This Constitution was agreed at the 2009 EGM but it was also agreed that the Committee should revisit the text in the light of the numerous suggestions aimed at clarifying, improving and correcting what was there. Your Committee therefore has considered the points which were raised, including further suggestions sent to the Secretary, and produced a set of proposals which we think are not contentious but will require to be submitted to an AGM for approval. That approval will require a two- thirds majority of 40% of the membership voting at the meeting or by proxy. However, we know from direct experience the impracticability of debating constitutional detail at an AGM but you also made it clear that you would want wider consultation on content beforehand.
So this is what we propose to do. We do need to minimize costs so the President will write directly to those who have sent letters or suggestions. For everybody else, the proposals will be put on the web site and also e-mailed to every member for whom we have an address with a plea that you pass the material on to anybody you know who is interested but not equipped to receive the material in e-mail format. One way or another, we think this should catch everybody who is interested. Of course, the final papers for the AGM will be circulated in the normal way.
It should be stressed that we are not reopening the debate about the major constitutional changes agreed at the EGM but we agree that they should be reviewed at a later date to see how they have worked. This exercise is solely about clarifying, improving and correcting what has already been agreed – as you requested at the E.G.M. Our intention is to facilitate the passing of what we think will be five motions at the next AGM, four of which we think are substantive enough to stand in their own right, and one which will be a conglomeration of detail, clarifying by additions and resolving typos. All the suggestions for areas of change have come from members, not from the Committee, and we commend them to you.
The closing date for submissions to the Secretary on these proposals is 31st December 2009.
The Committee, November 2009
Proposed Constitution Changes
Proposals to clarify the 2009 Constitution agreed at the May 2009 EGM.
In paragraph 3, OBJECTS, to replace ‘intercourse‘ with ‘well-being.’
This does not reflect a change of life but perhaps one of style! The term ‘ intercourse ‘ was a carry over from the 1901 Constitution but numbers of you felt that it was no longer appropriate. The most popular suggestion was the replacement above with which your Committee was in accord. Since our Objects are so fundamental to our purpose as an organization, we thought that this should be a motion in its own right.
In paragraph 6, GOVERNANCE, to replace ‘8‘ with ‘10‘ elected members.
A frequently expressed concern was that co-options could outnumber elected members. This increase was suggested as a way of mitigating that risk as well as balancing the Officers with elected members. We had reduced the Committee numbers on the grounds that they were unwieldy but your Committee felt that this was overridden by the concerns about co-option.
In paragraph 6,GOVERNANCE, to add-‘The Accounting Year for the Club will be the Calendar Year to the 31st December.’
This is the current position but we agreed with those who proposed that it was a significant item deserving formal recognition.
In paragraph 7, ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING, to add after Elect President and Vice President and other officers of the Club and elect 50% of the Committee – ‘who will take office on the next Founders’ Day‘.
Numbers of you pointed out that appointing the Committee from the time of the AGM but the President at Founders’ Day was attractive in ceremonial terms but anomalous in practice. Your Committee strongly endorse the conjunction of handing over the chain of office and the passing of the rose on the same day because that as a tradition, even if relatively new, made it an occasion to be prized and maintained. Therefore, taking a page from American Presidential elections, we propose on the basis of logic and simplicity that all those elected take office on the next Founders’ Day.
To substitute, add or delete as appropriate the following amendments throughout the 2009 Constitution document: (your Committee believes the rationale behind these suggestions to them and the errors pointed out by members is self-evident when seen in context.)
In paragraph 1, DEFINITIONS – The Committee……..in general meeting INSERT, ‘that is the Annual General Meeting or an Extraordinary General Meeting,’
Independent Examiner….the person appointed INSERT ‘by the Committee’ to examine annually the DELETE ‘books’ INSERT ‘current financial records’ of the Club….
In paragraph 3, OBJECTS – c. the promotion of the school INSERT, ‘its institutions and any of its members’.
In paragraph 4 , SUBSCRIPTION Members INSERT ‘and single Associates’ shall and INSERT ‘ other ‘ Associate and Life Members may pay…..as circumstances may warrant INSERT ‘ : ‘such member…
Subscriptions …… by 31 January INSERT ‘ for each year.’
In paragraph 6 , GOVERNANCE In the event that…..until the next following DELETE ‘ AGM ‘ INSERT ‘ Founders’ Day.’
Add ‘ The Committee will also appoint the Independent Examiner subject to confirmation at general Meeting.’
In paragraph 7, ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING –Add ‘ Receive the Report of the Chairman of the Bursary Fund.’. Confirm the appointment of the Independent Examiner. ‘
In paragraph 8, EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETING …entitled to vote and INSERT ‘ be ‘ present in person’.
In paragraph 9, VOTING AT MEETINGS Any INSERT ‘any paid-up ‘ Member or Life Member present…
In the poll, INSERT ‘ all ‘ proxy votes INSERT ‘ must ‘ be counted.
In paragraph 10, AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION .. DELETE the brackets around 40%
In paragraph 12, DISSOLUTION.. DELETE ‘ cy-pres, or ‘ ……..
In THE FIRST SCHEDULE Treasurer. The Treasurer is responsible for….the settlement of bills DELETE ‘ . ‘ INSERT, ‘and the safekeeping of all monies and all documents and records representing financial value whether in paper or electronic form. ‘
(There were other suggestions which your Committee rejected either on the grounds that we disagreed with them e.g. he/she throughout or that we were confident that they were satisfactorily covered in the existing or changing text.)