ASHCOMBE DORKINIAN ASSOCIATION
THE EIGHTEENTH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE ASSOCIATION
held on Saturday 10th October 2009 at the Reigate Manor Hotel.
The Chairman opened the meeting at 11.22 a.m. by welcoming all the Members and supporters to this new venue.
The Secretary had received apologies from 53 Members: Ray Archer, Valerie Bartlett, Jennifer Bird, Peter Bond, Don Broyd, Bernard Burbidge, Margaret Burbidge, Colin Burgess, Micky Clare, Patsy Cottrell, John Crookall, Jackie Cunningham, Gillian Evans, Pat Fothergill, Jim Gale, Lynne Gillespie, Adrian Gould, Pamela Haas, Wendy Henslett, Les Hitchings, Vera Hoar, David Irani, Rita Jarvis, Anne Lewis, Brenda Macrow, Ralph Mann, Rita Monk, Beryl Moxham, Brenda North, Bert Randall, Margaret Rogers, Peter Rogers, Lionel Rose, Pat Seaman, Chris Smith, Ruth Smith, Molly Walker, and Tom Walker, together with fifteen overseas members, Gerald Burgess and Penny Holmes from Canada, Maureen Collins from Australia, Ash Emery and David Sheppard from South Africa, Alan France, Pat France, and Pat Ruthven (USA), Margaret Fricker from New Zealand, John Hayns (The Philippines), Andrew Kennedy (Thailand), Margaret and Patrick Maule together with Keith Verran from France and Nick Ridley (Malaysia).
The Minutes of the Sixteenth AGM were approved as a true record and there were no matters arising.
The Chairman said he was very sorry to record the deaths of four members and four distinguished non-members during the year under review, 1st September 2008 to 31 August 2009, namely non-members Bert Dawkins, Owen Withers, Hugh Higby and Frank Withers, and members Geoffrey Goldsmith, Peter Weller (a former Committee member) and Tim Edwards (one of our younger members). The committee was especially sorry to lose Robert Miller, a serving member of the Committee at the time of his death; he had made an invaluable contribution. He was an industrious man and we learned just how wide ranging his interests and activities were from the tributes paid at his funeral.
The Chairman went on to say that our year had started with a successful Reunion Lunch at which we were delighted to welcome Hebe Morgan from Australia as our Guest Speaker. In December several of the Committee attended the School Awards Evening at which the A.D.A. Bursary was presented to Anna Yarde. It was good that on this occasion Pamela Spiring was present and saw the inaugural award of the annual Spiring Memorial Prize for Science to one boy and one girl.
The sale of CDs and DVDs, following the Thanksgiving Service for Doc Morgan, resulted in a different tack for the recruitment of new members.
A continuing task for the whole committee is to try to attract new blood to join the committee. The Chairman said he had sent out two appeals to the membership and these had resulted in a number of letters of support and appreciation for the work of the Committee and the production of the Newsletters which play an important part in keeping everyone in touch. As these appeals produced no offers of practical help, your committee spent considerable time and effort looking at the constitution and suggested some minor changes that have now been agreed at today’s EGM.
Nevertheless, this has been a year of consolidation. We are on a comfortable financial footing now as our Treasurer will explain, and the committee has worked well both individually and as a team on all the regular jobs that keep the Association going.
He extended his thanks to each member of the Committee for their part in all this, to Maureen Meier, our Treasurer, who needed to reorganise our finances when she took over some seven years ago – and this she has achieved with thoroughness and diligence. To Ted Hazelden, our Membership Secretary, for his detailed work in keeping the membership records up to date as well as producing all sorts of interesting facts and figures from time to time. To Mike Nicholson-Florence who keeps our website up to date and continues to welcome contributions from members; he is also our link with School and continues to chair the Bursary Award Panel. To Richard Hancock who has served on the Bursary Award Panel and to Gerry Moss for his wise contributions in committee and who will shortly be keeping things running smoothly for us at Lunch. To Nick Ridley who has just completed his first year as Newsletter Editor and whose efforts are appreciated by the membership. To David Mountain, a founder member and previous Chairman as well as being our first Newsletter Editor – we are so very grateful to him for all the effort he puts into this Association – and not least for allowing the committee to meet in his home for the past 8 or more years. And finally to Sheila who keeps the wheels turning!
Ted Hazelden said there was one more death to add to the list, that of Ann Deacon who had passed away in June but whose husband had only recently informed us. We had lost contact with several people but have recently regained contact with Beryl Moxham. Membership today stands at 374.
In a new initiative, members are now sponsoring their offspring as well as their siblings!
On a different tack, he said that anyone having difficulty in receiving our e-mailed offerings could discuss the problem with him after the meeting or make contact with him later.
Maureen Meier opened her report by thanking Ted Hazelden for his work in making the CDs available to members and thus producing a small profit to add to the A.D.A. funds. This was especially appreciated in view of the low interest rates now being paid. Looking back, Maureen said the Association had very little in the way of funds at the outset but today we are viable with a balance on 31 August 2009 of just under £8,000 (which will increase on 1st December when subscriptions become due), all thanks to the hard working committee and help from her husband.
She went on to comment that, although not directly related to the accounts, a lot of money had been collected to purchase a lasting tribute to Doc Morgan and, as a result, a conductor’s podium was made to our specification by a local craftsman and a duet piano stool was purchased. These were presented to the school. Last year, we asked if these items could be on display at the time of our AGM for the benefit of Hebe Morgan. It had been very distressing for Hebe to see the state of dilapidation these items had fallen into and, as a committee, we were appalled.
In conclusion, Maureen thanked Ray Alexander for his services as Auditor.
The Report and Accounts were adopted.
The Chairman announced that Ray Alexander was willing to continue as Auditor and expressed our gratitude to him. Ray’s re-appointment as Auditor for the year 2009-2010 was approved by the meeting.
David Mountain took the chair to oversee the election of a Chairman. He proposed that Lionel Harris should be re-elected and this was seconded by Mike Dobson. There being no other nominations, Lionel was declared duly elected and resumed the chair.
The Chairman announced that Maureen Meier, as indicated on two previous occasions, wished to resign as Treasurer. We were very pleased that Peter George, recently retired, has come forward to take on this task.
The following were nominated:
Vice Chairman: Gerry Moss proposed by David Mountain, seconded by Roger Cullis
Secretary: Sheila Sandford proposed by Marilyn James, seconded by Pauline Brittain
Treasurer: Peter George proposed by David Mountain, seconded by Sheila Sandford
and supported by Maureen Meier
Membership Sec: Ted Hazelden proposed by Sheila Sandford, seconded by Gillian Spurgeon
In the absence of other nominations, they were duly declared elected.
The Chairman announced that David Mountain is resigning from the committee and Maureen Meier offers herself for re-election.
The following nominations for the Committee were received:
Nick Ridley proposed by Hazel Smith, seconded by Peter George
Richard Hancock proposed by Maureen Meier, seconded by Rosemary Dale
Mike Nicholson-Florence proposed by Doug Constable, seconded by John Campbell
Maureen Meier proposed by Michael Jarvis, seconded by Mary McTigue
There being no further nominations, these four persons were enthusiastically elected to serve on the Committee for the year 2009-2010.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Peter Mills said he was appalled to hear about the condition of the two items presented to the School. The Old Dorkinian Football club had failed to get any co-operation from the school over the last three or four years. They presented a Trophy to the school but it has been lost without trace. Peter Mills wished the A.D.A. all the best and is sympathetic towards the Association’s feelings about the school's attitude towards gifts. He expressed his appreciation for the Newsletters and said how important it is to our members and that it seems to be continually improving. The Chairman thanked him for his supportive comments.
John Hayns had sent a number of questions by e-mail regarding recruitment of more members. The Chairman read out the questions and referred to the Membership Secretary’s Report. Concerning a query about failure to recruit new members, the Chairman said the statistics speak for themselves. In answer to the question as to what the Association will do in 2009-2010 to recruit more members, the Chairman commented that all organisations seem to experience dwindling membership and this information had been endorsed by the Committee, most of whom serve on the committees of other organisations as well as A.D.A. The feeling of the meeting was that the Association was already doing its best to meet the “targets” imposed by the questioner.
Richard Hancock said that Hebe Morgan had sent him a copy of the 1969 Carol Concert.
Janet Blackburn said that in light of the information given in this Annual General Meeting, she now wished that she had not abstained from voting for the Resolution at the Extraordinary General Meeting and felt the other abstainers might agree with her.
The Chairman then declared the meeting closed at 12.27 pm, and introduced David Blow, Headteacher, to address the meeting before Lunch.
Mr. Blow said a variety of things had happened over the last year, and especially in the last two weeks. Accent, the school magazine, was about to be published and would feature a recent sponsored walk with lovely photos of this event in which 1300 young people walked across Ranmore Common raising money for the James Rosser Memorial Fund to provide a covered way which will then mean that there will be a covered way between all the school buildings.
Improvements had been made at the Pump House at the foot of the Grammar School drive and, thanks to a new drain, the rainwater can now be taken up to Ashcombe Road to join the main drains.
Surrey has continued to build up links with China. The Chinese Director of Education came over and everything is now set up at high level. Leading on from this, David Blow requested any memories of Archie Barnes and James (“Holy Joe”) Clegg (the R.I. Teacher and a former Missionary in China). A new teacher had been appointed to the school to teach Chinese and she had studied at Durham University (where Archie had been Professor). She is keen to find out more about Archie’s childhood and immense achievements. At this point David Mountain commented that there had been many tributes to Archie in our Newsletter and Mike Nicholson-Florence said information was also on the A.D.A. website.
David Blow went on to say that the O Level and A Level results showed even further improvement on last year; five people would be going to Oxbridge.
This is the last year of Gill Goswell’s career of 33 years at the school. She is a highly acclaimed teacher and was “Teacher of the Year” for the South East in recent years. She is renowned for her drama productions and will put on “Oliver” in November as a farewell. Evan Davies (former student at the school and currently a BBC presenter) has visited the school and spoken to the students regarding careers in the media.
The school now has a wider curriculum and has recently had a Games Day. Other opportunities to come include a visit to Tanzania and a return visit from them in February 2010. A link is being established between Norway, Hungary, Spain and the UK (his wife, Helen, is organising this) and this will take place over two years.
Finally, David Blow commented that the Grammar School building (now called the Ranmore Building) was well built and of good quality with Dorking brick; the aim is to ensure as far as possible that any additional buildings come up to the same standard.
The Chairman thanked Mr. Blow for his interesting review of the year at The Ashcombe before inviting the assembled company to move to the adjoining room for Lunch.
Invited Guest Speaker’s Report
Following Lunch, we were treated to a most interesting and inspiring talk by Mr. Peter King, CBE (DCGS 1956-63) who outlined his career as a Chartered Accountant, coupled with his great interest in and passion for cycling. He described how the two came together, despite two separate bouts of serious illness, to result in his finally becoming Chief Executive of the British Cycling Federation. This had been a large task to undertake as the Federation needed a complete “make over” but the efforts of Peter King and his Team had been greatly rewarded by so many medals in the Cycling section of the Beijing Olympics. His message was to “always aim high” and his talk was very warmly received.