Minutes of The 35th Annual General Meeting
Certified as true and accurate by Andrew Beresford

Held in the Canaletto Room, The Woburn Hotel, 10.05 am Sunday 18th October 2015

Appointment of Chairman for the Meeting:

In the absence of Peter Beresford BFS006 Ralph (930) was elected as chairman for the meeting.


Approval of Agenda: The main Agenda was approved.


Apologies: Apologies for absence had been received from Peter (6), Douglas (3) and Eric (645).


Approval of Minutes for the 34th AGM: These were approved and duly signed by Ralph (930) as acting chairman.


Matters arising not covered in Agenda: None


Chairman’s Report: This was read by Ralph (930) on behalf of Peter (6).and is appended to these minutes.


Secretary’s Report: Ralph (930) said that he had provisionally booked the village hall at Radley for Saturday, February 27, 2016 for the Witan meeting and that if no-one raised any objections or is unable to meet this date then he would make this a firm booking. Both Harry (292) and Reg (761) are stepping down from their respective roles and on behalf of himself and he felt sure of all BFS members he said a big thank you to them for their time and efforts unstintingly given over many years to enable the BFS to function as a Family Society. He said that it was good news for the BFS that Henry Nicholas de la Poer-Beresford the 9th Marquis of Waterford has confirmed to Peter (6) that he would like to continue with his association with the BFS.


Membership Secretary’s Report: John (659) reported that the total membership stood at 358. The last year’s figures had been very promising with 18 new members. The bad news was that we have lost 26 members accountable for by 50/50 deaths and leavers which leaves a shortfall of 8 but this is not as bad as recent years. He produced a breakdown of where the members live – New Zealand 1, Australia 30, USA 31, Canada 11, Ireland 4, Sweden 1, France 2, Italy 1, Andorra 1, Germany 1, Ibiza 1, Spain 1 and UK 273. This gives an indication as to how the cost of postage is made up. Andrew (95) asked if John (659) could clarify Honorary members in order to help the accounting process. John (659) briefly explained that some were classed as honorary members in recognition of their services to the Society but that the majority of older honorary members still preferred to pay their subs.


Treasurer’s Report and 2015/16 Subscriptions: Andrew (95) presented a written report which is appended to these minutes. The accounts presented were complete except for the closing stock value as many of the books in stock were commercially worthless as they could not be sold on the open market although they did have an important value to Beresford’s in preserving our history and this could not easily be valued. A point was made that whatever figure was chosen it could be modified next year.It was resolved that the closing stock value should be set at £10,000 provided that the published accounts included a qualification stating that they had not been prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in respect of stock valuation.


It was recommended that the annual subscription fees remain unchanged.


It was further resolved to accept the Treasurers Report and also resolved that efforts continue to identify a suitably qualified and unpaid Auditor to audit the final accounts.


Sales Report & Current Stock: Harry (292) reported that the sales stalls at the 2014 AGM saw brisker trading than that of 2013 but the 2015 Spring Gathering was again very subdued. The 2014 AGM saw receipts of £266, an increase of £148 over the previous year whilst the Spring gathering raised just £71. Other sales by post, PayPal and e-mail was relatively quiet. A further 8 copies of the House of Beresford Volume 2 were sold along with 6 copies of Volume 1. Only 6 other assorted publications were purchased plus 39 other Beresford branded goods. A stocktake was carried out on the 15 October. We maintain a healthy stock of most items with the exception of Magazine Binders, Ladies headscarves and gentlemen’s blue ties. At the current level of trading he estimates we have no more than one year’s supply of these 4 items and will need addressing at the next Witan.


Family Research and current data: There was no report on this item but Debbie (685) was asked to speak. She said that she had been helping Brian (7) for the past three years and was enjoying the work involved. She said her main objective at the moment was to get all Beresford’s today attached to the main family tree. She said she had discovered some minor errors on the computer but that she was busy sorting these at the moment and quoted an example. She admitted that some were still not on charts. She said that in the past Brian (7) had been able to obtain many old papers free of charge but although she subscribed to various bodies via the internet i.e. St Catherine’s Index which holds a lot of new information, in order to obtain copies of some Birth/Marriage certificates there was a fee involved.


It was resolved to establish an annual Research Budget in the amount of £250.00.


It was further resolved to make available a sum of £250 be paid to May (7) to acquire the documents and computer software of that value left by her late husbandAcademy Report: No report available.


Website & Facebook: The web site consists of 13 pages and payments are made to Ian Finlayson to maintain and update the site under guidance from the Council


The Facebook page is run entirely by John BFS496 and the Society has no overall editorial control. He was asked to look at issues related to possible copyright infringement.


Magazine: No report was submitted.


The Society as a whole has no overall editorial control over the quarterly Beresford Magazine as the contract with the printers is an entirely private arrangement between the Printed Word and Peter BFS006


It was resolved that Shamanka (BFS1038) be appointed to a newly created role as an Assistant Editor to provide expertise in the area of quality control, data management and proofing.


Events Committee: Forthcoming Events.


Ralph (930) confirmed that at the committee meeting held on Friday evening the weekend of 21/22 May 2016 had been agreed for the Spring Gathering, details to be published in January magazine.


The Autumn Gathering was Reg’s (761) last one as Events Leader as after 5 years he had decided to retire from this role. He said he had taken over after Malcolm had passed away and it was not easy at first but he kept the same format, 2 gatherings each year, but felt that now was the time for someone else to take over as he was running out of ideas and felt it needs a fresh approach. He made some suggestions but said that it would be up to the new events team to decide the way forward. He said how much both he and Betty have enjoyed the gatherings and the friendships they have made more so than tracing their family history.


Finally, he thanked the other members of the events team, Jean (345) and Iris (318) in particular without whose hard work and support would have made his task much harder.


Appointment of Honorary Members: The meeting were delighted to appoint the 9th Marquis of Waterford as President and Douglas (3) as Vice President.


Election of Officers & other Committee members: Nominations had been received by the Secretary and the following were re-appointed – Chairman – Peter (6), Secretary – Ralph (930), Treasurer – Andrew (95), Membership Secretary John (659) and Academy – Douglas (3).


It was further resolved that the Treasurer be allowed to modify the role of Treasurer as he saw fit.


Other Committee Members: John W (496), Iris (318), Reg (761), Peter J (109), Marguerite (1005), Eric (645), Jean (345), Joyce (958), John M (301) were nominated and re-elected.


It was further resolved that Shamanka (1038 be appointed as a member of the Council.


Any other business: Andrew (95) then proposed a vote of thanks to Ralph (930) for being Acting Chairman.


There being no other business, the meeting closed at 12.07.


These Minutes have been Certified as True and Accurate by Andrew Beresford as the most senior officer present and the only competent officer directing proceedings.