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AGM: Craig Oakes, new Chamber President

‘We all aim to develop a business community that flourishes.’ says new Chamber President Craig Oakes.

Andrew Knowles, for the last two years President of the Weymouth and Portland Chamber of Commerce handed over the Presidency to Craig Oakes, of Oakes Insure, at their AGM recently held at Weymouth College. He is joined by Vice President, Julia Cohen of Weymouth College and Mike House of Albert Goodman, who was appointed Treasurer for the fifth year, on the Executive Committee consisting of twelve voluntary Chamber members.

Andrew welcomed everybody to the meeting and thanked all those who had made his time as President so successful. With events such as the STAR business awards being such a highlight for the Chamber and the business winners. He also pointed out that we know the local Chamber was founded in 1919, though sadly all records were destroyed some 15 years ago!

New President Craig took over the meeting and began by thanking Past President Andrew Knowles for ensuring that the Chamber of Commerce has continued to evolve and has continued to do what it does best. “It has been a pleasure and an honour to support him.”

“As a Chamber, the working together of businesses is paramount.”  He went on to say; “Yes we can get better and yes it takes a bit of patience. From a Chamber point of view, we continue to stand up for local businesses because we know that it underpins what makes Weymouth & Portland flow, and that is an amalgamation of many different businesses and quality institutions with a diverse set of employees and varied training and skills opportunities such as work placement, apprenticeship and flexible employment if people require it, or stable gainful employment or self-employment if they don’t.”

“We are a borough of one voice with one message we want prosperity and this can be achieved with a mix of the businesses that operate in Weymouth & Portland.

As Chamber members all you need to do is look around and see that, you are as business owners and managers part of something that is very unique and special, an area that has many different useful parts to it, and that we all have the same common goal to live and work in an area where we can all be different but we all want the same thing an business community that flourishes.”

This year the Chamber President has taken on a personal challenge to lose two or three stone in weight:

“I have teamed up with Zone Fitness and this year’s President’s chosen charity Weldmar, which we all know is a charity that has helped so many people locally and has made so many that little bit more comfortable in the twilight of their lives.”

Craig had his official weigh in, recorded and ready to be checked for his progress during the year in an effort to raise money to boost his weight loss.

President Craig thanked everybody for attending and finished

“I wish you all a fantastic and successful year and urge you to look at the businesses around you not just tonight but day to day and see if you can engage with them and help each other out.”

Many members then joined the President in The Avenue Restaurant at the College for a celebration meal for the Past President and the new.

The President speech can be read here Pres Speech and he announced the following Executive Committee and Officers of Weymouth & Portland Chamber of Commerce for 2019 – 20: Execs Proposals 2019-20


Paul Appleby
Author: Paul Appleby