President's Annual Report from AGM, September 2020

Well this year has certainly been different.

The club was closed for nearly four months between March and July due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This resulted in the cancellation of many activities including our major fundraiser, the Annual Gem Festival. What a disappointment for members, stallholders and the public whom I received many enquiries from.


I can understand why some members have been a little hesitant to re attend the club following reopening on 18 July. At present the club has 102 financial members, thank you for your support. New members are very keen to start courses which resume this September, provided COVID-19 stays away from Far North Queensland.


Just in case, to protect each other, we must remain vigilant, abide by the club’s COVID-19 safety plan which includes sanitising all touched surfaces. All members must pitch in to help. Remember it’s your club.There are no paid positions. We are all volunteers. If you see anything that needs to be done, such as cleaning, vacuuming, sweeping the outside back area or the front please don’t hesitate to pitch in.


Our treasurer, Joe, obtained another grant from the State Government Gambling Community Benefit Fund to purchase new casting equipment and upgrade tools and machinery in the jewellery room. This new equipment, when purchased, will benefit members and is greatly appreciated. I thank the Fund for their grant, support and assistance.

Donor Thanks

Many thanks to the Federal Member Warren Entsch MP for facilitating the printing of our monthly Newsletter and the printing of club brochures.

Thank you to all the people, who have donated prizes, mineral specimens, rocks, lapidary material and equipment to the Cairns Mineral & Lapidary Club Inc. Your donations are much appreciated and will assist in promoting the Art of Lapidary and Jewellery Making.

Christmas Party

Last year’s Christmas Party Feast was an unbelievable turn out, attended by at least 40 people, a great social and enjoyable event with a variety of fantastic, flavoursome food and delicious desserts. It’s making me hungry just reminiscing about it. Well done everybody, a feast to remember. Let’s hope we can do something similar this year.

Facilities Improvements

The past twelve months, gone fast, included facilities improvements to the club.

We removed the old disc sanding machine and the old flat lap machine, painted and restored the bench and cupboards underneath and installed water and drainage pipes.

A new Flat Lap machine has been installed, Please be aware that work in this area is still in progress.

Two more machines will be installed and need to be connected to the water before use.

We installed a new till, replaced all the fluorescent light tubes in the building, purchased a new cabochon grinding machine, as well as a Smiths soldering torch and an Ultrasonic cleaner for the jewellery room.

There are many more minor improvements, too numerous to mention.

I thank the Management Committee, our instructors, members who have purchased goods for the club and everyone who has contributed their time and assisted in the harmonious operation of the club over the past twelve months.


I would like to pay a special tribute to those who are retiring from their positions:

  • Vice President Mike Rashleigh
  • Treasurer Joe Venables
  • Purchasing Officer Jan Saal
  • Assistant Secretary Allan Rose
  • Faceting Instructor Joe Ferk, a life member

I thank you all, for your contribution to the Cairns Mineral & Lapidary Club Inc. It’s reassuring to know they are not leaving the club. I look forward to listening to Mike Rashleigh’s very informative presentations. Joe Venables has volunteered for a position on the Management Committee. Jan Saal is willing to share her knowledge and assist in the Jewellery Room. Joe Ferk is always willing to share his knowledge and faceting expertise when available.

Michael Hardcastle

President CMLC