The Christmas celebrations were held at the Castlereagh Boutique Hotel this year and - judging by the writer's favourite barometer, the noise levels - those gathered seemed to have a pretty good afternoon.
Graeme Bool welcomed all and made special mention of members from Western Australia, Tasmania and Canada, as well as those from Newcastle, the Southern Highlands, the Illawarra and Canberra that made the journey. There were a number of our regular monthly lunch members on hand but it was wonderful to see there today those who are not usually able to attend the monthly luncheons. It really enhanced our objectives of maintaining contact with our former colleagues and having an enjoyable time while doing so. Catching up with former colleagues, not seen in some cases for many years, is a particularly rewarding element of the day.
We were lucky to have Mark Monaghan with us for a good part of the day. Mark gave a brief summation of the current strategy of the Bank and the change in direction regarding the Asian market and the identification of those high-net-worth-high-return-on-investment areas which require a greater focus and nurturing to ensure the future profitable operation of the Bank. Mark very graciously answered questions from the floor, and he was well received by all present.
Graham Bool concluded the day with a 'Thank you' to the NSW Executive team of Hon Warwick Smith, Mark Monaghan, Jasmine Antonious, Amanda Clarke, and Lee Blundell for the support they have given us throughout the year and wished all present a Happy Christmas and New Year. With the change of venue, including an operational bar, the evacuation to various hotels and clubs as in previous years was not needed, and the "stayers" remained at the venue to further their fellowship.