William & Shellagh Whyte

Message 32393 · 5 Nov 2002 19:00:17 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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RSCDS AGM Nov 2, 2002

As no doubt everyone knows we were in Aberdeen, and in late autumn one does
not expect much in the way of sunny weather that far North. I suppose it was
only a small gale by local standards on Saturday, but it was impressive
none-the-less. On the other hand the temperature was somewhat mild (say
around 12-14ºC).

The AGM was preceded by a final tidying-up-meeting of the surely un-lamented
Executive Council, which consisted mostly of approving the minutes of
various sub-committees.

The Earl of Mansfield could not attend due to ill-health (this is his 25th
year as Honorary President), so Alan Mair and then Jean Martin conducted the

The AGM itself had as its highlight the transfer of chairmanship from Alan
Mair to Jean Martin. This was particularly apposite in her home town. During
Lana Mair's tenure we have seen a continuation of the changes inspired and
initiated by Linda Gaul, and hopefully we will see this modernizing style
continued by Jean Martin. Noteworthy was the visual evidence of excellent
rapport between the old/new chair and the Secretary Elspeth Gray, which
augurs well for the future.

The transfer of chairmanship had a new tweak in that conforming to the new
constitution whereby the past President makes a clean break in terms of
official involvement in the affairs of the Society, Alan Mair symbolically
left the rostrum.

Jean Martin presented two scrolls of honour and cited others who were not
present, one these absent recipients being Muriel Johnstone who was
receiving her scroll later that very day in the US.

There were three motions, each involving changes to the constitution and
requiring a two-thirds majority. All were passed easily.

10.1 Revisions of the remits of the Management Board and the various
No debate took place; obviously further discussion or change should await
the hard lessons of reality.
10.2 Definition of 'terms of office'.
No debate except that the Montreal delegate made a valid point. The proposer
of the motion stated that the three year cycle of elected members of the MB
and committees would be ensured by awarding three years incumbency to the
top third of those elected, two years to the following third and one year to
the bottom third. However the actual wording in the motion left this
unsaid, probably because it matters only once, and anyway one would like to
keep temporary arrangements out of the constitution. There was one lone
abstainer but no one voted against this motion.
10.3 'Postal voting'
Although there was equally no debate on this matter, it seems that others
shared my thoughts that this motion could have drafted more carefully.
Postal voting, or indeed fax, email or other future electronic arrangements
seem very appropriate for certain items such as voting for candidates to
committees and convenorships and the chair. Other items such as important
financial decisions or organizational changes may well be less suitable for
decision without a debate at the AGM, and yet the drafted motion did not
allow the Management Board flexibility to decide. The motion as it was
drafted makes remote voting available as a right to branches for all
decisions except changes to the constitution. In the event there was no
debate but a number (small) of abstentions and opposants. Apparently the
final motion was an amalgam of the wishes of GP committee and the Executive
Council, and this may explain its slightly messy form.
It is worthy of note that currently the sum of branches produces an
entitlement of about 440 delegates, a figure plainly unlikely to be met in
terms of physical attendees to the AGM. On the other side of the coin
however is the need to prevent the AGM being reduced in importance because
of heavy reliance on postal voting. We shall see at Perth.

Last but not least the results of the voting for various committees etc were
announced, (no small feat in the limited time available) but no actual
voting numbers or ranking was given. This surprised me a little although on
reflection it might well have been embarrassing for candidates (losing or
winning) to have their numbers read out. Apparently the successful
candidates will be informed in writing whether they have been given a 1,2 or
3-year term. The question in my mind is does this meet the appropriate
standards of transparency. I look forward to discussing this in committee
in future.

Excluding the uncontested positions those appointed were:
Chairman Elect - S Adam
Management Board - all candidates less S Adam (see above)
Convenor of GP & F - R Turnbull
The names of the other successful candidates will no doubt be published
shortly on the official RSCDS site.

The two dance events were packed out, and as usual, most enjoyable, so the
weather didn't matter at all !

William Whyte

----- Original Message -----
From: "Stewart Cunningham" <>
To: "Strathspey Net" <>
Sent: Tuesday, November 05, 2002 16:03
Subject: AGM

> Usually someone who attended the AGM is kind enough to give a quick
> rundown on the Strathspey net of what happened. Would it be possible for
> one of those who were lucky enough to be there to let us who weren't
> know of the latest goingson?
> I, for one, would be most grateful. Thanks, in anticipation
> Stewart Cunningham, Vancouver

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A Django site.