56th Annual General Meeting of The Transvaal Study Circle

The 56th Annual General Meeting of the Transvaal Study Circle was hosted on-line by the Chairman, Chris Board, and started 10.15 GMT Saturday 25th February 2023.

1. Welcome to members

Chris welcomed everyone. Those attending: Chris Board, Lars Jørgensen, Tim Harrison, Barry Larking, Alan Harley, Colin Hoffman, Danna Strydom, Juergen Schraten, Robert Jack.

Apologies received: Andrew Higson, Jeff Woolgar.

2. New Constitution.

One of the main aims of the meeting was to approve the new constitution, coming into force January 1st 2024. The constitution has been available on the website for the last year and comments have been requested from members. The Chairman proposed that the constitution be adopted, which was passed by 8 votes in favour with one abstention (due to not having read the document).

3. Approval of the Accounts submitted by the Treasurer.

Lars Jørgensen ran through the accounts. The balance is healthy. Income is £1,100, but publication of TP, meeting costs and website running costs result in an unadjusted deficit of approximately £1,186. The conclusion is that we need to increase either the membership or the subscription rates or reduce the print run of the journal.

The budget was discussed, based on current subscription rates and a current paid-up membership of 62 (with a few still pending).  Chris Board pointed out that the expenditure on meetings will be significantly reduced using an online platform, but there is also some flexibility in the 2023 budget.

Barry Larking mentioned the discrepancy between the Facebook group membership (over 500) and our own. Tim Harrison and Danna Strydom commented that most of the Facebook members are passive, and that only 15 or so seem to be active. Discussion followed about how to get active members to write up nice material presented on the Facebook pages for The Transvaal Philatelist. The key question is, of course, how do we encourage more members and more interest? Alan Harley mentioned that they have the same issue with the ABW group. No clear conclusion was reached.

The accounts were accepted unanimously as presented. (Editor’s note: the accounts are presented at the end of this post).

4. Increase in Subscription Rates

Lars Jørgensen proposed that the subscription rates for 2024 be increased to £25 for the paper copy and £15 for the digital version to cover increased costs.

Danna Strydom suggested that we may offer affiliation to the Philatelic Federation of South Africa as a supplement for our membership, which also yields a digital subscription of the South African Philatelist. This affiliation is in the order of ZAR125 (approximately £5.60) per individual. The committee agreed that this was an excellent idea and will pursue its implementation in the coming year.

The increase in subscription was approved unanimously.

5. Election of Officers

Chairman: Lars Jørgensen.  Adopted unanimously

Treasurer: Chris Board (on a one year only basis).  Adopted unanimously

Secretary: Danna Strydom.  Adopted unanimously

Editor: Tim Harrison.  Adopted unanimously

The Chairman stated his wish to stand down from this position and take up the role as Treasurer, switching roles with Lars Jørgensen. This switch is necessary because of the requirement by our bank for the officer holding the position to be a resident of the UK.

Chris Board, Lars Jørgensen and Jorgen Schraten believed that the residence of the Treasurer in the UK was a requirement imposed by our bank as a measure devised to control money laundering, which has legal force. The meeting accepted that view and unanimously approved the appointment of Chris Board.

6. Ordinary members of the committee

Robert Jack (consented)

Barry Larking (consented); also consented to do the job of Website Manager and will be supported with all information needed to undertake this important role now that the preliminary stage of establishing the website has been completed.

7. Any other business

Based on Chris Board’s decision that he will only stand as treasurer for a maximum of one year, Lars Jørgensen suggested that the committee be empowered to appoint his successor as Treasurer during the following year should the situation arise. The proposal was approved unanimously.

Tim Harrison agreed to post this request for Treasurer on the Facebook group.

Lars Jørgensen proposed a vote of thanks to Chris Board for chairing the Transvaal Study Circle since the death of Tony Chilton and Acting Treasurer after the resignation of Jeff Woolgar. Support by other members of the Committee was enthusiastically acknowledged.

The meeting was closed at 11.30 GMT.

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