Saxon Hall Looking to Better Times

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Saxon Hall held its Annual General Meeting on a sunny 4th July evening with representatives from 24 units.

The meeting started with due respect to those Brethren that had passed since the last AGM.

Dennis Baum – the outgoing Chairman - provided a potted history from the move and sale of Woodgrange Drive - with its 12 parking spaces - to the current Saxon Hall premises in Aviation Way. This occurred in the Christmas of 2005 with the first Lodge meeting taking place in January 2006. There are currently over 100 units meeting at Saxon Hall including progressive orders.

Colin Bott gave a report of the financial statements explaining the pre-pandemic turnover was approximately £1 million - 50% commercial / 50% masonic. However, it was highlighted that without Government support during the Pandemic the company would have made a loss of £52,000 instead of the required £100,000 profit; the turnover during 2021 has been 50% of normal. As things are wearing out and the fixed assets depreciating, there is a need to increase the cash flow. Our bank loan and mortgage are due to be repaid over the next 10 years. Most other centres in Essex do not have outstanding loans, which sets Saxon Hall apart.

The General Manager - Robert Potter - reported - as we slowly return to ‘normal’ we have been rebuilding the Centre team back to pre-Covid levels. It was a difficult start to the year with the loss of the head chef followed by the second chef. But now after a very difficult time we now have an excellent kitchen team in a time where good catering staff are difficult to find. The day-to-day operation has nearly returned to normal levels, festive board numbers are still slightly down, but enquiries for new commercial business continue to grow and we will start to see full Fridays and Saturdays from the end of summer

This has enabled the Supervisory Board to change focus from shoring up the centre with the mind set of protecting it, but now, to looking ahead and planning projects and improvements for the benefits of the centre and its members in the future.

However, with public confidence at a low point, inflation ever present, cash is still vitally important and improvement projects will be prioritised accordingly - mindful there are still difficult times ahead.

Graham Felton - the incoming Chair of the Board - closed the meeting where a unanimous vote of thanks was given to the outgoing Chair for his efforts over the last 5 years and as a Director for the past 21 years.