Brookes Society AGM 2019

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 14 March 2019 in Headington Hill Hall


Committee: Clare Fox (Chair), Richard Brown (Treasurer), Laura Bartholomew (Secretary), Steve Ball Catherine Tranmer and Mollie Ashley (temporary University link)

Society members: John Adlington, Richard Bainbridge, Cynthia Bates, Theresa Bentley, Mike Breakell, Jane Carlton Smith, Maureen Childs, Jean Douglas, Albert Eastham, Anna Fraser, Carolyn Gulliver, Hans Hahn, Trudi Harper-Smith, Anne Harrap, David Jones, David Lawton, Tony Lewis, Jeanne Luste Manning, David Mancey, Keith Manning, Donald Marshall, Monique Moreton, Yvonne Newman, Sandy Oldfield, Philip Opher, Eiddwen Sullivan, Beverley Watson, Maggie Wilson and Rob Wondrak

Apologies: Clive Booth, Patsy Clarke, David Duce, Ann Edmunds, Susanna Finch, Roger France, Pat Keene, Laura Spira and Sue Watson

1. Minutes of the meeting held on 7 March 2018 (AGM 19/02)

The minutes were approved as a true and accurate record.

2. Matters arising from the minutes - none

2.1 Constitution (AGM 19/03)

Received for information

3. Review of current Committee and election of new Committee members

The following was noted:

3.1 Steve Ball, Laura Bartholomew and Richard Brown joined the Committee in March last year. Clare Fox continues as Chair and Catherine Tranmer returned to being an ‘ordinary’ member following her time as acting Treasurer. All terms of office will end in March 2021. Laura Spira has stood down owing to family commitments. Sue Piggott has had to stand down due to sudden ill health. Catherine Tranmer has agreed to step in and take over Sue’s coordination of the Society’s events. Clare thanked Laura and Sue for all their contributions to the Society.

3.2 The Constitution states that: ‘In addition (to the Officers), at least three and no more than five ordinary members shall sit on the Committee….’

Following the resignations of Laura and Sue, there are only two ‘ordinary’ members now – Catherine and Steve. Clare urged all members to consider joining the Committee which meets before the two annual parties and usually on three other occasions during the year. Unless there are expressions of interest in joining the committee over the next two years it is unlikely that the Society will continue to exist past 2021.

4. Chair’s report

The following was noted:
• There are 102 paid up members of the Society, a slight increase on last year’s numbers.
• The events the Society ran in 2018 were well supported. The long-planned visit to the Islamic Centre was cancelled at the last minute, however discussions are underway to try to rearrange the visit for the autumn.
• A full programme of events for 2019 has been planned, with details of the first three available on the website. Details of the remaining events will be posted as they are confirmed.
• Hilary Churchley, the Society’s link person with the University, left Brookes last summer. So far no one has been appointed to replace Hilary, but Mollie Ashley from the Alumni Office, has temporarily taken on this role for which the Committee are extremely grateful. Thanks were noted to Hilary for all her work in supporting the Society.
• The University’s involvement with the Society has lessened each year. A Committee member takes the lead on running events, the exceptions being the two annual parties which have to be registered for online.
• It was with sadness that the passing away of Professor Derek Elsom earlier this month was reported.

5. Treasurer’s report (AGM 19/04)

The following was noted:
• The accounts will be agreed and audited at the end of each calendar year.
• There were 98 paid up members during 2018, increasing to 102 in 2019.
• The Committee agreed to set aside a £500 contingency fund.
• Expenses include the Spring party, a few incidentals and some costs associated with the running of events. The University continues to support the Society by paying for the summer party.
• The accounts to 31 December 2018 have been audited and agreed.
• Albert Eastham proposed the approval of the accounts and this was seconded by Rose Woodington.

6. Events report

• 2018
Among the successful events held last year was a talk on East Oxford place names; a walk around Jewish Oxford and one in Thame focused on Midsomer Murders; the summer party in Headington Hill Hall and a visit to the incinerator at Ardley. As already mentioned, the visit to the Islamic Centre is to be rearranged.

• 2019
Events for this year include visits to Christchurch Gallery, Oxford University Arboretum, Hook Norton Brewery, Bothy Vineyard, a walk focused on the development of Penicillin in Oxford and one around the Southbank in London, a Christmas lunch in Brookes Restaurant followed by a talk on Jack the Ripper by Professor Anne-Marie Kilday. Details will be published on the website as they are confirmed.

• Any ideas for events or trips are welcome. Please contact any member of the Committee.

7. Resolutions – none were received.

8. Any other business

8.1 Benefits of membership of the Society
• It was noted that access to the nationwide Eduroam wifi system is only available to current students and members of University staff.
• It was agreed that Mollie Ashley would seek clarification on whether Society members are still eligible to become external members of the University library and if so, able to borrow up to 5 books a year without cost. It was felt that this would be a big benefit to Society members at little cost to the University.

9. Conclusion

Clare thanked everyone for attending the meeting. Albert Eastham thanked Clare and the Committee for their hard work during the year.

The meeting was followed by the Spring Party during which Professor Anne-Marie Kilday, Pro Vice Chancellor for staff and student experience, gave updates on campus developments, the latest round of University rankings, the staff and student experience, the effect of the uncertainty around Brexit, the Augar review and the University’s future priorities.