Thursday, 24 January 2013

the annual general meeting

I have survived my first AGM as the beekeepers' Treasurer.  Indeed, in fourteen years of membership I had never previously been to the AGM.  I was worried before the event in case anyone quizzed me too hard about the breakdown of membership fees between money retained at the local level, and subscription income raised on behalf of the county and the national association and passed over to them during the course of the year.  All I've done is pay the invoices sent to me by the County Treasurer, but I don't understand the relationship between the breakdown the way I did it for 2012, and the way the previous Treasurer did it in 2011.  Fortunately nobody asked about that.  I had a fall back position, if I had been given a hard time from the floor, of agreeing sadly that I was an inadequate Treasurer, and suggesting that my inquisitor might like to take the job on.

Everything else passed smoothly as well.  The new Chairman is in place, as is the new Vice Chair, Technical Officer and Librarian.  The new Librarian is me.  I haven't told the Systems Administrator about that yet.  We have so many books in the house already, a few dozen more won't make any difference, and since I go to most meetings I'm well placed to dish them out to people who want to borrow them.  Mostly, nobody does, but there again most members don't know that we have a library.  The space under the spare bed where I thought I could house the library in plastic boxes is currently occupied by an old mattress that got shoved there to get it out of the way, so I am going to have to own up to being the new Librarian since I'll need the SA's help to take it to the dump.  It's probably good to be forced to get round to getting rid of the mattress.

A new member who joined at the start of this year was slightly startled to find himself volunteering to join the Committee as New Members' Representative.  When a group of people have belonged to a club for years they don't always realise what new members might find confusing or intimidating, so having someone on hand in Committee meetings to put the newcomer's point of view seemed a good idea.  Apart from him, and one volunteer from the floor who I don't remember ever meeting before in my life, other appointments were sewn up well in advance, and there wasn't even the ritual of proposing and seconding that the music society goes through.

After the formal proceedings we had a tutorial on how to run a public honey tasting hygienically, from the member who runs the tasting at the Tendring Show.  If you don't watch your visitors very carefully it can rapidly become horribly insanitary, with people dipping spatulas they have licked into a second jar, or dropping dandruff into the pot while inspecting it.  She runs a very tight ship at the Show, and is extremely firm with would-be tasters, but the more I hear about the things that can go wrong, the less I fancy public tastings of most food-stuffs.  It's like those Bombay Mixes they offer in takeaways while you wait for your order.  Best not, stick to eating them at home with your friends.

The next Committee meeting is scheduled for 14 February.  The new Chairman is fizzing with ideas about name badges, fixing meetings further in advance, new joiner's packs and all the things that have been talked about while making zero progress since I've been on the Committee.  None of us minded it being on Valentine's Day, which must say something about the stage of our lives we've all reached.

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