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AGM 2005 Report

(from EAB Update 30, Jul-Sep 2005)

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.

Trustees' Report & Rates

The Honorary Treasurer, Joyce Bunting, presented a summary of the Trustees' Report as well as the Financial Report, on which there were no comments. The Trustees' Report was approved unanimously.

The meeting decided that membership rates should remain unchanged.


For the election of members of the Management Committee (trustees), Arthur Sly and Arthur Prent were proposed as vote-counters and were accepted unanimously. The result of the ballots cast at the meeting and the postal votes were as follows:

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.

Charity Bill

Joyce reported that the Charity Bill had fallen due to the calling of the general election, and she outlined possible advantages for small charities when the bill is passed. Edmund Grimley Evans read out information received from the Charity Commission, stating that members have no financial liability. Ian Fantom commented that it is not the Charity Commission who know about liabilities of charities.

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.

Bulonjo 2005

Terry Page presented a detailed report (see elsewhere in EAB Update No. 30). David Kelso proposed a vote of thanks to Terry for his sterling work in the organisation of the British part of the event, which was warmly applauded. He also presented Terry with a bottle of Glen Terence Scotch whisky as a token of his personal thanks. John Wells thanked Terry and Anica Page on behalf of EAB.

Membership comments

There was a general discussion on obituaries, Terry Page querying how one might obtain information on deaths. David Kelso suggested that EAB Update might print a notice requesting information on members who had passed away. John Wells said one could put one's own autobiography on the web.

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.

Administrative Committee meeting

After the AGM, the new Administrative Committee held a brief formal meeting. Due to lack of time, the responsibilities of individual members of the Administrative Committee will be dealt with at the Committee's annual discussion weekend meeting in Barlaston in July. There are, however, proposals that David Kelso deal with 'outside education' issues and that Ian Fantom deal with research.

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.

Books for Africa

A sum of £200 was approved to cover requests from Africa for books. Any such requests are first approved by the African Office of UEA.

EAB website

Special thanks were afforded by the Committee to Vilĉjo Walker for promptly updating the EAB website, which for so long had languished without anyone willing to take it on. The Committee is still looking for someone to take on the task of arranging lecture tours. Is there a volunteer for this out there?

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