AGM 2020 Summary

The Kew Guild CIO Annual General Meeting was held on Saturday 24th October 2020 at 2pm via Zoom

The President Dave Simpson welcomed everyone to the Annual General Meeting of the Kew Guild CIO and explained to members that the Guild are required to hold an AGM and due to the current Coronavirus pandemic, we were not able to hold this meeting in person. Trustees felt that Zoom was the best way to do this, having tested another video conferencing application prior in the year. The President said that the Kew Guild AGM was also about meeting up with fellow members and that it was a shame this couldn’t happen, but welcomed members from outside the UK having the opportunity to join us.

  • There were eight Trustees, three Officers (two non-voting) and 15 voting members present.
  • As is tradition, the President led a minute silence for members who have passed during the year.
  • The Trustees and Officers of the Kew Guild met three times face-to-face and twice via video conferencing during the Presidential year 2019-20.
  • The annual accounts have been prepared, approved and signed.
  • Finances are on an even keel and investments remained steady.
  • Membership as at 4th October 2020 was 322, staying steady under the circumstances.
  • The Events of 2019 Journal was published on time and on budget.
  • The Award Scheme has had a difficult year with Awards not being able to be taken up – deadlines have been extended until September 2021.
  • Prize Day was postponed this year.
  • William Bessler has been nominated and approved for the George Brown Memorial Award.
  • Charitable donations have been made to RBG Kew and to the Arboriculture, Forestry, Horticulture and Landscape Trailblazer Group.
  • The Kew Guild Medal for 2021 is awarded to Professor Mark Chase, FRS who will receive the medal, along with the 2020 awardee, Peter Holman, at the 2021 Annual Dinner. Dave extended thanks to David Cutler, who has stepped down from overseeing the Medal. This will now be carried out by the Award Scheme.
  • Two Officers departed during the year – James Richardson (Membership) and Janette Ames (Archives). A warm thank you was extended to both.
  • Dave Simpson was approved as the new Membership Secretary and Christina McCulloch as Archives Officer.
  • CONSTITUTION UPDATE: Members present voted unanimously to update the Kew Guild Constitution:
    Clause (17) Taking of decisions by charity trustees. Any decision may be taken either:
    * At a meeting of the charity trustees; or
    * By resolution in writing or electronic form agreed by all of the charity trustees, which may comprise either a single document or several documents containing the text of the resolution in like form to each of which one or more charity trustees has signified their agreement.
    Change to:
    * By resolution in writing or electronic form agreed by 75% of the charity trustees, which may comprise either a single document or several documents containing the text of the resolution in like form to each of which one or more charity trustees has signified their agreement.
  • Jean Griffin proposed, and members present agreed that Trustees revisit the Constitution and Byelaws in their entirety to ensure they are up to date and relevant, that we are adhering to them, and to propose updates where necessary.
  • The events itinerary for the year was cancelled and refunds issued. The Ireland trip is still on the agenda but Brian Phillips, our Events Officer, will wait until next year to see what the situation is then. There is a waiting list available if anyone wants to join. Please email events@kewguild.org.uk.
  • Subscription rates will remain at £27 for Ordinary Members and £15 for Students.
  • Stewart Henchie and Alan Stuttard retired as Trustees. The President thanked them both for all their hard work over many years of involvement with the Guild. They will both be sorely missed. Members gave them a round of applause.
  • Richard Barley and Robert Brett were approved as new Trustees.
  • Members voted unanimously to vote Officers as distributed on the Agenda.
  • Dave Simpson handed the Presidency over to Chris Kidd who commented that Dave has had a challenging year with the main Guild events being cancelled.
  • The new President extended thanks to retiring and new Trustees and looks forward to working with everyone. Special thanks to Jennifer Alsop who is stepping back from her advisor role.
  • Chris’s aim for the year is to attract more members and build relationships with RBG Kew.
  • Sonya Abraham asked if the Guild could make the most of video conferencing to provide online lectures. Members thought this was a good idea and will look into this.
  • Cambridge Cottage has been booked for Thursday 20th May 2021 for the Annual Dinner.
  • The date of the next AGM is Saturday 4th September, venue to be confirmed.
  • The meeting was closed at 3.12pm.