There is little that strikes fear into the heart of an organisation’s membership more than the mention of the AGM! The same thought flickers across everybody’s face: will I be asked to do something? The eyes stare off into the distance as individuals calculate the possibilities. I’m sure, for some, last night’s AGM at Whitchurch Photographic Society was no different but you wouldn’t have known it: there was a strong turnout, many constructive comments from the floor and the great atmosphere we have come to associate with club evenings was there in bucket loads.
John Edge gave us an inspiring opening speech which reminded us of the history of the Association and then the current Chair, Howard Hilton presented his report, a look back at a year that started with controversy and then ended on such a high note. You can read Howard's full report here:
Libby Middleton’s Secretary’s report reminded us of what an important role the secretary has and everybody showed their appreciation of how hard she has worked away in the background so that the club nights run smoothly.
Keith Roberts gave a positive finance report: the Association is on a firm footing, he paid tribute to his predecessor, Paul Hayward, and he set out the way forward with an emphasis on encouraging new members and he highlighted the role of fund raising activities.
Geraldine Stephenson gave the Competition Secretary’s report and highlighted the successes of the club in 2013-14; a great place from which to approach the year to come. The role of Fred Cooper, who couldn’t be there last night, was recognised together with his encyclopaedic knowledge of the club’s competition performance over the years.
Chris Middleton was unable to attend last night because of work commitments but I think I can safely say, as someone who has worked closely with him over the last 12 months, that the IT side of the Association which Chris manages so well is in good shape. With the HD projector and the Dichronic competition software working well so that our PDI competitions are as good as any association can expect to be. If we had a wish list I suspect that a permanent mount for the projector and screen would be in there somewhere; we’ll see.
The election of the new committee followed and the membership were kind enough to re-elect the current team for another year. Howard Hilton relinquished the role of Chair which he undertook on the understanding that it would be for one year only: Howard has done an excellent job under difficult circumstances and that we are where we are is largely down to his efforts. In his place Paul Nash has taken on the role of Chair and it was down to him to finish the process of electing the committee and then to close the meeting.
Under Any Other Business the membership considered the subjects for next season’s Portfolio Competition and the committee has been charged to look again at how subjects like portraiture can be made more accessible to encourage new members to take part. The Association is going to bulk purchase and pre-cut mounts to help members with print submissions. An initiative from the President, John, will see additional club nights on the last Tuesday of every month during the closed season so that members can share expertise and resolve questions; a first for the Association which was well supported by the membership. There was a reminder to members to think about submissions to the Festival Drayton Exhibition, closing date is the Chariman’s Evening on the 23rd September and any members submitting for the first time are encouraged to bring any questions about entries to Libby or another member of the committee.
Finally Chris Goody outlined the upcoming auction which will take place at the Social Evening and Presentation on the 6th May. Details of the items for sale will be posted on the website and members will be alerted via e-mail throughout the course of this week. Anybody who has an interest in a particular item but who is unable to attend the event can put in a proxy bid to Chris Goody.