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    From the President (from 2018 yearbook)

    It was sad that the curtailed tour prevented us from heading west for the last three days of the 2017 tour , as Gillie and I had planned.  The only beneficiary was the hotel in Axminster into which we had booked for two nights, which was able to bank our accommodation fees without the need to host us.

    We were amongst a strong contingent of Sou’Westers who went to Pinehills in September to celebrate the life of Tim Alexander, graciously hosted by Kate and Susannah.  It was a memorable occasion during which Tim’s love of Sou’Wester cricket was plainly evident from the tributes which were paid by Christopher Dean and John Ford, and by many non-Sou’Westers who knew all about us from what Tim had said to them.

    We are much looking forward to the Italian trip over Easter.  This will be the 11th and last overseas Sou’Wester Tour which Stewart will have organised, and the 9th to have actually taken place.  He has arranged 4 trips to Portugal, 2 to South Africa, and 1 each to Bermuda, Corfu and now Italy.  He also organised trips to each of Argentina and Sri Lanka, neither of which came to fruition.   We are greatly in Stewart’s debt as a club.

    Stewart has, of course, for many years also been fixture secretary for the western tour, a role in which he continues to perform the annual miracle of producing a good fixture list which responds to the changing demands of the modern club cricketer.  I well remember the west country maps which he unveiled at Management Committee meetings, adorned with multi-coloured dots which made the planning of the D-day landings look simple by comparison, as he reorganised the tour into its 3 ‘hubs’ which have greatly assisted the transition from Martin managing the whole tour to the current arrangement in which Jon, Andy and Sam share the workload with him.  I am also grateful to Jon for taking on the chairmanship of the Management Committee, which continues to meet at the Oriental Club, hosted by the ubiquitous Stewart.

    I do not underestimate the time and effort which those mentioned above and many other Sou’Westers happily put into the club to ensure that it continues to thrive, and I hope that all members, current and future, will do what they can to support the club.  It is especially important that members play for the club, and introduce others who will enjoy the type of cricket which we like to play.  It is equally important that the club continues to adapt to changing cricketing and social tastes so that we retain our appeal to the young cricketers we want to attract, as well as to our opponents.

    I very much hope to be able to comment next year on two successful, rain-free tours.

    Mike Barford