40th Anniversary dinner at Bellamy’s by Logan Brown

Turnout For the 40th Anniversary dinner at Bellamy’s by Logan Brown was excellent.

The one thing the Committee was unable to organise was the weather on the day. It was wet and windy which cast doubt on the suggested dress code of “summer wedding”, but by 6 pm the rain had substantially abated and by the time it arrived to go home, it was dry.

The venue proved to be a good choice. Negotiating the security on arrival proved not to be an issue and when guests got to the third floor of the Beehive, Bellamy’s reception and dining areas were spacious, allowing for good pre-dinner mixing over a complimentary glass of bubbles. The tables were well spaced and set very nicely.

The food was of a very high standard as would be expected from a restaurant in the Logan Brown stable. The restaurant staff was very efficient and attentive – it was nigh on impossible to fault the service. The manager, Jasper Povey, had been very accommodating in catering to the Club’s requirements and was also appreciative of what the Club was able to provide (such as the pre-ordering), which proved a winning combination.

Club President, Murray Jaspers, gave a brief address, looking over the Club’s development through the years. He noted how active it is, how its size has been maintained over an extended period and the high regard it enjoys with winemakers and suppliers. He noted too, the contribution of past presidents and committees. Anne Megget proposed a toast to absent friends – those members who are no longer with us and those who were unable to be present on the night.

Through diligent work by Robin Semmens, Gayle Gaukrodger, Anne Megget and Wayne Kennedy a memento gift bag containing a souvenir pen, some souvenir chocolate and a booklet updating the history of the Club was presented to every person present.

Feedback the Committee has received subsequently indicates the evening was much appreciated by all who were there. Good venue, good food, good wine and good company always combine to produce a winner!

Richard Taylor

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AGM review


Robin Semmens presented with a wine box set from Wayne Kennedy
Robin Semmens presented with a wine box set from Wayne Kennedy

Last month we were finally able to hold the Club’s AGM and it was well attended with 32  members and 1 guest present. If you would like to read the President’s report, you will find this on the Club’s website. Changes to note from the meeting:

  • Robin Semmens was farewelled from the Committee and as newsletter Editor,
    although he stays in the Club
  • Evelyn Dawson is the new Editor of the Newsletter
  • Steve Eades is now not on the Committee either but is still managing the Club’s website
  • Terry Friel joined the Committee.

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AGM – Looking back on May

The AGM went well. The supper was well received and having bubbles at the supper was a hit. Good feedback was received about the supper and the wine. Your committee was returned unopposed and unchanged. I am sure that this means you are happy with the way that club activities are running. Just remember, we always welcome feedback and/or suggestions from members, so let us know what you are thinking.

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2019 President’s Annual Report

8 May 2019

It is indeed my privilege to present to club members the Cellar Club’s annual report for the year 2018 – 2019.

I want to stress that the club is first and foremost about you.  It is you as active members who make the club as vibrant as it is.  Maintaining membership at a sound level is the key.   Thank you for your support for events and meetings during the year and attending tonight’s AGM.   Our monthly meetings continue to be well attended, in fact the average number of members attending monthly meetings relative to the club’s subscription membership has perhaps never been better.  Total numbers attending tastings again exceeded 300 during this last year (at 9 meetings) but we have noted that guest numbers were a little down and this may need to be addressed if we are looking to build on our membership.

In particular the numbers attending the two club dinners in July and December 2018 were also at a high (the 2 dinners were collectively over 90) and as these dinners are highlight events for members we will continue to prioritise efforts to choose the right venue, creating a chance for you to share good wines with your table and to enjoy some of the first class cuisine that Wellington restaurants do provide.

May I add that this report, rather than being printed, is posted for your interest on the club’s website.

Keeping the membership levels up and ensuring meetings are well attended is a prime objective to ensure the club remains viable and we can sustain the costs that running the club incurs.   You will see from the financial report prepared for the AGM that the club’s finances are in very good shape thanks particularly to the diligence and astute budget management of our long serving treasurer.

These club’s finances and fixed costs are manageable but do require active attention.  Venue hire, licenses for the club website and the council’s liquor requirements, presenter gifts and the costs of the wines are the key points of focus.   With healthy finances we are able to subsidise the annual BBQ and dinners, sustain a club cellar and provide those cellared wines at dinners and the AGM tonight.  We are fortunate that occasionally the wine presenters either heavily discount the wine or are prepared to donate their wines.  This can be unpredictable but where it eventuates we are grateful and it allows the benefits to flow back to members.

This is often a function of the size scale of the wineries or their subsequent response to your level of orders.  It is worth noting that the presenters cover their own travel, visiting and accommodation costs and for some this is substantial.  In those terms I want to thank members most sincerely for their preparedness to order on the night and many of the presenters particularly comment on both their orders and naturally express a willingness to return to the club.  I know that is not always true of some other wine clubs where they have different arrangements and expectations.  Our club’s operating model is not unique, but where other styles of club operations put some pressure on presenters and wineries, our model ensures good relations are maintained with wineries, our financial viability is ensured and door charges and subscriptions remain affordable.

Therefore, the level of support from members suggests the formula may be right but I want to stress that meeting your interests is paramount.  We would want to hear both suggestions for meetings and ideas and options for events that are planned.   Each member of the committee is only too willing to talk with you to seek and explore ideas to ensure the club remains in good heart and is delivering what members want in terms of wine education, quality wine experiences and a good social atmosphere at meetings and amongst members.

As members you have excelled with the help you provide with meeting logistics.  Looking after the glassware, setting the venue hall up and helping stack tables and chairs away, assisting with pouring when requested, being inclusive at tables and helping with distribution of wine orders does ease the pressures involved in meetings and covering the necessary tasks and it is appreciated.

It is pleasing to reflect that the club continues to thrive as Wellington’s pre-eminent wine society established and operating since 1980 expanding from a local suburban focus to a membership residing from across the city, the Hutt Valley to the Kapiti Coast.  Your continuing involvement has ensured this longevity into our 40th year.

The programme over the last year was varied and well received.  We visited Hawkes Bay [Unison Vineyard, Clearview Estate and Askerne Wines], tasted internationally from France [Maison Vauron with cheeses], Portugal [Confidant Wines] and Australia [Yalumba with Negociants], tasted Marlborough [with Villa Maria], looked at quality wines under $25 with Joelle Thomson and dined at Saigon Van, at Juniper and the traditional January BBQ (courtesy of life member Derek Thompson).

My thanks go also to an outstandingly willing committee.  This is a group that is dedicated, reliable and affable.   The portfolios are well shared and the committee’s focus is sustained membership, managing costs, providing publicity and information, and promoting wine education.   It is pleasing for me to note that the current committee members have all expressed a willingness to continue in their involvement.

This is a group notable for their collective efforts and backing each other up.  The committee deals with a plethora of issues, with finances and organising the annual tasting programme being a focus.   There certainly is an extensive timely email flow amongst the committee and we always have a quorum at monthly committee meetings.   Planning and being flexible are the keys, although occasionally there is pressure on the scheduled monthly programme.  Invariably we manage to come through and frequently achieve stellar presentations.   Our secretarial support, the newsletter and our website as our “shop windows”, licensing and venue realities, catering and balancing our books all require dedication and effort.  For this collective endeavour I am grateful to committee members.

The club is about sociability, extending wine experiences and broadening horizons.   We are always looking for the means to increase our membership.  It is always a pleasure when you bring along guests to meetings and functions as prospective members and we are happy to make incentives for you to do so.  With guest numbers a little down of late there is a real interest to encourage your friends and acquaintances who may wish experience a tasting evening and perhaps to join the club.  Specifically, how we can increase younger membership is one of the challenges going forward.

Thank you for your support and active involvement and hence I raise a glass to you one and all and trust we will continue to do so for the year ahead and to mark the club’s 40th year.

Murray Jaspers
The Cellar Club Inc

AGM – May 2019

The Cellar Club Inc Annual General Meeting will be held as follows:

When: 8 pm Wednesday 8 May 2019
Where: Johnsonville Community Centre
Moorefield Road, Wellington

Please give some thought to any proposals you might want to introduce for the meeting, we are happy to take ideas from members about future activities for the Club.

As always members will be provided with a light supper and the opportunity to sample some wines from our cellar after the formal part of the evening. We will send out a formal notice and documents closer to the meeting in accordance with our Club rules.

See event details.

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Editor away, AGM, In planning

Editor away (again)

As I mentioned last month it is with some regret that (having said it is not to be missed) I will miss it and the AGM next month.  Never mind, I will have 30 days at sea to help me get over it.


Naturally, I will not be able to put together the May Newsletter. Wayne will take care of this and will ensure that all the necessary documentation is forwarded to members as appropriate for the AGM. We would suggest you print off copies of the documentation and bring it with you as it can be difficult for committee members to provide sufficient copies on the night.

In planning

The programme for the year to come might appear to lack substance but your committee is working on a number of initiatives and you can be assured that an enjoyable year of tastings and events is being planned and confirmed. Watch this space.


Robin Semmens

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Cellar Club Inc – Annual General Meeting

The Cellar Club Inc Annual General Meeting will be held as follows:

8pm Wednesday 9 May 2018
Johnsonville Community Centre
Moorefield Road, Wellington

Please give some thought to any proposals you might want to introduce for the meeting, we are happy to take ideas from members about future activities for the Club.

As always members will be provided with a light supper and the opportunity to sample some wines from our cellar after the formal part of the evening. We will send out a formal notice and documents closer to the meeting in accordance with our Club rules.

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Wine lovers invited to join Johnsonville’s cellar club

20160309_200542Independent Herald, 3 August 2016

Johnsonville’s Cellar Club is looking to extend its membership to those who are interested in wine. Club President Murray Jaspers said the Club, which was established in 1980, was not designed for “wine snobs”. Its objective is to allow members to learn about wines and wineries from people who work with and breathe wine – the winery owners, the winemakers or other winery representatives.

The club already has about 60 members but is looking to increase that number and invited locals to join one of the Club’s monthly meetings to find out what it was all about. At the monthly meeting in October the presenter will be Jane Hunter of Hunter Wines in Marlborough. Jane has a big international reputation so her presentation will, no doubt, be of immense interest, Cellar Club committee member Richard Taylor said.

“The monthly meetings are relaxed and friendly with plenty of opportunity to mix and mingle with other members.”  The gatherings are held on the second Wednesday of each month in the Johnsonville Community Centre with a 7.45pm start time. “There are also other social events staged during the year such as dinners, a barbeque and some tastings from the Club’s cellar,” Richard said. He said those who were interested should head along to the next meeting on August 10.

The annual membership cost is $25 per year with a door charge of between $12 and $16 to cover the cost of the wines that are on taste that night, room hire and supper. Offsetting this, Richard said, there are sometimes opportunities to purchase the presenters’ wines at discounted prices.

More information can be gathered from the Club’s website or by phoning Murray Jaspers on 479 3191 or Anne Meggat (Vice President and Membership) 478 8573.

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Notice of Annual General Meeting 2016

agmVenue: Johnsonville Community Centre Hall, 30 Moorefield Rd, Johnsonville, Wellington 6037 – Directions

Cost: None


Notice of Annual General Meeting to be held at The Johnsonville Community Centre, Directions

Wednesday, 11 May 2016, commencing at 8pm


  1. Apologies
  2. Confirmation of the Minutes of the Annual General Meeting for the year 2014/15 held on Wednesday, 13th May 2015
  3. Matters Arising
  4. Financial Report for the Year 2015/16
  5. Membership Report for the Year 2015/16
  6. President’s Report for the Year 2015/16
  7. Notices of Motion
  8. Election of Officers and Committee for the year 2016/17:
    • President
    • Vice President
    • Secretary
    • Treasurer
    • Committee
  9. Subscriptions
  10. General Business



At the conclusion of the AGM, supper will be served, accompanied by wines from the Club’s cellar


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