Open letter to all members

As the great Neil Young once sang ..Comes a time…

Keith_BallantyneAnd for me, that time has arisen, recently I handed my resignation to the President and executive of our great Club, The Papanui.
And boy what a ride we have had in the last 20 years….yes 20 years ago I was a lot smaller and more attractive 35 year old on crutches, when a courageous executive looked outside the box and took me on. The Club hadn’t had the best of times over the previous 12 months, but we set out to re-establish the Papanui Club at the forefront of the chartered Club movement.
Over the ensuing years ,we got the ship back on track, did renovations, innovations, became the first Club in NZ to operate a restaurant 7 days a week, kept up to date with hospitality trends, grew our sub sections to over 20 different leisure & sporting activities(the most of any Club in NZ), established a fitness centre, gave away Hundreds of thousands of dollars in promotions, Gave away the first car in Chartered Clubs, had an earthquake, had another earthquake, fought the insurance company like all Cantabrians did, planned and rebuilt what today is the single best hospitality complex in New Zealand (and we have the award to prove it !!)
When the Queen uses “we” it has a singular meaning, to me “we” represents all aspects of the Club, from the Officer bearers, executive, management, staff, people we have roped in on the way and the general membership. We have all had our part in this journey and although change can be challenging, change we must or risk losing it all. It has been a privilege to have played a part in the History of our great Club and I am sure the Papanui Club will continue to thrive in the years to come.
On reflection Jacqui & I have a son who has recently turned 21 and at times the “Club” has been that other child, as our son now looks to spread his wings, I believe the time has come, where it is best suited for both the Papanui Club and myself to seek different opportunities. After much soul searching I have decided to take up a role with Clubs NZ as the South Island General Manager where I can utilise the skills I have learnt here to benefit all Clubs.
I have loved my “second son” and it has been a rewarding challenge throughout the 20 years, to all the staff that I have worked with and still work with your loyalty, support and comradery has made the task so much easier, I am a firm believer that the Club still has one of the finest crews around. Some staff deserve to be noted because in this industry to have such loyalty is rare, Kay & Jen have now both been at the Club for over 25years.
Presidents Ian Kelly, Dave McKay, Tony Baillie, unless you get a good working relationship you will struggle to achieve anything and the position where the Club sits today is testament to your endeavours. Successive executives over the years, although we didn’t always see eye to eye and a good argument was often had, what we have today is “the proof in the pudding”. Guardians Dennis Moffat & Gwen Creedon are also 20+ year servants of the Club alongside VP & life Member Marty Lion whose input has been immeasurable.

Which leads me to you…the members.

It has been great getting to know thousands of people over the last 20 years and I can say with hand on the heart it has been one of the best rewards when taking on this role, of course over this period I have sadly seen too many good people (and the odd rascal) pass away, but my life has been enriched by having you all in it. I will miss the comradery that you have shown me over the years and wish everyone the best for the future and hope to catch up sometime on the right side of the bar.
I started with a song so I will finish with one from fall out boy…
“thanks for the memories”

Cheers Keith