EAB's 27th Annual General Meeting was held on 1 May in the Marlborough Hotel, Felixstowe, during the British Congress. Before around fifty members, trustees Edmund Grimley Evans (President and meeting chairman), Joyce Bunting (Hon. Treasurer), Geoffrey Sutton (Hon. Secretary), David Bisset, Helen Fantom, Derek Tatton and John Wells were present.
The Trustees' Report was published in issue 25 of EAB Update, together with the Financial Report, and the AGM Agenda was sent out as an insert in the same issue; the Minutes of the previous AGM and copies of the Annual Financial Statement were distributed at the meeting.
Edmund Grimley Evans opened the meeting by reading out the names of members who had died during the past year. There followed a minute's silence.
Edmund proposed to add an item to the Agenda, enabling the vote on the constitutional amendments. The lack of the item was an oversight by the Secretary but it had been fully set out in EAB Update , and comprehensive proxy voting-forms, covering the constitutional options, were sent out with La Brita Esperantisto (i. e. to all members with voting rights). Helen Fantom read out a statement by Ian Fantom concerning this oversight. The Chairman's proposal was seconded by Eric Walker and accepted unanimously by a show of hands.
Apologies for absence were received from Ian Fantom, June Miles, Grahame Leon-Smith, Stephen Thompson and Jack Warren.
Joyce Bunting, presented a summary of the Trustees' Report as well as the Financial Report. Both were approved unanimously.
It was also agreed to keep subscription rates unchanged.
Michael Seaton and Bill Simcock were proposed and accepted unanimously as election vote-counters. There followed the voting for members of the Management Committee and the proposed amendments to the Constitution, which was carried out by secret ballot. Many thanks to Michael and Bill for undertaking the laborious task of totting up the votes, the results of which they read out at the end of the meeting.
All the nominees were elected, and all the amendments to the Constitution accepted.
While the votes were being counted, members discussed the Resolution proposed by Ian Fantom and Stephen Thompson (EAB Update No. 25). Helen read out a statement by Ian Fantom, and the full text of the resolution was read out. Joyce Bunting summarised the Management Committee's reply, previously printed in the same issue of EAB Update . Paul Gubbins pointed out that EAB have considered the resolution so we had already done what the resolution requests. Eric Walker advised voting against the resolution as a new type of organisation is to be proposed by the Charities Commission. Kate Hall agreed that we should await the new Charities Act. Bill Walker commented on the subject of debt, stating that only the trustees have responsibility and liability [correction; that statement was not made by Bill Walker]. It was agreed that it was an interesting point whether members were in some way liable. The Treasurer replied that EAB does not carry any substantial debts, and financial matters are dealt with in the simplest possible manner. However, the Management Committee agreed that it would nevertheless look into the matter further in a way that would not incur unnecessary legal fees. Eric Walker added that he disliked the idea of a registered company as members would then have to be registered, and there would be additional administrative burdens. The resolution was voted on by a show of hands: None for, and 6 abstentions.
During the traditional 'Comments and suggestions from the membership' there was a complaint that there was not enough informative literature to hand out. Helen Fantom explained the present situation, adding that more was on the way. It was asked what plans there were for the EAB website. Helen replied that the matter was being discussed; Matthew Tellier was praised for the site on education.
Eric Walker spoke on his plan to revive the 'Konsila Komisiono' as a moderated informal Internet discussion group; the Administrative Committee of EAB had already asked Eric to go ahead with this. Helen asked members to contact her in order to help promote Esperanto as a 'bridge language' in the European elections. Due to the demise of several federations and groups it was suggested that members meet in informal groups for a meal.
Votes for the Committee:
David Bisset: For 79 Abstain 7 Against 4
Joyce Bunting: For 88 Abstain 1 Against 1
Helen Fantom: For 73 Abstain 11 Against 6
Edmund Grimley Evans: For 84 Abstain 4 Against 2
Geoffrey Sutton: For 81 Abstain 9 Against 0
Derek Tatton: For 85 Abstain 4 Against 1
John Wells (candidate for Pres.): For 88 Abstain 1 Against 0
Votes for amendments to the Constitution:
(1) For 77 Abstain 7 Against 5
(2) For 75 Abstain 10 Against 4
(3) For 73 Abstain 13 Against 2
(4) For 78 Abstain 7 Against 3
(5) For 82 Abstain 6 Against 1
(6) For 72 Abstain 14 Against 3
(7) For 82 Abstain 4 Against 3
(8) For 74 Abstain 12 Against 2
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