Life Members

To quote from the current Constitution and Rules of Sutton Coldfield Chess Club:

4.2. The club at its Annual General Meeting may appoint Life Members (all other members are voting, ordinary members). A proposal to appoint a member as a Life Member must be seconded at the AGM and then approved by at least two thirds of those present and voting. A Life Member will not be required to pay an annual subscription to the club.

This clause (or very similar) was introduced at the Annual General Meeting of 20-Jul-1976; at which Meeting, also, the Club elected its first three Life Members: George V Wareham (1896-1991), Baruch H Wood (Chairman) (1909-1989), and Jack W Britton (Treasurer) (1902-1982).

Unfortunately, Club records and archives for the 1970s and 1980s are almost non-existent, so we must leap to what we know are the four most recent appointees:

  • Ian McLaughlin, July 1991: Ian was sometime President, and took over from Len Arculus as Secretary from 1984 till 1987.
  • John Riley, July 1998: John was sometime Chairman. The Gary Riley Memorial Club Championship Shield was named after his wheelchair-bound son.
  • George Winter, July 2005: George joined the Club in about 1983. Not only was he a very regular attendee, but also he usually featured in more matches per season for the Club than anyone else. In addition, George was the unofficial equipment secretary and made running repairs to the boards and clocks.
  • Keith Escott, July 2006: Keith joined the Club in December 1975 after moving from Essex to work for BH Wood at Chess Sutton Coldfield Ltd. In his debut as First Team Captain (1978-79) he won the Birmingham League Division 1 Championship. He had been Chairperson (formerly Chairman) since 1995 when he succeeded Arthur Newton.
  • Marek Soszynski, July 2017: Marek joined the Club in about 1996, and was Treasurer for 18 years from 1999 till 2017. In March 1999 he started the Club's website, which he was still running.
  • Mike Darlow, July 2019: Mike first joined Sutton Coldfield Chess Club as long ago as autumn 1965. In the 1970s he played for the First Team, and ran internal tourneys. Then in the early 1980s he took a break from chess before returning in 2010. Today he is a generous patron of several local clubs.