It is now the end of the first quarter of 2017 and the audit for 2016 is being conducted.
I have stressed throughout the last year that the finances of our Masonic Centre are the essential backbone that we operate on. We rely on the Lodges/Orders and individuals to honour their commitment to Zetland Hall by settling all bills promptly.
There are still a number of Lodges & Orders that have not settled their 2016 rentals and many individuals who well behind in settling their personal bills.
Over the coming weeks the Treasurer will be sending out a series of e-mails to those with outstanding accounts and we seek your cooperation to get these settled.
The Trustees accepted that Lodges/Orders usually collected dues prior to their Installations and would only then be in a position to pay rentals. Installations are spread throughout the year and prompt payment is expected, following the Installation Meeting.
No financial penalty for late payment will be placed on these rentals, but this is on the understanding that Lodges/Orders will honour their commitment to pay promptly.
Several years ago the Trustees posted a list or errant Lodges/Orders who would be banned from using the Hall if outstanding accounts were not settled. This action is never desirable but it will be done in the next few months if required.
So ask your Treasurers: “Are we in harmony with Zetland Hall? Have we paid yet?”
Many have committed to a Direct Debit arrangement with their bank or credit card and we thank them for that. The Trustees do not want to dictate that all users of the Hall pay by this means but the subject has been discussed because of the numerous outstanding bills.
Some members occasionally pay their Lodge/Order Installation/Dining bills on their personal card and retain the cash collected on the night. It has been noted that some members have very high and long outstanding bills due to this practice.
If individuals undertake this practice there is no reason that they should delay settling their account at the next available opportunity. Not doing so breaches the trust placed in them by their fellow members.
The Trustees considered that a late penalty charge of 3% should be applied to all personal bills over 60 days and as is the practice in clubs in Hong Kong the names of the individual would be posted on the notice board. If not settled the individual’s account and access privileges may be suspended, if no reasonable explanation is forthcoming.
Zetland Hall has taken on the risk of dealing with delinquent users and there were a number resulting from the capitation lists submitted in 2015. Every effort has been made to establish the status of these people with respective Lodges/Orders but it is expected that the audit for 2016 will show that we will have to write off just over HK$100,000 of delinquent bills of individuals who cannot be traced.
Efforts are still being made to reduce that amount and individual Trustees have taken it upon themselves to follow up with the communication and care that we should all show to absent brethren.
So please pay attention to the bills you receive in April 2017 and please clear them promptly. This will be the last opportunity to do so before a late penalty is introduced.
The Trustees will apply the late payment penalty from 1st June 2017.
So ask yourself: “Am I in harmony with Zetland Hall? Have I paid?”
Chairman ZH Trustees
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