Richmond Society AGMs are fun. Not many organisations can say that but ours combine the serious business required by the Charity Commission with entertainment and a party.
The entertainment this year was a programme of Christmas songs and arias sung by one of our members, soprano Regina Gössel, accompanied by pianist Chris Britton (photo).
They concluded their short programme by getting everyone on their feet to join in three rousing choruses of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”.
Then began our Christmas Party attended by almost 70 members who enjoyed a selection of savoury and sweet finger food with wine or soft drinks.
It all kicked off the festive season splendidly.
The party was preceded by the Annual General Meeting at which Barry May was re-elected as Chairman and Andrew Coleman as Hon Treasurer. Henry Clay was elected a trustee and, Louise Fluker, Ginny Curry and Neil Maybin, were re-elected. One long-serving trustee, Patricia Spaight, decided not to seek re-election.
Paying tribute to Pat, Barry said that since becoming Hon Secretary in 1990 she had supported seven different Chairmen. He said it will be very hard to replace her and he, his predecessors, and fellow trustees were grateful to Pat for her dedicated service which has made the Society run so smoothly. Pending appointment of a new Secretary, Ginny Curry, Membership Secretary, will act as Secretary on a temporary basis.
Barry thanked David Izett who, whilst remaining Chairman of the Planning Committee, has decided not to seek election as a Trustee.
Noel Flannery, who was appointed Independent Examiner of the Society’s accounts during the year, was reappointed.
Barry also thanked trustees, volunteers and members of the Society.
The AGM approved the Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 30 September 2019. It also featured a presentation on proposed changes in the Society’s constitution to modernise its objects clause. The AGM approved the changes and authorised the trustees to seek consent from the Charity Commission. Once this consent is received we will ask members at an Extraordinary General Meeting for permission to put the changes into effect.
Andrew Coleman, Hon Treasurer, has been leading work on the objects. We are not looking to change the Society’s ethos, or the scope of what it does. The rights of members are not affected.
The identity of the Society – how it presents itself to the world at large – is under separate review. Progress has been achieved and we expect a conclusion in this current membership year.
Membership subscriptions, last increased in 1999, are also being examined and it is likely they will have to increase in 2020 to bring the Society’s income into line with its expenditure.