directors, Ken has also been a member of The Society of Edinburgh High Constables, Scottish Motor Trade Association, Federation of Master Builders (Past President), St Andrews Business Club (Past President), Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce and a founder member of the Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce. Now resident in North-East Fife, Ken is an award-winning business mentor, board advisor and is currently is non-executive chairman of two companies.

Ken and his wife Ann have a daughter, three sons and five grandchildren. His other interests include cycling, hillwalking and speechwriting. Ken is currently writing his a biography of Ann’s career in nursing.

Club’s Beginnings – Early Playing Field at Ravelston

In 1886 former pupils of Stewart’s College induced the Merchant Company to lease for recreational purposes ground at Ravelston known as Honeyman’s field from the governors of Trinity Hospital at what is now the junction between Queensferry Terrace and Ravelston Dykes. In 1894 the Merchant Company acquired grounds at the present Inverleith before integrating Scottish Rugby’s next door “Union Field” in 1926.

Much more on this subject will appear in the club’s coming FP News.

New President – Ken Russell

Ken Russell (MC 1965) has been installed as the Club President in succession to Charles Wilson. Ken who lives in St Andrews where he operates principally as a business advisor these days spent much of his working life leading his own construction company and is remembered as a combative forward in the Melville College FP 1st XV for a number of years. Hopefully the activities of the club resume some time soon so that Ken is able to represent the club in the ways that he would wish.