As I reflect on the milestones and highlights of my year as CBC President in 2018, I find it difficult to pinpoint any single event or luncheon that stands above other’s as they’ve all been memorable.
The role of President is a significant responsibility and as the year has progressed I’ve realized how important this position is to the smooth running of each meeting, how we recruit, engage and retain members and to the hard work that goes on behind the scenes.
Fortunately, I’ve had the support of an exceptional 10 person Executive Committee that has got on with organizing each meeting, kept the finances on track, liaised with various venues plus speakers and ensured our members and guests are well looked after at every event. But they’ve also challenged and kept me on track in this role and ensured that the CBC is the best business club it can be, well set up for the years ahead.
I want to acknowledge and thank three of our committee members stepping down at the end of this year, who’ve each done an amazing job in making the club run so smoothly these past 12 months. They are IPP Ric Thorpe, Treasurer Murray McPhail and Secretary and Digital Communications Officer Peter McKaskell. Without them, their enthusiasm, energy and expertise, Club matters would not function nearly as well, nor be as effective.
I extend my sincere thanks for their support and wise counsel and wish their replacements all my best.
This year we’ve hosted a diverse and interesting range of speakers from our first luncheon of the year in January from CBC member, Peter Guthrey speaking on the restoration of the Christchurch Cathedral to Commonwealth Games skeet shooter Sophie Tipple sharing her sporting journey and aspirations, to well known activist John Minto and his take on health, education and local politics. In 2018 across 22 luncheons and a few more to come at time of writing, we covered the business, community, performing arts and sporting fields with exceptional speakers who all inspired, entertained or informed us with thought-provoking presentations.
Who can forget Peta Alexander’s unique take on the local and US business world nor Paul Farrow’s fascinating journey cycling north to south through Africa? Property developer David Henderson showed us that he’s determined to get his SOL project back on track despite the challenges he’s faced over the years. And US Ambassador Scott Brown was a revelation being so down to earth in sharing his unique and insightful US-NZ viewpoint.
Yet for me, one of my proudest moments was presenting a CBC scholarship cheque to top UC School of Entrepreneurship student Ollie Hunt who impressed our members with his new venture concept to recycle single-use medical instruments. Presenting at our mid-March luncheon, along with four of his fellow UCE Start-Up school colleagues, Ollie represents the future of business leadership and success in Christchurch and will be back in early 2019 to provide members with an update on his progress.
But other activities also made a lasting impression. These included inducting more than a dozen new members into the Club since November 2017 from diverse age and business backgrounds, our hosting several social and after 5 events such as Show Biz Canterbury performances, Spring Race Day at Riccarton, the China-NZ Belt & Road Initiative briefing at PWC, our new members night and welcoming guests to the CBC luncheon experience.
What all these achievements mean to me is that the CBC is in good heart both fiscally and with a renewed sense of purpose as we approach a new year ahead. Incoming President Warren Head and his Executive Committee will continue this direction and I look forward to supporting him and the Club for the exciting year of stimulating conversations, networking and engagement ahead.
Michael K Durie