This at the top is the Constitution of the New South Wales Harness Racing Club, the legally binding document that lays out why the club has been formed, what it’s purposes are, what the people who run it will do, and what they will not.
Just below it is part 4 of the Articles of Association that sets it all out.
The rest of the Constitution simply fleshes out the who, when and wheres.
This bit sets out the why and hows.
It’s like the Gospels in the New Testament of the Bible. I
If you don’t believe in them, you’re not a Christian.
If you don’t believe in the Articles of Associaton, then you can’t be a Club Menangler, not a real one anyway.
Yeah, that’s the trading name of the NSW Harness Racing Club, or one of the 57 past and present of them anyway.
What the articles say is that no member of Club Menangle can cop a sling of any sort that is paid out of the club’s funds.
The club’s funds include its dough – actual or potential – and its property.
The food in the fridges at Club Menangle are its property, and the grog in its bar is too.
So is the money in its bank accounts.
No member can touch, receive or benefit from a single iota any of them, unless they are receiving it for one or more of three specific things:
- Payment for services rendered
- Receipt of a gift or prize won in fair race or draw
- Interest on a loan the member has made to the Club
Neither the Constitution, not the Articles of Association, permit any member of Club Menangle to get gratis food and grog, or free business class travel, or club paid hotel rooms and limos, or any other thing that the other members of the club don’t get.
So how do the Directors of Club Menangle explain this?
This is a resolution put up by the Directors, and passed by a majority of those who turned up to Club Menangle’s most recent Annual General Meeting, which was attended by less than 5 percent of the financial members of the club.
Neither the Constitutional provisions about unequally sharing the love to just a few, nor the bit in the Articles of Association that prohibits it, were explained to those who voted.
So now, as a result, the Club Directors get:
- Free travel to any race meeting that their mates say would might be good for the club for them to attend (and note that it doesn’t say just trots, or restrict the travel to Australia – wanna come with me to the Little Brown Jug or the Elitloppet anyone?)
- Free food and grog for them and their missus at all Menangle trot meetings
- Free food, grog, business class air fares, five star hotels, limos, and everything else they want to spend on when they go on Club Menangle’s account to the Inter Dominion, the Hunter Cup, the Freo Cup, the Blacks a Fake, the NZ Trotting Cup, the Harness Jewels, the Dan Patch Awards, the Ministero Delle Politiche Agricole Alimentari e Forestali end of year function (that’s the trotting association in Rome), or the opening of an envelope featuring a postage stamp with Lazarus picture on on it in Majorca.
- Free food and grog at committee meetings
- Free reserved car parks outside the front door
Bugger the rest of you.
You can all go and eat cake.
The Directors can’t do this, even if they con the few members who turn up at the AGM to put their hands in the air and say they can.
It’s not Mabo, its not justice, and its not the vibe.
It’s the club’s constitution, and its the law, and all these trough swilling committee men and their brides who are travelling here there and everywhere, and sucking down oysters and swilling champagne on the club’s tab are breaking it.
The former Directors and their partners and friends who are on the free fang and booze at the club’s expense at trot meetings are too.
I reckon the Chairman Robert Marshall is too, and as a person who might have studied a law degree in my time, and worked in the profession for a bit, I can assure you that I ain’t whistling Dixie.
Remember what the Articles of Association and the Constitution say?
A member can be paid remuneration (dough, cash, money, moolah) in return for any services actually performed to the club.
Actually performed are the key words.
I do ten hours grading the track, I submit an invoice for ten hours work @ $30 an hour, I get paid $300 and I get taxed on it too.
An honorarium is not a payment for services actually performed.
It’s a sling.
$24 000 a year for attending a dozen meetings per annum that run for a few hours each is a real good sling, at least by the terms of the average reasonable Australian like the ladies who work downstairs in the canteen under the stand at Menangle, and get paid $27 an hour and get sent home early if the night is slow.
These Directors are taking the piss.
They are also taking Club Menangle money. Maybe not directly, but they are definitely taking it in kind, and they’re not missing either.
Its not lawful.
In fact it’s a rort.
Gee, I wonder what the Chairman of the APG gets?
I guess they’d have to publish their accounts for us to know.
That would be a step too far wouldn’t it?
Just like taking down all the Club’s annual reports from your website and deleting all the caches so no bugger can find them and take a look at what you have been up to would be I guess.
Never fear though lovers of truth.
Did you read that Sun Tzu quote from the Art of War that I put up yesterday?
Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.
It’s advice well worth taking, for it pays dividends.
I’ve already got them.
The annual report archives dating back to the sale of Harold Park, and the APG financial accounts going back even further.
They make for bloody interesting reading for an investigative journalist, let me tell you.
I will soon.
Watch this space.