President 41 International – AGM 41 Netherland [Engelbert Friedsam]
Now AGM 41 Club Netherlands! Looking back to the beginning of the journey, KK (at that time 41 International President) and I had identified Round Table contacts in Netherlands about 3 years ago to initiate the formation of the national Netherlands 41 Club organization. The discussions were the starting point of the journey to reestablish 41 Club Netherlands. The small group of 41ers succeeded to charter 41 Club NL and finally became member of 41 International last year at the 41 International AGM in Limassol.
I was curious and very excited to experience how 41 Club Netherlands has developed in the meantime. This weekend was the first national AGM of 41 Club NL. The welcome in Almelo took place in a very nice restaurant which is owned by a member of the local 41 club. The weather helped to enjoy the very tasty barbecue. All participants easy going, lots of great 41ers I had not met before! Great food and chilled drinks as basis for the evening invited to meet up and talk. I quickly noticed in the conversations the dedication and motivation to further grow the national association. It was obvious: Everybody I could talk to was proud about the achievements so far and the ongoing activities to grow. Good news: About 14 clubs have joined the national association so far and the target is to reach 20 clubs by end of this presidential year. Sjoerd van Esch the current 41 club NL President was named in many discussions as the key contributor to this success. His tireless work to convince the existing 41 Clubs to join was well recognized and the pipeline of interested 41 clubs to join is long and promising!
I could sell quite a lot of my charity pins already at the welcome. The initiative to raise funds for a joint service project with RTI was well appreciated also in NL.
It was great to notice that the organizing 41 Club Almelo took care that the weekend was organized at locations of 41 Club members under the motto ”keep the event high quality, but cheap”. There was surprise happening after surprise. The welcome at the 41ers place, then followed next morning with the business meeting. It took place at a wood warehouse owned by another 41er. No buses to get there, just use of rental bicycles! What a great idea! In the large warehouse, filled with pallets of cut wood, there was a podium set up, microphones installed, chairs and round tables and finally a coffee bar in place. The smell of freshly cut wood was all around… What an idea to choose such a location for a business meeting! This reminded me very much to my Round Table days… no renting of conference rooms, etc. with the aim to keep tabling cheap!
As stated before, the business meeting itself has been the first one for the newly established 41 Club Netherlands, so has been somewhat historic. Sjoerd had a well prepared setup in mind. In the front row of chairs he placed the Presidents of each member club, the international guests behind. From the very beginning there where two Round Table members nominated as Sergant of Arms. The interesting rule was in case you have been guilty they came to you and “punished” you with a small drink while you were taking the money out of your pocket. Very funny to see the reaction of the victims!
On serious matters the focus of the business meeting was obviously on the reports from the clubs and of course on financials and the new budget, but also quite some discussion on the future growth. The meeting went very well and finished on time, so we could take the return way on our rental bicycles in relaxed mode where we collected the partners and carried on with our bicycles to a farm (also owned by a 41er!) to have the lunch in the open. There was a long table set up, nicely decorated. Drinks in the coolers invited to sit down and enjoy. Again well done and a great example how things can be done differently with high quality.
The gala evening took place at the event hotel. Only few speeches during the dinner kept the participants away from dancing. A big surprise for Sjoerd van Esch was the decision of the 41 Club Netherlands board to make him Honorary Member of 41 Club Netherlands for his dedication, tireless work and strong will to establish and grow 41 Club Netherlands. He was called up by the new 41 Club Netherlands President Xander Terpstra who did a very nice honorary speech about the achievements of Sjoerd. Sjoerd was very humbled and emotionally touched receiving this award!
My friend Sjoerd, again congratulations from the 41 International family for all you have done! You with your achievements have made a difference! You are a living example what we can do for 41 🙂 ! My hat is off to you!
Quick summary: 41 Club Netherlands is doing very well. Great achievements in a very short time frame!! I felt the commitment and dedication of so many 41ers. This is the basis for a great future of 41 Club NL. NL is developing to a great asset of 41 International. Xander, keep up the good work in your presidential year!
The next visit report will be done on my visit to the Club 41 Austria AGM at Kufstein.
We are all Tablers!
41 International President 2016 – 2017