Annual General Meeting of the Shrigley Association
As Secretary to the Association, my chief responsibility at this year’s Annual General Meeting was to deliver my annual report and to present to the meeting the amendments to the Constitution agreed by the committee.
This is the report I made to the meeting:
Following last year’s changes to the organisation of the Association, and the election for the post of Secretary held last autumn which produced a tied vote, I became Joint Secretary, sharing the duties of the post with Joe Lomax. For some time it was unclear how the duties of the office could be usefully divided. The Chairman, Peter Roebuck, asked us to indicate how we would share the task.
The new committee structure set up at the last AGM meant that many of the tasks of running the Association could now be shared using the energy of the group. I informed him that, as Joint Secretary, I was keen to undertake an updating of the members details, offering them a choice of ways of being kept in contact with the Association that met their needs. An Association with an ageing membership cannot rely on those members to attend our Annual reunion in large numbers. I thought a regular Newsletter could be an important part of keeping contact with them, as could the development of the website to be undertaken by Eric Baggaley and Keith Dransfield. This was what I outlined to the Chairman as my first choice of task.
I reported to the Committee at the Glasgow meeting in January and was given the go-ahead to begin the consultation of members, asking them for a return of a pro-forma updating their personal details and indicating the preferred method of contact and level of contact they wished. However, before I clarified in my own mind how I would set about this, Joe Lomax resigned from his post in the middle of February, leaving me as Secretary, so other responsibilities came to me.
Spring Newsletter was sent out, by post and e-mail, in the March, to over 400 members listed in the Directory. Though I had some complimentary feedback to the style and content of the letter, response to my request was poor, fewer than two dozen members replying within the first two months. Even now, after a second Summer Newsletter has drawn further attention to the request, responses amount to only thirty.
I gave the Committee a full report at the meeting held in Great Missenden in July, analysing at the same time the numbers of annual subscriptions paid. It was at that meeting that a redraft of the Constitution was proposed, to address the response of members not only to this exercise, to funding, but also to gatherings and events organised throughout the year.
Before this AGM is a proposed Constitution that I hope addresses these issues. It was Tony Calway, attending the July meeting, who gave us the insight that while there are many with a Shrigley connection, entitled to have that recorded in our Directory, there are far fewer who wish to be active, participating, what we are calling ‘enrolled’ members of the Shrigley Association. We need to know the extent of the latter, to meet their needs with our resources. What those resources are, or how they can be augmented, is being addressed by David Murphy, Treasurer.
I intend to send out three Newsletters next year – in a more manageable form through e-mail, I hope. The Summer Newsletter that went out by mail was addressed by hand and envelopes were endorsed with a return address to be used if the intended recipient was not available. A number have been returned already. As the two postal mailings this year cost £200, half our income from subscriptions, I am minded to indicate to non-enrolled members that mailings will cease unless acknowledged. That does not mean they have to pay a annual subscription to receive further letters, but they should indicate in some way that the contact we attempt to maintain with them is appreciated.
As the report makes clear, the committee has been concerned all year to tailor the running of the Association to the resources we have, to the expressed needs and interests of our members. To this purpose we have arrived at a definition of our target membership as those people, from among all those who are entitled to be members, who choose to respond to our request to become enrolled members. This is not meant in any way to offend the wider community of former Shrigley pupils and staff, but to adopt a realistic stance in drawing up our annual programme and maintaining links with those whom we are sure are receptive to our communications.
I attach a copy of the amended Constitution accepted by the AGM on Saturday 20th September at Shrigley, in which this distinction is defined.
In my position as Archivist of the Association, I submitted this report to the Annual General Meeting:
It has been a quiet and fairly inactive year for the archive this year. I moved house twice and took up the post of Secretary. Much of the Archive was in storage for over six months, but I am now in a position to continue to work on it and make materials available for members. I hope to work with the IT Co-ordinator and Webmaster in putting material on the Association website – www.shrigleyassociation.org. All indications I have had throughout the year are that the website gets many hits and it will be a good place to display materials of interest from our past.
The major success of the year was in arranging for the Lomas and House Shields, which had for a number of years seen little of the light of day since the 75th Anniversary Celebrations in 2004, to go on permanent loan and display to the Shrigley Hall Hotel. The shields look good in the entrance hall surrounding the plaque that the Association had put there a number of years ago.
Also earlier this year the new General Manager of the Hotel asked to see some of our albums and selected a small number of photographs of services in the Shrigley church to be enlarged, framed and put on display on the corridor leading to the Fitness Centre, which is, of course, in the former church. The photographs have been enlarged for us by the University of Ulster Reprographics Department but have not yet been framed or put up on display as I hoped they would be for this Reunion.
Much of what has been passed to me this year for inclusion in the archive is not in fact ‘old’ material, but things of interest generated by our own annual programme. So, for example, some of the things that Paul Barnes produced last year in his tribute to Fr Albert Carette are waiting to be catalogued. This brings me to points I have raised with the association before: what is the purpose and nature of what we are gathering in our archive, what is its audience and where will it finally be placed? I would appreciate the views of members.
The Association generously voted funds two years ago for the maintenance of the archive. With the agreement of the Treasurer the cost of the two Newsletters I have sent out this year have been charged to this money, in effect costing the Association nothing out of its current income, but leaving a credit of £71.12 in the money I hold. This I intend to devote solely to the archive.
I have made some use of the archive photographs in a project Peter Roebuck and I are trying out with a view to marking a big anniversary that comes next year: the 75th anniversary of Don Bosco’s Canonisation and the cutting of the first sod for the Shrigley Church on Easter Sunday 1934. I ask the Association to contribute ideas towards marking this.
There are on display today some of the photographs from the archive and a few copies for your perusal of a document entitled ‘The Shrigley Church: Work in Hand’.
By the time of the meeting, one part of my report was out of date. The enlarged photographs referred to were framed and on display by the time I arrived at Shrigley to check into the hotel on Friday afternoon, thanks to the efforts of Louise Davenport our major contact at the hotel. Unfortunately we are about to lose her, as she is shortly to leave the hotel. Over the last five years she has been a good friend to the Association and was instrumental in arranging for the House and Lomas Shields to be put on display.
If members can suggest ways in which we might celebrate, at our reunion next year, the anniversary I refer to in my report, would they please get in contact with any member of the committee.
26th September 2008