The 28th Annual General Meeting of EAB was held on 7 May at the Central Baptist Church, Bloomsbury, London.
Twenty-six members attended, including the trustees.
John Wells opened the meeting by welcoming the members. He later read out a list of members who had died during the previous 12 months and asked for a minute's silence in their memory.
The meeting decided that membership rates should remain unchanged.
David Bisset 76 for, 5 abstain, 4 against
Joyce Bunting 80 for, 4 abstain, 1 against
Helen Fantom 60 for, 17 abstain, 8 against
Ian Fantom 47 for, 17 abstain, 21 against
Edmund Grimley Evans 72 for, 12 abstain, 1 against
David Kelso 79 for, 5 abstain, 1 against
Geoffrey Sutton 74 for, 10 abstain, 1 against
Derek Tatton 76 for, 8 abstain, 1 against
John Wells (president) 80 for, 4 abstain, 1 against
John Wells declared that all candidates had been duly elected.
There were 66 postal ballots, 1 spoiled ballot, and 20 votes cast at the AGM.
David Bisset enquired what percentage of members had signed a Gift Aid form, to which Joyce Bunting replied that she did not have the figure at hand but believed around 60 people had signed such a form.
The discussion moved on to publicity. Helen Fantom commented that it is important that one does at least something; if in doubt she could suggest something. Terry Page asked if we are recruiting enough young members. There was agreement that we are not. John Wells remembered Humphrey Tonkin's small, informal JEB meetings. It was commented that young people meet more often on the web nowadays. Ian Fantom reported that he gets around a thousand hits on his Esperanto Viva website a year but does not know how many are from the UK. He said we needed a fresh approach but gave no details.
Terry said he recently presented Esperanto at two schools, adding that we should not expect immediate positive reaction - an 'incubation period' is normal. Helen recalled similar experiences with Norman William's' initiatives in Manchester, adding that we might exploit the still great interest in language learning. Ian Fantom believed there was divided opinion in the Administrative Committee on the Esperanto Lobby, to which John Wells replied that he was referring to 'old issues' of many years ago and that there had been no such discussion in recent years.
Bill Walker referred to Angela Tellier's work for schools, to which Helen replied that it concerns in particular primary schools. In response to further queries, she went on to outline the present work in Gloucestershire, reporting that primary schools will have to teach a foreign language for four years and, as most teachers do not speak a foreign language already, Esperanto offers them a uniquely advantageous path forward, introducing them to language learning in general and useful aspects of other subjects, such as grammar and mathematics.
It has already been decided that there will be discussions in Barlaston with Jill Ward, Principal of Wedgwood Memorial College, and Terry Page, Jim Voiels and Angela Tellier will also attend all or part of the weekend to discuss their respective fields of congresses, local PR and education.
Contacts with Liverpool University continue, although it is proving difficult to obtain concrete information. All relevant matters will nevertheless continue to be pursued by the Committee.
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