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March '18

March '18

Minutes of the Branch Committee Meeting held on 28th February 2018 at Hinton House Farm Cottages, Byfield and Minutes of the subsequent Branch Meeting held on 5th March ’18 in the Lower Annexe of Byfield Village Hall

A.  CHAIRMAN’S OPENING REMARKS

Russ asked all eight Members gathered to think of four of our regular attendees who were seriously ill at the moment and therefore couldn’t be with us this night.

A.1. Speaker: Russ welcomed our Speaker for the evening, Karin Start of Byfield who mentally transported us all into deepest Africa, where late last year she was part of a medical team working there.

B. MATTERS ARISING

B.1 Minutes of Previous Meetings: held on 31st January 2018 and the monthly Meeting on 6th February 2018 were approved and signed-off.

B.2 Great Pilgrimage 2018 – GP90. The final total of UK and Overseas Branches registered to attend GP90 was 1,115.

B.2.1 It had been confirmed that Chris and Bob would be picked-up from Banbury Bus Station.

B.2.2 Insurance to take Branch Standards out of the country would be done collectively by the RBL. The procedure was for them to advise each County which of their Branches had registered and for County to Minute that, which would then trigger the collective insurance process. There was nothing we need do to precipitate this.

B.2.3 A new zip-up carrying bag in which we would keep our Standard had been ordered for the occasion at a cost to Branch Funds of £38.

B.2.4 Russ had now applied for Gift Aid to be reimbursed for the relevant donations to GP90 last September.

B.2.5 Our GP90 Wreath Bearer Bob is doing a bit of research into anyone buried in Flanders Fields etc. and wishes to elicit the help of locals in this. Terry will ask Parish Council Secretaries in the District to try to contact their residents about this.

B.2.5.1 Russ will try to get an entry about this in Byfield's Parish Magazine The Byword before it goes to press this week.

B.3  Bingo Night: As previously reported, with the amendment that we now need 44 prizes for the Bingo event plus raffle prizes. To date we had about half that number.

B.3.1 Prizes needed to be sorted into those for card row winners and those for “House” (the whole card) per game; there would be 22 games. Sorting would be done in Angie’s house on the afternoon of Thursday 23rd March 2018.

B.3.2 The set-up time in Byfield Village Hall had been brought forward to 5pm to allow for people to gather well before the event start time of 7pm; Angie advises this was normal for such gatherings.

B.3.3 Russ had produced a poster and some smaller flyers. Angie was laminating the former to use outside.

B.3.4 Vernon would collect a bunch of RBL pens to give away on the night.

B.4 Twinning with Paparua Templeton RSA branch in New Zealand: Waiting for Joy’s return from the same.

B.5 Group 4 Wound up – On Friday 16th February, £1,920 was donated to Galanos House from Group 4’s final account, together with £10,000 from County via a legacy; those donations would be put towards a new minibus. The residents were having choir practice at the time with those conducting the presentation joining-in.

C. CORRESPONDENCE: There were no items to discuss in this regard.

D. FINANCE:

D.1 Apart from our still not having received a recent BFI statement that should confirm our contribution to GP90, apparently because of some RBL “computer problem” there was nothing to add to last meeting’s report, except that another welcome donation had been received, this time from Mr. Roger Evans.

E. POPPY APPEAL: The latest figure banked for last year’s appeal was £9,807.81.

F. WELFARE (now Branch Community Support):

F.1 Sixteen hospital visits had been made this period. See also Item A previously herein.

F.2 Alan had produced a “Thinking of You” card with a poppy motif, which we decided should be signed by as many Members as possible and kept “in reserve” for future use. Due to the low turnout tonight, the collective signing would be deferred until the next Meeting.

G. MEMBERSHIP:

G.1 “Free Lunch”? Regrettably after two years in operation this recruiting initiative had been unsuccessful, there being only ONE new Member joining as a result. It beggars belief that in over two years out of our 75 Members, only one of those was able to persuade one person to join us. In order to record how much the Branch cost to run, the lunch “won” was claimed back BUT it is unclear if this is allowable under RBL’s rules. Russ had asked the question of our MSO.

Secretary's Note: The response was ‘Not a very good idea’!

G.1.1 Despite the above, it was decided to continue the offer with the “Lunch” being paid for from donations to the “Speaker Fund” or by the BMS himself (he did offer).

G.2 New Initiative? It had been suggested that the assembled company be asked for new recruiting ideas but with only a few attending this monthly Meeting, the item was postponed until April’s Meeting.

H.  ANY OTHER BUSINESS

H.1 Data Protection: Members’sensitive information must not to be held on personal computing devices, so anyone who has such data stored is hereby given notice to permanently delete it. That information, where needed by RBL Branch Officials can only now be held on RBL’s own system, to which they have limited access.

H.1.1 DPO: The Branch has decided to appoint Terry Hoyle as its Data Protection Officer. This appointment is not mandatory but is an RBL preference. With the new European Directive on DP coming into force in May this year, such appointments are expected to be adopted by all similar organisations e.g. Parish Councils.

H.2 Branch Link: A person on the County Committee (in our case Colin Waldron, Treasurer & Poppy Appeal organiser of Brackley Branch) will be invited to attend Branch meetings for a two-way exchange of views.

H.3 Legion National "Poppy Shop" Christmas Card Competition: Closing date 3rd May. Terry has said he will enter on behalf of the Branch but Members are also encouraged to enter individually. Although there's nothing about this on the Poppy Shop Web site, all our Members for whom we have e-mail addresses have had details in pdf via that medium, and see also our Notices page herein.

Within that documentation there was a paragraph how TO ENTER: Send your design by email to poppyshopmembership@britishlegion.org.uk or post to Christmas Card Competition, The Poppy Shop, Haig House, 199 Borough High street, London, SE1 1AA – Please include your name and contact details with your design.

H.3.1 Bob has suggested that in the light of last year’s successful School’s Poetry Competition this would make a good theme for our next school’s competition later this year.

H.4 Post WW2/Cold War stories: Philip Badger, RBL’s Membership Development Officer is looking for stories for the RBL membership newsletter; we have suggested three from our Web site, with Russ’s HMS Ocean tale heading the entries. RBL's Membership Communications Officer Dimitra Nikolakopoulou has been in touch.

H.5 Vernon asked that we record the sincere thanks of our three members in nursing homes for the visits made to see them and to say how they very much appreciated them.

H.6 It is with regret we record the death of member Ian from Woodford Halse. The funeral will be at Holy Cross Byfield on Friday 16th March, with Legion involvement to be determined.

J. DATES of NEXT MEETINGS:

Wednesday 28th March 2018 - Pub Lunch 1230pm in The Cross Tree, Byfield.

Tuesday 3rd April 2018 - Monthly Meeting in The Griffin, Chipping Warden 7.30 for 8pm.

Wednesday 25th April 2018 - Committee Meeting 10am at Russ’s place.

Wednesday 25th April 2018 - Pub Lunch in The Griffin, Chipping Warden.

Monday 14th May 2018 – Monthly Meeting, Byfield Village Hall Lower Annexe; Speaker Steve Dimmer with his “Tales from the Trenches”.

Flag Flying Days:

10th March:  Birthday of The Earl of Wessex.

12th March: Commonwealth Day (second Monday in March).

21 April:  H.M. The Queen’s Birthday.

23 April:  St George’s Day

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