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Minutes Open Committee 12 September 2018

An open committee of the MagnaMasters Association was held on Wednesday 12 September 2018 at CÔTE BRASSERIE - ST PAUL'S, LONDON followed by a light lunch.

Attending: Mike Felton, Tony Watson, Simon Archer, Nic Birtles, Roger North, Raymond Layard, Kevin Moore, Mike Davis-Marks (Chairman), Michael Godbee, John Hayton, Martin Miles, Patrick O’Reilly, John Jackman, John Shonfeld, Jim Conybeare, Geoff Lewis, Debby Ounsted, Gwen Rhys, Kathleen Duncan, Richard Herbert, Sir Roger Vickers, Stephen Bernhard, Graeme Groom, Mark Henderson, Ian Locks

Apologies: Jeremy Randall; Patrick Draycott

1 Chairman’s welcome and introduction - Michael Davis-Marks welcomed members to the meeting and thanked them for attending. He said he was standing in for the first time for chairman Jeremy Randall who had a clash of times and sent his apologies. Michael said this was the fourth open committees since we formed in September 2015. With 25 members attending (three more than last year), the popularity of this open form of government was clearly./ The weakness becoming apparent was that de facto responsibility lay with just four officers and it was hoped to broaden this by sharing responsibility more widely.

It would be particularly helpful to find someone willing to take on membership and also someone - and may be some people - to help with the events programme.

Michael said he felt it would be timely for him to step down as vice-chairman: in the last couple of years his time and attention had increasingly been taken up with new business interests so he hoped for a nomination for vice-chairman for election at the agm in November. He understood that the other officers - Jeremy Randall, chairman; Martin Miles, Hon. Treasurer; and Ian Locks’ Hon.Secretary - were prepared to continue for a further year unless of course there were other nominations at the agm.

He said that since we last met we had gin making at the CoL Distillery thanks to Allan Cheesman; the 2017 AGM, wine tasting and dinner at the RAF Club in Piccadilly in November thanks to Patrick O’Reilly; some 140 of us attended a superb dinner at Fishmongers’ Hall thanks to James fforde; a most enjoyable reprise in February of the Westminster College dinner organised by Nick Andrews with a reception kindly hosted by Tony Alston and Mary Foster; a visit in April to the Tower of London organised by Ian Frood; a most enjoyable visit to Tony Alston and Mary Foster’s farm near Stowmarket; in June 45 of us joined the One-for-All Banquet at Lambeth Palace for what was indeed a splendid summer occasion; and we appreciated the invitation for Steve Hodkinson to join him for Cricket at Windsor Castle in July.

The chairman thanked all those who had helped make this all this happen.

2 Minutes of meeting 15 September 2017 were noted and approved. There were no matters arising not covered by the agenda.

3 Financial Report: Martin Miles, Hon. Treasurer, reported that membership in 2017-18 had held up at 100 paid subscriptions; half the subscription revenue of £5,000 had been use to subsidise the highly successful dinner at Fishmongers’ Hall hosted by James fforde and attended by 70 members and their Consorts. Last year’s open committee had been subsidised along with website costs, golf day prizes and printing etc making up a general expenses figure of £1,047 with a surplus of £1407 towards a balance of £5135 carried forward on 30 June. In discussion Martin questioned how the surplus should be handled in the future, for example making a donation to charity, reducing the subscription level or greater subsidy of events. In discussion John Jackman offered the view that PMAs had an active life of about 20 years with the inevitability of declining membership over that time. A healthy surplus to fund the later years would be a major factor in keeping the association active for as long as possible. He urged the meeting to keep subscriptions at their present level and allow the surplus to “drift up” while this was still possible. It was AGREED that this was a sound approach and no change was required to the subscription level for the time being.

4 Upcoming Events (Hon. Sec.): Ian Locks reminded the meeting of the upcoming programme:

5 October - Lunch with Graeme Groom at Innholders’ Hall

9 October - Gin Making Experience at London Gin Distillery

5 November - AGM wine tasting and dinner at RAF Club, Piccadilly


31 January - Fourth Gala Dinner: Drapers' Hall

5 Programme for 2019

The following ideas were discussed at the meeting for 2019-20, those in black indicating likely to be progressed for 2019

  • Visit to CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research. Patrick Draycott ha offered to organise a visit in May/June next year which could be part of a bigger "tour" to Geneva, or just in and out over 48 hours (say). He warns: “As you are no doubt aware, Geneva is not necessarily cheap! If the group is serious about a visit, I will continue my conversation with my man later in the year.”

  • Jeremy Randall had offered to organise a scaled down version of his originally proposed wine tour

  • Visit to York: Mark Hardy. In discussion it was noted that Mark Hardy had not progressed his idea. Mark should be contacted to ask whether he still has this in mind (IL). John Shonfeld offered to progress the idea for autumn 2019 and this suggestion was welcomed. (IL to advise Alan Suggett, MagnaMaster York Merchant Adventurers.

  • Visit to Portsmouth - Michael Davis-Marks. Michael said he would prefer to put this on hold until a future year because of current commitments

  • Ideas for more trade based events (not discussed)

  • Dinner at Lincoln’s Inn: Tony Watson offered to progress for Spring 2019 and widely welcomed by those present

  • Regalia Makers and material making visit, Birmingham - Bob Morrow. Proposal welcomed

  • Sabrage Dinner - Bob Morrow. Proposal welcome

  • River Trip - Jeremy Randall. In discussion Stephen Bernhard, who has a Thames River boat, offered to progress this for June/July 2019.

  • UK vineyard visit - Mike Felton. Possible for September 2019.

6 Future administration of MMA: proposal to formalise committee and share responsibilities for eg membership (including “welfare”), events - and possibly minutes

In discussion following the opening remarks by the chairman,

  • Vice-Chairman: Patrick O’Reilly said he was prepared to be nominated

  • Membership Secretary: Michael Godbee offered to take on the role

  • Events Secretary: There was no offer to accept the responsibility for the role but three members offered to assist namely Stephen Bernhard, Nic Birtles and Gwen Rhys and it was agreed to create an events committee around these offers.

All were thanked for their offers of assistance and it was agreed unanimously to accept these nominations

7 GDPR and future of membership directory

It was agreed that MagnaMasters constituted an exempt organisation within the wording of the Act as a small, social group based on annual membership subscription. However it was noted that a further 20 individuals entitled to be included as MagnaMasters continued to receive emails from MMA. It was necessary to advise all recipients of their right to ask for their name to be removed.

Before the circulation of a further Membership Directory members should be advised of the proposed circulation of the list and given the opportunity to have information suppressed if they wished.

8 Other business

There was no further business

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