A.O.S.A. 2006 ANNUAL REPORT

 
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  The chairman, Diz Dexter, welcomed everyone to the meeting, which was held in the Marquee at Whinstone View. She asked those present to share a short silence to remember those Old Scholars who had died during the preceding year, and also to send thoughts to those members who, for whatever reason, are experiencing difficult times.
  The President Maeve Hird gave her presidential address and the chairman thanked her for sharing her experiences at school and during her very interesting life so far.
1. Greetings and apologies for absence have been received from: Joe Tillott; Ann & Fred Baines; Margaret Shaw; Jean Hewitt; Ann Gardner; June Dunn; Jean & ‘Doc’ Watson; Louis & Doris Trotter; Dudley Pickston; Alice & John Meager; Vivienne Flynn; Kitty Bruno Andreas; Richard Featherstone; Peggy Shuttleworth; Ann Chetwynd-Stapleton; Richard Wood; Martyn Gaudie.
2. The Minutes of the 116th AGM were taken as read from the Magazine and approval was proposed and seconded by Dorothy Dawson (Easton) and Jenny Summerfield (Smith)
3. There were no matters arising.
4. Jill Wheeler read the Secretary’s report which reminded everyone that the Committee had, as usual, worked hard, with care and enthusiasm to ensure the Association continues to run smoothly.
5. The Records Secretary’s report, given by Dick Dennis, who reported that the total active membership has dropped for the first time to below 700 and now stands at 663; there are 48 lost life members. If more Old Scholars can be persuaded to pay by Direct Debit the collection of subs, would be more cost effective and simpler to organize. There are 14 new members for the year.

The website has grown from 60 to 67 Mbtes during the year, although there has been a drop in the e-mailing list possibly as people upgrade to Broadband or change addresses to reduce junk mail. The A.O.S.A. Website still attracts 422 hits per day. Diz Dexter gave a special thanks to Dick who is the Website Supremo.

6. William Pine presented Treasurer’s report. Copies of the accounts were handed out and William then explained the current situation. He told the meeting that there was a loss on 2004’s reunion of £513.94 which was as he originally anticipated. However the costs will increase annually and a strategy needs to be in place for this. 2005’s loss will be greater as the Marquee Company has put up its prices and is now VAT registered. William had produced copies of the figures, which he distributed to the members at the meeting, which was very helpful.
7. Editor’s report. Gill Jackson, who has edited the O.S. Magazine for 14 editions, has after the 2005 Magazine handed over to Jim Slater. Gill will be a very hard act to follow as she has certainly brought the production of the Magazine into the 21st Century. Gill explained how this has been accomplished, and thanked those who had helped to get and keep the standards so high, and the Magazine delivered on time each year.
8. There were no questions regarding the four reports, so acceptance of them was proposed by Mary Kidd (McClure) and seconded by Ann White (McCune) and all were in favour.
9.

Retirement of Officers. Only our Treasurer William Pine is due to retire this year and he has agreed to stay on for another 4 years. Diz thanked him for his contribution over the past 4 years.

10.

Re-election of Officers willing and able to remain in Office:Chairman Diz Dexter (2002-2006); Secretary Jill Wheeler (2002-2006); Records Secretary Dick Dennis (1996-2006) (Continuing on a yearly basis) Ordinary Committee Member - Jenny Summerfield (2004 - 2008) Nominations Committee * Louis Trotter (2002-2006) *Suzanne Potter (2004-2008) School committee: William Pine (2003-2007) Jill Wheeler (2003-2007).

The three below have agreed to serve a further term in office:

Treasurer William Pine. (2005 - 2009); Editor Jim Slater (2005 - 2009) was elected at the last AGM to start 2005 Nominations Committee* Sonia Wade (2004 - 2008). *indicates also Ordinary Executive Committee Member.

Reunion Coordinator - 2005 Reunion was a joint venture with Jenny Summerfield, William Pine and Diz Dexter all taking various responsibilities. It would be better if one person was in charge so to speak but in the face of no volunteers from the floor, the Committee will discuss the matter at the next Executive Committee Meeting in October.

Margaret Carnegie (Wilkinson) proposed their acceptance and this was seconded by Gill Jackson (Hinds) and all were in favour.

11. Nomination of President Elect. Roy George proposed Martyn Gaudie, who was not able to be at the reunion as he was unwell, as the President Elect. Martyn has been a regular Old Scholar and member of the Committee. He is a local farmer who, after he left Ayton, went to Bootham School and Cambridge. This proposal was seconded by Dorothy Newby and welcomed by all present.
12.

Funding and Future Reunions: Dick Dennis introduced the subject, saying that we have a decision to make, as the outgoings are now always more than the income. The Magazine, which is excellent and read worldwide, now costs £2.74 to produce and this takes up most of the annual subscription. But now we need a plan for the future. The costs have soared since we first had reunions at Whinstone View, and can only increase with time. The forecast until the money runs out is somewhere between 10 and 15 years if we continue as we are. Ideas put forward at the open forum were:

To ask every Association Member, Life Members included, to contribute an extra £1.50 a year. This would cover any shortfall;

Look for another venue e.g. a hall in Ayton Village, and get caterers and a bar ourselves;

See if any conference facilities would be available at an hotel etc.

Raise more cash from people who come to the reunion, either by: Putting up the price of meals;

Asking for an attendance contribution; Sponsorship - of say the Marquee;

Asking those present to make a voluntary donation; Make use of the Marquee on the Friday evening for fund raising event;

Get a smaller marquee;

Put up the Annual Subscription, this however would only affect those who are not Life Members;

Explain to Life Members that after 30, 40 or 50 years maybe it is time to review the subscription which was possibly 3/5/10 guineas at the time of joining as there are now no school leavers coming on board to even things out;

See if any further economies can be made; Find another place to erect the marquee.

It was pointed out by Jenny Summerfield that the Old Scholars are the only group who use Whinstone View for a gathering. Jenny also reminded those present that if we did move from this venue it would be very unlikely that we would be able to return.

Most Members like the venue as they feel it is the nearest situation to the School with the open field and places to sit and catch up with friends. Joyce Spinks (Dobbing) said that it would be nice to have the AGM in the Meeting House, and although this idea was applauded by many, the logistics would have to be carefully thought through. While we have the marquee we should use it. However if another venue were to be found this would be an idea to be considered.

Many Members spoke during the open forum and eventually Margaret Carnegie (Wilkinson) proposed, and Diz Dexter seconded, that we continue to meet at Whinstone View for the 2006 Reunion. The Committee will look into the various ideas which were put forward and come to the next AGM with the appropriate information to enable those present to make a well-informed decision.

13. Dick Dennis told us that our Retiring President, Robert Campbell, has been awarded the MBE in the Queen’s Honours List for his services to Farming. This announcement was greeted with a round of applause.
14. There being no further business, the meeting closed at 4.40. pm.
 
Jill Wheeler (Rhodes 1949-56)

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A.O.S.A. 2006 ANNUAL REPORT