Minutes of the Annual General Meeting
of the Book Collectors’ Society of Australia
(held at 2pm, Saturday, 6 December 2008, at the Summer Hill Community Centre, Sydney)
1 Present: Richard Blair (Acting President, chair), Frances Carleton, Mark Ferson, Elizabeth Fletcher, Tom Fletcher (by invitation), Darel Hughes, Helen Kenny, Shirley McGlynn, Doug Mackenzie, John Newland, Chris Nicholls, Vicki Nicholls, Don Ralston, Graham Stone, Stephen Szabo, Brian Taylor, Ron Ward.
2 Apologies: Neil Radford, Margaret and Norman Hetherington, Rose Smith.
3 Confirmation of Minutes of 2007 AGM: confirmed, moved R Blair, seconded D Hughes.
4. Matters arising:
i. Biblionews index: Nil progress made since last discussion.
ii. Promoting the Society: C Nicholls agreed to draft the text of a flyer and circulate by email to the Committee for comment and finalisation.
iii. History of the BCSA: Nil progress.
iv. BCSA & the Science Fiction Society: Nil progress.
5 Immediate Past Acting President’s Report: the Report is published in the present issue of Biblionews.
6 Treasurer’s Report: the Report was tabled together with an updated Financial Statement to November 2008
7. Secretary’s Report: the Secretary noted that new members who heard of the Society by word of mouth generally commented that they had previously been unaware of the existence of the Society, and hence it seemed apparent that there were book collectors who needed to be made aware of the Society’s existence. He had placed the Society’s details in the directory pages of the magazine Collectables Trader, which was a free service with continuous listing. He had begun to explore the possibility of placing a small advertisement in the Sydney Morning Herald, e.g. under Books in the “Herald Trader” or in the Books section of “Spectrum”. Suggestions were made of adverrtising in the Trading Post. It was agreed that this would be discussed further with members of the Committee.
8. Publication Editor’s Report: the report is published in the present issue of Biblionews. The Editor informed those present that he would not stand for the position in 2010 due to the weight of other work, but would be prepared to see the job through to September 2009 and would thereafter give his successor whatever assistance he could. Acting President Richard Blair thanked the Editor for his superb work in the position for the past 16 years.
Members with surplus back issues of Biblionews are invited to let the Publications Editor know in case they can be supplied to newer members who wish to add to their own collection of issues.
The Acting President moved that all reports be accepted, seconded D Hughes, carried by those present.
9. Election of Office Bearers and Committee
Nominations for: President, Richard Blair; Secretary, M Ferson; Treasurer, D Hughes; Publications Editor: B Taylor. These were all accepted and confirmed by the votes of the members present.
Committee: Frances Carleton, nominated by R Blair and seconded by V Nicholls, was welcomed onto the Committee. Previous members, C Nicholls, J Newland, G Stone, were nominated to continue, and their reappointment was accepted and confirmed by the votes of the members present.
10. General Business
i. BCSA website: Tom Fletcher spoke to this item. He has prepared a mock website with its design based on the appearance of the Biblionews front cover. He encouraged the Society to suggest other websites on which to model the BCSA website. It can be used to generate interest and email from around the world, if that is what we wish. A lot of relevant content is available to which the BCSA website could be linked. It was agreed that it will be desirable to have all issues of Biblionews electronically available on the website, eventually. In the meantime, J Newland said that all the issues which he already possessed in the form of pdf files could be posted. The Committee agreed to continue to work with Tom on the BCSA website, and to communicate further on the most appropriate URL for the website.
ii. Updating of the Constitution: in exploring the possibility of the Book Collectors’ Society of South Australia amalgamating with the BCSA (see next item), the Committee had found that the Society’s constitution, drafted in 1944, needed a thorough overhaul. It was agreed that there were a range of relevant examples available from other societies, which could be looked at and perhaps adapted for the BCSA. R Blair and B Taylor agreed to review current examples and to draft something, in consultation with the Committee and with the Victorian Branch, with a view to it being voted on at the 2009 AGM.
iii. Book Collectors’ Society of South Australia: the BCSSA is a separate body from the BCSA and its execuive has expressed interest in it becoming a Branch of the Society. Our Society’s 1944 constitution provides for this in Section 11 which states that “By a majority vote at a general meeting, the Society may absorb another body with similar objects…” Subject to consideration of any financial or other implications, the BCSA Committee recommends that negotiations be entered into between the two societies. It was agreed that the Secretary would draft a letter to the SA Society’s President setting out these views for the President’s signature.
iv. The Society’s 65th anniversary: this will occur in 2009. It was decided to allow the President to form a subcommittee to plan events or other actions to celebrate the Society’s 65th anniversary, moved R Blair, seconded D Hughes
v. Meeting venues: a number of venues for future BCSA meetings had been investigated by members of the Committee and the President thanked those who had put their time into it. Those present agreed that the Summer Hill Community Centre was a suitable venue for future meetings.
11. Meetings for 2009: the four meetings for 2009 are to be held at Summer Hill on 7 March, 13 June, 5 September and 5 December. The starting time has been moved to 2pm (rather than 2.30pm as in past years).
The speaker for the March 2009 meeting will be Stephen Szabo, who will give his talk on the topic of “Heraldic book collecting with reference to Australia”.