IBM RETIREES CLUB - MIDLANDS
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 18TH MARCH 2004
Present: Jean Eysenck [Chairman]
Barry Wiggins [Treasurer]
Gordon Jones [Membership Secretary]
Carole Robertson [Secretary]
Apologies: Brian Wilson
Tom and Liz Corkill
Welcome by Chairman
Jean welcomed everyone  to the meeting. Jean thanked the Committee for their hard work during the past year and wished the Club continued success. It is reported that the Midlands Retiree Club is the most active in the UK with at present 371 members, including associate members.
Review and Approval of last year's minutes
First and foremost apologies are due to John Smith who most certainly attended last years AGM. Ken Hope made reference to the Pensions Sub-Group which he volunteered to run but admitted that he had received no response. These minutes were proposed as accurate by Harry Cohen and seconded by Harry Green.
Having been on the committee as member and later Chair since its inception 13 years ago Jean thanked everyone for their support and said how much she had enjoyed the experience. The past year had passed very quickly with a full programme of events all received very well. A copy of the Chairman's Report is attached to these minutes.
As ever Barry Wiggins gave us a lively presentation and stressed that the Committee had managed to avoid a surplus in funds at the end of the financial year. This had been achieved by two extra events being organised during the fourth quarter of 2003. The only event which received a disappointing response was Ladies Day at Ascot. In addition the cost of postage for hardcopy Newsletters had given us cause for concern during 2003. Gordon Jones as Membership Secretary worked hard to reduce our hardcopy distribution list over three months by a third to 32. Many Emails were exchanged by a number of Committee members but eventually Rick Paslawski managed to track down and persuade the Location Services Manager that with only 32 members now receiving their Newsletter hardcopy via second class post his ODB number would not be hammered too heavily.
Barry reported that a total of 510 attendances had been recorded for 2003 but this was lower than 2002 and 2001. A copy of the full Treasurers Report is attached to these minutes as audited by Keith Jones and Co, Kenilworth, together with a single sheet showing Event Funding Analysis. The Treasurers Report was proposed as accurate by Brian Chilver and seconded by John Calladene.
Election of Officers
Jean confirmed that both she and Brian Chilver were standing down. Brian and Jean had both been instrumental in creating the Retirees Club Midlands some twelve years ago. Indeed one of the first meetings had been held at Brian's home in Evesham. It was announced that Ray Castle had been invited to become Chairman after the AGM by the Committee in February [Barry Wiggins, Brian Chilver, Gordon Jones, Brian Wilson, Iain Hewitt, John Smith, Rick Paslawski, Carole Robertson].
Allowing for the two vacancies on the Committee Tony Mancell was proposed by John Smith and John Stanley by Carole Robertson. Unfortunately the temporary loss of computing power by the Secretary meant that an Email from John Stanley dated 16th March confirming his wish to stand but apologising for missing the AGM at Warwick was received too late. My apologies to John Stanley, clearly the week of the AGM is not the time to upgrade a computer. John's note will be passed to the Committee today 19th March. No objection was raised at the meeting to these appointments. Ann Hope had expressed a wish to serve on the Committee and this has been noted.
Barry Wiggins asked for a vote of thanks for Brian Chilver who had given us over the years invaluable assistance with an impressive list of contacts in IBM and allowed us the benefit of his comprehensive company knowledge, to say nothing of the many trips to the Upton Jazz Festival. A big thank you to Brian.
Barry then asked for a vote of thanks for Jean for all her work as Chairman over the past four years, notably the Christmas and Summer luncheons, always the best attended events in our diary. Not forgetting her negotiations with IBM Management over the years and her endeavours to get a Retirees National Committee formed. A bouquet of flowers [in Jeans favourite colour] was presented by Carole Robertson as a token of our appreciation.
Andy Smith - Secretary of the IBM Club Warwick
To close this AGM Andy Smith Secretary of the IBM Club Warwick gave us a very informative presentation on Organisation and Administrative Issues of Funding.
Andy started by confirming that he is also Secretary of the IBM Club National Committee, which meets three times per year, usually at Stratford on Avon.
Andy explained that the pressure of working for IBM is still as frantic as ever and without the aid of Lotus Notes and a totally electronic communication chain the IBM Club Warwick would not exist. Ken Williams himself a retiree acts as Treasurer for Warwick Club. Any Retirees can apply to be added to the Warwick Club distribution list by sending an Email to email@example.com. Harry Cohen asked if our web site www.retireesmidclub.org.uk could shadow www.warwick.ibmclub.org.uk. This will no doubt be followed up at the next Committee meeting.
It was confirmed that whilst Retirees enjoy the benefits of the IBM Club Warwick Sub Sections, i.e. Theatre Plus, Rambling there is no reciprocal arrangement for IBM employees to participate in Retiree events. Andy stated that all Retirees can participate in any event organised by any Club in the UK. It was also pointed out that funds from IBM of £25 for each retiree would go to the local IBM Club if there were no Retirees Club close by.
Joan Suckling again raised the question of the Ireland trip organised by John Smith. Complaining that she feels at a disadvantage receiving the Newsletter [which includes any event booking forms] in hardcopy form compared with those members who use the Internet. John Smith strongly repudiated any unfair booking procedures and cited a delay in decision making for missing the event cut off. A suggestion was made that when advertising events a "start as well as a cut off date for booking" should be published. Another was that the Editor should not release the Newsletter onto the Internet until the Secretary confirms she has travelled to Warwick [a return journey of some 26 miles], photocopied and mailed the hardcopy Newsletters. Brian Chilver countered by suggesting things were becoming over complicated and Iain Hewitt suggested those on the wait list for Ireland should consider our planned trip to the Eden Project later this year, which still has vacancies.
Jean thanked everyone for contributions and closed the meeting at 1.15.
Next AGM to be called March 2005.
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