Semiahmoo Fish and Game Club has a new board of directors.
Results of a secret-ballot election held Sept. 14 were shared with members Thursday (Sept. 16) evening via Zoom, and put 12 new faces on the 16-seat board, Diana Barkley, the board’s new president, said Friday (Sept. 17).
“Out of 148 voters, the Friends of Semiahmoo Fish and Game Club, basically, had an absolute majority,” Barkley said. “We had 75-plus per cent of the vote.”
The election was called at the request of the Friends of the Semiahmoo Fish and Game Club, which formed in May with an eye to rejuvenating the club, after a proposal to donate the 29-acre property at 1284 184 St. – home to a hatchery, gun and archery range and more – to the City of Surrey was twice put to the membership.
Board officials told Peace Arch News in March that the proposed agreement was “a business situation” resulting from “financial projections of a severe shortage of funds” that prompted a need to “look at alternatives.”
Barkley told PAN in August that the movement spurred members who didn’t want to see the club lost to step forward.
In Tuesday’s election, 16 Friends members were on the ballot, along with 13 members of the previous board.
Barkley received the most votes, at 87, followed by James Wilkins (86), Matthew Sullivan (85), Craig Archambault (83), Cheryl de Graaf (82), Ray Jones (79), Kevin Blakely (78), Stan Jones (77), Don Pitcairn (77), Geoff Higginson (75), Elizabeth Martin (75), Rob Reynolds (75), Fred Koch (74), Wayne Wagstaff (74) and Bill Ridge (71).
There was a four-way tie for the 16th seat, with Dawne Deeley, Annie Kaps, Ron Meadley and Allen Millen all receiving 70 votes each.
Stan Jones, Koch, Ridge, Reynolds and Meadley were among the previous board members who had put their names in for another term.
Barkley said the new board will have to meet to “figure out how we’re going to handle” the tie, noting one possible option is boosting the available seats to the 18-member maximum allowed in the club’s bylaws.
Regardless of the decision on that, Barkley said the new board has “a big task ahead.”
“The first thing is, we’ve been hit hard – like everybody else – with the pandemic. We’ve had no income come in from our hall rentals, and that used to be about 65 per cent of our revenue budget,” she said.
“The first thing we’re going to do is open up membership – it’s been closed for all of last year – so we’ll get people back on-board and then just start beating the bushes and get out there looking for grant money and other funding that was probably out there and available.”
A key goal, she said, is to “rebuild the club and stay true to the original founders’ dreams.”
“We’re up for the challenge.”
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