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I can’t believe that this is my tenth article as Vice-Captain. With the AGM around the corner it won’t be long before my Captaincy actually starts. In preparation, I have already started approaching the existing committee to ensure that they are willing to remain on and to assist running the club for another year. You will be pleased to know that we aren’t expecting many changes. With Barry and Sean both having to assume their new roles, I have fortunately managed to fill their existing portfolios and will introduce their replacements in due course. This does not mean that we do not require any additional assistance with the year ahead. If there are any existing members who would be interested in becoming more involved in the organisation of our club, please let me know and I am sure that we can accommodate you.

For those of you who did not play at Wanderers or did not attend prize-giving, I discussed the dress code for foreign Nationals (not those illegals crossing our borders) but rather the Nationals at which we represent South Africa. Our first away Nationals will be in Zimbabwe from 1 May 2015. It has been reduced to a three day tournament with flag raising on the Friday evening and day one being Saturday. The tournament is being played in Bulawayo and historically we have not had a very good response. Let’s hope that the shorter tournament will attract more interest. The official attire for the tournament is dark blue trousers with a white SA shirt. The new shirt is an Ashworth design which includes the South African flag. Any old shirts must be replaced with the new design. In addition, we are trying to arrange that our names be embroidered onto our playing shirts, in the same way that the foreign clubs have done. Should you be interested in entering either Zimbabwe or the other away Nationals, Botswana (9 to 12 July) or Swaziland (22 to 24 October), please contact me so that I can arrange sizes and embroidery.

We have also had our first Andrew Mentis committee meeting for the year. Barry has as yet not selected his charity, but plans are well under way to organise our fund raising initiatives for the upcoming 12 months. The first major event will be held on 25 July 2015. This will once again be the SA vs NZ rugby game at Ellis Park. We have already reserved tickets, the same venue and the transport. The official ticket price and cost is not yet known, but please diarise this date and support a very enjoyable day.

Graham Bishop