Coventry and Warwickshire Humanists
AGM 15th September 2016
Waverley Day Centre, Kenilworth
Brian Nicol said that he had been asked by the Chairman, George Broadhead to Chair the AGM This was agreed. Members and visitors were welcomed. There were 22 members present.
Apologies for absence
Roy Saich, Andrew Ireland, Mo Ireland, Tracey Drew, Abe Alpren and Colin Shaw
Minutes of the 2015 Meeting
The Minutes previously circulated were accepted unanimously, proposed by P Jackson, seconded by J Gainer.
There were none.
George Broadhead picked out several matters from his report for emphasis:
Andrew Ireland had continued to organise social events. Several members had laid wreaths, on behalf of the group, at local Remembrance Sunday events. Two members of the group had spoken about humanism at a local secondary school. Roy Saich had acted as secretary through the year until his recent illness forced him to stop. Members unanimously sent their thanks and very best wishes to Roy for a speedy recovery.
Phil Rowland’s Treasurer’s Report was discussed. The group heard that it had been decided to close the Building Society Account and just use a bank account at Barclays. This because interest paid on balances was very little and the change made the situation much simpler.
Acceptance of the Report was proposed by Derek Franklin and seconded by Jane Sault, it was accepted unanimously.
Election of Committee
No nominations had been received for any officer positions. No-one in the meeting expressed readiness to stand for a position.
A motion for a change to the constitution to cater for this situation, previously circulated, was then discussed and amended
In the event that the Posts of Chairman, Secretary or Treasurer remain unfilled an AGM shall have the option to adopt an alternative form of governance for a period not exceeding three years.
Proposed by Brian Nicol and seconded by Derek Franklin.
This was agreed unanimously
A second Constitutional amendment was then put
Clause 11 Winding Up
To add ‘The Ugandan Schools Education Trust’ to the list of beneficiaries.
This was proposed by Brian Nicol and seconded by Heather Evans. It was carried unanimously.
Following the first amendment to the Constitution the following previously circulated resolution was proposed . After discussion and amendment the following resolution was put to the meeting.
a) That the CWHG ceases normal activities for a period not exceeding three years and an alternative form of governance be adopted
b) During that period the affairs of the Group will be administered by a Committee consisting of the Treasurer and two other members to be elected by this Annual Meeting. One of the Committee shall be nominated as Convener.
c) The person designated as Convener will undertake what minimum administrative duties are required including being the spokesperson for the Group.
During the period of suspension all formal Group activities shall be stopped except for the receipt of any donations and the disbursement of funds to be decided by the Committee along the lines of existing expenditures and administered by the Treasurer plus any matters within the Convener’s remit. This formal suspension will not preclude any informal activities that individual Group members may care to organise including News letters and other on-line activities and social events.
d) The Committee is authorised to pro-actively look for ways of reviving Group activities including the affiliation of the Group to other relevant bodies. If during the three year period there is, in the opinion, of the Committee a realistic chance of resuming normal activities the Convenor shall call a SGM of existing members to determine the situation.
e) At the end of the three year period the Committee shall call a SGM to consider a winding up resolution together with any other proposals for the future of the Group that may be put forward.
Proposed by Brian Nicol, seconded by Phil Rowland.
Following discussion and clarification the proposal was accepted unanimously.
There were elections for the new organising Committee:
Brian Nicol was nominated as Convenor by Alison Rowland, seconded by George Broadhead.
Alison Rowland was proposed for the Committee by George Broadhead, seconded by Jane Sault.
The Treasurer – Phil Rowland said he agreed, as per the new arrangements, to serve for three years.
There were no other nominations and Brian, Alison and Phil were elected unanimously.
Any Other Business
Brian Nicol spoke in tribute to George and Roy, founder members of the Group who were now retiring from office.
Brian recalled that at the first meeting Roy had done most of the speaking whilst George was quiet and in the background!
The Group quickly found new members and met in each other’s houses.
Brian became the area’s first humanist celebrant, George came to ceremonies to give moral support. The Group had a stall at Leamington Peace Festival, it was a time for good debates and arguments.
Early on George and Brian were accepted as weekly contributors to The Leamington Courier, putting a Humanist position on issues and given the same space as the churches.
Over the years Roy has beavered away as secretary, whilst George, despite his gregarious nature, has been reluctant to act as Chair of the Group but continued as there were no other volunteers. Together they have kept the show on the road, the Group owes a debt to Roy and George and as they lay down their burden, we wish them well and Roy a speedy recovery.
Brian made a presentation of an engraved silver plate to George and Roy, on behalf of the Group.
The meeting then closed at 9pm.