Minutes of the Annual General Meeting 5th November 2018 in Byfield Village Hall’s Meeting Room
A. CHAIRMAN’S OPENING REMARKS
Russ explained that while this was the AGM, a number of non-AGM items would be discussed at the end of the AGM business.
A1. Minutes of the last Annual General Meeting 6th November 2017: All members agreed they were a true record and they were signed-off by Russ
B. MATTERS ARISING: There were no matters arising.
C. 2018 NATIONAL CONFERENCE:
Russ explained the results of those motions he considered would be of interest to members:
Motion 1 – Carried. That Branch Welfare and BCS Chairmen should have delegated authority to approach their Branch for immediate financial support from branch funds up to an approved maximum of £200 per case.
Motion 2 – Defeated. That veterans be granted burial rights in CWGC cemeteries worldwide.
Motion 3 – Carried. That RBL Trustees lobby Parliament to ensure ex-service personnel not be disadvantaged by having been in prison.
Motion 6 – result not known. That the decision of the National President not to endorse the use of the Legion Crest on the LMS Patriot locomotive currently being built be reconsidered.
Motion 7 – Carried. That branches be allowed to amalgamate without the need to lay up their Standards.
Motion 8 - Defeated. That the Trustees introduce a tenure restriction for Branch Chairmen, the period to be decided by the Membership Council.
Motion 12 – Carried. That the ruling of only one officer role per member be reviewed where there is no Conflict of Interest between the two positions.
C1. COUNTY CONFERENCE 14TH JANUARY 2019
1 Motions - Chris wished to put forward a motion that Standard Bearers be allowed to wear an undated Poppy Pin. The meeting felt that in view of last year’s County decision, this be submitted direct to the National Conference.
2 Delegate - The Chairman explained that he, the Vice Chairman and the Secretary would be attending, plus Chris with the Standard.
Donation – John Russell proposed that a donation of £50 be made to the County again this year, and seconded by Chris, this was approved by a majority of 9 to 4.
C2. PRESIDENT’S AND CHAIRMAN’S COMBINED ADDRESS:
Quote. We have a membership of 68 + 1 Life member. Renewal of subscriptions does not seem to be a problem for most who pay by direct debit although there have been a few problems and at least 2 members are not on the list who have been excluded from the list through a mix-up over renewal payment. The Legion IT platform on which the Legion is relying more and more is not yet operating to a high enough standard and for those who pay by other methods it is most unsatisfactory with little helpful information being offered to those members or the branch. When new members join a branch or when membership is lapsed for any reason the branch should be informed so that action can be taken.
Two members died in the year; our Vice-chairman and past chairman Tony Webster and Ian Lumsden. Walt Beach of Woodford Halse, formerly Poppy Appeal Organiser in Woodford Halse but not a member also died, members attended the funerals.
Thanks to Terry Hoyle our web site is proving to be a useful tool for information. We also have 44 Facebook followers. My thanks to him for keeping it up to date and for all his promotional publicity of the Branch’s activities.
I also thank Terry for the time and energy he has put into leading the Byfield village Centennial Celebrations coming up in the afternoon of the 11th November in Byfield village hall.
The Christmas Dinner 2017 at the Griffin went well and was enjoyed by all. I would welcome your thoughts on the venue for this year. I will raise it in AOB.
We have had four fund raising events this Legion year, the Quiz last November, a most enjoyable concert by the Richard Buck Brass Ensemble in Byfield church, a very successful Bingo Night in March organised by Angie Goswell and another sociable BBQ in Joy Rees’ garden in July. This meant that we could donate over the year another £1,000 to the Battle Back Centre at Lilleshall. I have been asked whether we might consider donating to some other aspect of Legion work in the future. I would appreciate your views on this.
Once again, I’m looking forward to your support at the quiz on the 23rd.
Four members supported the Towcester Branch Poppy Quiz in April.
Branch members sponsored by £50 Natalie Skipper, one of our area’s case workers, on abseiling in Wales for Legion funds.
We entered a team in the Village Hall quiz.
Contact has been made with Templeton RSA in New Zealand where the father of our vice-chairman is a member.
We hope to be able to have a similar presence at fêtes in other villages next year. This will need the support of at least one member from that village to be present and of course the permission of the fête organisers. With that in mind we need to know dates and names of volunteers to help.
Thanks to donations from members the Branch sent two members, Chris Kiely with the Standard and Bob Cubitt, to represent the Branch at GP90 in August.
Four members helped at the County’s “Thank you” Day in Northampton in September.
Members made personal donations of £50 towards the Byfield Scout trip the slums of Nairobi in Kenya.
The monthly lunches on the last Wednesday of every month and rotating around the pubs in our district have again been successful events. with an average turnout of about 14. Unfortunately, the Royal Oak at Eydon is still not doing food so has not been available as a lunch venue.
Monthly Branch meetings throughout the year rotated on a Monday/Tuesday basis with Mondays being in Byfield and Tuesdays being in other villages in our area, normally in a pub. It has been decided that the meeting area in the pubs is not suitable for speaker meetings. As halls in the other villages other than Aston le Walls are fully booked on Tuesdays, we decided that we would only have speakers to Monday meetings when we are in Byfield. If a speaker could only make Tuesday, the Aston le Walls VH would possibly be available.
We thank the Byfield Parish Council for the excellent maintenance of the War memorial surrounds, and to all those who maintain the Memorials in the other villages of our District.
Byfield Parish Council also agreed to allow the flying of the Red Ensign on the War Memorial flagpole every year on Merchant Navy day in memory of the 37,000 British Seamen who lost their lives in keeping us supplied with food and oil and munitions during WW2.The first casualty of the war was a merchant ship.
John Russell BEM led yet another excellent Poppy Appeal year, once again raising over £10,000 in the 2017/18 year. With so many villages to cover it requires a well organised plan to be implemented and John does just that. Thank you, John, and to all those who support him do the house to house collections.
Branch Community Support. Members continue to do house and hospital visits, some with transportation. Over the year 61 House and Hospital visits were recorded. Hospital transport has not been recorded although a number were made.
Joy and I went to a recent County chairman’s seminar. One of the topics was Safeguarding. I have been sent the RBL Safeguarding training documents by email and have forwarded them on to members of the committee. If anyone else would like to see them I will forward them on to you. Note they are not available in paper form and the advice is not to print them off as they are subject to change. Andrew Bowes said that like it or not we have to get used to the idea that material will only being available electronically. That’s now the Legion’s policy.
With regard to safeguarding and our Branch’s policy of home and hospital visits I see no problem in visiting people you know but be wary of visiting those you don’t know. Phone beforehand at the very least. Possibly go in pairs but always remember we are not allowed to offer help only advice on the central phone number help line, other than a maximum of a £20 gift, and don’t attempt to offer physical help.
The new Data Protection laws have been a bit of a headache with Haig House seemingly slow off the blocks, but they seem to have caught up. The biggest problem from our point of view was how you passed information around the Branch membership without breaching the law but that has now been resolved.
There have been 8 talks this year...
Ken Gill on “Franklin’s failed expedition to find the North West passage”.
Stevie Cross on “Reflections of a peripatetic engineer both as a mechanical engineer and in aerospace”.
Karin Start “Working visit as a pharmacist with the Emergency medical Team in Carpenter, Ghana”.
Steve Dimmer “Tales from the trenches”.
Bob Cubitt “Army Commandos”.
Graham Pattenden “Part 2 of the life of Col Burnaby”.
Tim Boddington “His experiences in China”
Bob Cubitt “GP90”
My final thanks go to Chris Kiely for all that he does as Standard Bearer and to the committee members. Thank you all. End of quote.
C2.1 Members commented on the fact that all our donations have been made to the Battle Back Centre in recent years and asked if there were not more deserving cases. Russ explained that should any other cases arise during the year, we will consider them when we have raised sufficient funds.
C2.2 It was noted that Russ touched on attendance at Village Fetes, and members were able to identify that there were three in June, one of them being Byfield, and one other at Eydon in September.
C2.3John Russell proposed a vote of thanks to Russ for all his hard work and planning throughout the year, and this was mirrored by a similar proposal from Terry.
C3. SECRETARY’S REPORT:
Quote: The last 12 month’s annual routine of correspondence and minute taking has been enlivened by the preparations for GP90 and the 100 years anniversary.
The first event of the ‘year’ was the children’s planting of crosses at the War Memorial when I stood in for Chris Kiely with the Standard.
Then the service at the Memorial on Remembrance Sunday for which I had earlier requested a Temporary Road Closure. When the documents arrived for this, I was concerned to see that the County Council had arranged to close the wrong end of Banbury Lane, despite having done it correctly many years previously. My requests to correct it fell on deaf ears, and fortunately no problems were experienced. This year they have got it right. The work here involves posting the road closure notices at each end of the length to be closed and advising all the residents of the northern half of Banbury Lane of the closure and asking them not to park opposite the Memorial.
Shortly after that I organised the bar at the quiz when we turned over the best profit on record – thanks to a larger attendance.
In January I attended the County Conference with our then new Vice Chair, Joy.
Also that month was the incredible recital in the Church by Richard Buck, playing War time themes, all in aid in fund raising for the Branch.
As the year progressed, I did my bit for the Bingo Night, buying a number of prizes and persuading local enterprises to donate vouchers. On two occasions I was asked to fly the flag at the Memorial for the first time, one of them being a very windy day. I was never more relieved at the end of the day to find the flag still attached and not half way across Byfield or even Woodford.
Then more recently, I was asked to buy various items for Chris our Standard Bearer so that he would look his best on GP90, (Standard carrying bag, holster and brass cup for holster). Then on return I arranged for the Ypres 2018 scroll to be added to the Standard.
Finally a big thank you to John Russell for fixing the plaque to the wall behind the memorial.
All in all, an eventful year. End of Quote.
C4. ELECTION OF OFFICERS:
Russ proposed that current officers continue as is:
President Russ Mallace
Chairman Russ Mallace
Vice Chairman Joy Rees
Secretary Alan Bailey
Treasurer David Bradshaw
Membership Secretary Terry Hoyle
Recruiting Officer Terry Hoyle
Branch Community Support Graham Walker
Poppy Appeal Organiser John Russell B.E.M.
Parade Marshall John Russell B.E.M.
Standard Bearer Chris Kiely
Deputy Standard Bearer Not appointed
Memorial Keepers Not appointed as this is the responsibility of the Parish Council
Other as required Vernon Hurst
Chaplain Rev Stevie Cross
Publicity and Web Site Terry Hoyle
Village Hall Representative David Bradshaw
Flag Keepers Terry Hoyle and Rob Crewe
Chris Kiely proposed that these nominations be accepted, and seconded by Terry Hoyle, all were in agreement.
D. TREASURERS REPORT:
D1. The Accounts presented to Branch Committee end of July showing an increase in funds over the year.
D2. John Freeman signed off the accounts 11th September.
D3. On the proposal of Chris Kiely, and seconded by John Russell, the Accounts were unanimously adopted and signed by Alan.
D4. Branch Administration Fee. It was proposed from the Chair to follow previous practice and not impose any Branch Administration Fee and, seconded by Terry Hoyle, this was accepted.
D5. End of October figures were presented by David.
D5.1 It was agreed to make a donation of £50 to the Byword.
D5.2 It was also agreed to pay the DACT Annual Affiliation Fee of £30.
E. POPPY APPEAL REPORT:
John Russell thanked all those who had supported the Appeal last year, having raised the excellent figure of £10,202.32. He reported that he is currently banking this year’s collection money daily.
F. BRANCH COMMUNITY SUPPORT REPORT
Members have continued to make home and hospital visits when needed.
See Chairman’s Report & H1 below.
H. ANY OTHER BUSINESS:
H1. Terry felt that a different approach to recruiting new members was needed, as the current ’free lunch’ incentive, nor various poster campaigns had been very successful. He suggested the personal approach be tried, speaking direct to friends and neighbours and attending all local fêtes.
H2. The Choices for a venue for Christmas Dinner on the evening of 20th December 2018 were The Plough in Boddington, The Fox & Hounds, Charwelton, The Griffin at Chipping Warden, or The Red Lion in Culworth. However for a change, we could go back to The Windmill in Badby? Thoughts?
H3. Date and Time of next Annual General Meeting: 8 pm 4th November 2019