|Report of the Annual General Meeting, February 20
PRESENT: Twenty members were present; apologies for absence were received from nine members.
Chairman: The Deputy Chairman welcomed members and was especially pleased to see the return of Cyril Defriez (ESC 172), and Pauline Gittoes (ESC 662). Minutes of the last AGM were considered; no matters arising. He reported an interesting year, with two members visiting the Canal Zone in springtime; followed by the attendance of double-figure number of members at the Cairo exhibition masking the 150th anniversary of the First Issue.
Secretary: The Secretary reported on the great success of the Cairo visit, and the advent of our Facebook page, with grateful thanks to Hani Sharestan (ESC 595), which it is hoped will boost interest in the Circle and its membership. Members present were asked whether they had viewed the page: the response was lamentably few. An online poll revealed however that eight members of the page wished to join the Circle: we hope to be able to welcome them soon. Over the year (and before 2016 subscription payments had been taken into account), we had a net gain of four member and now stood at 176 members.
The Circle apologised for the lack of publicity for the MacArthur Award, but congratulated nevertheless the awardís deservedly going to Dr Amr El-Etreby (ESC 688) for his deeply researched article (QC 255, pp.173-85) on the 2m/3m (1915 Provisional Surcharge. We hope to see more articles from him in the future.
Accounts: The accounts were presented by the Treasurer, showing a reduction from £6,539.45 to £4,919.3 in income for the year, largely as a result of less flow of funds from the Auctions, but balanced by a reduction in the costs of printing and posting the four issues of the QC, from £3,680 to £2,794. Overall, the Circle started the year with a surplus of £18,866 against £17,727 in 2015. Future accounts will present a more considered valuation of the New Issues collection and Library. Adoption of the accounts was proposed by Richard Wheatley and seconded by Sami Sadek; a vote of thanks to Stephen Bunce for preparing the accounts was proposed by Brian Sedgley and seconded by Paul Green.
Editor/Webmaster: In his absence, the Editorís report was read by the Secretary: it revealed understandable frustration that preparation of the QC was hampered by an almost complete dearth of offers of articles by members. The Editor described the cupboard as bare and proposed that publication might have to be reduced to occasional articles on the website alone, and that membership should no long include publication of a printed magazine, simply because so little material was offered by members. Officers appealed to members at home and abroad to help the Editor by providing articles, and that they be supplied by email rather than as photocopies: translating illustrations from printouts of a computer-article not only diminished the illustrationís quality but also wasted the Editorís valuable time on converting: printout articles are unlikely to be considered for publication. A small sub-committee of Mike Murphy, Neil Hitchens and Sami Sadek will consult with Edmund and seek his advice on planning the way ahead in light of his serious illness.
Librarian: the Librarian urged members to use the very extensive range of books and other material available and reported that a new Library List was being planned.
Officers: Hani Sharestan was elected Facebook co-ordinator and Neil Hitchens to the Committee. The question of Antipodean Agent after the death of Tony Chisholm will be considered further.
Other business: The Secretary reported that good relations had been restored with the Cairo Philatelic Bureau and that the future of the New Issues service will be further considered in July. The next AGM will be on February 18, 2017, coinciding with Stampex
The Live Auction that followed resulted in 119 of the 201 lots being sold (59 %), with preliminary results showing 50 lots (£1626) sold in the room and 69 lots (£2072.50) to email bids. This should produce a commission of £505 for Circle funds.