Summary of the 2023 AGM
Prior to the meeting a memorial bench was unveiled outside the School of Horticulture in memory of our Past President, Graham Heywood who passed away while in post in January 2023. A sombre occasion attended by Graham's wife Eira and his two sons, Lee and Julian.
Richard Barley gave a tour of the Aquatic Garden and the northern extension beds of the Great Broad Walk. It was a beautiful day and the hottest day of the year.
- 27 members and eight guests attended the meeting.
- Members paused for one minute to remember those who are no longer with us: Harold Graham Heywood, Peter Bridgman, Mike Griffin. Gren Lucas, Rod Peach, Leo Pemberton, John Sales, Tony Schilling, Peter Thoday.
- The Kew Guild CIO met five times during the year. Meetings in 2023 were hybrid with some members attending in person and others on Zoom. All of the meetings were quorate in accordance with the CIO (three or one quarter of trustees).
- The Annual Report and Accounts were distributed prior to the meeting and approved and signed.
- Membership numbers have dropped due to a check being carried out of those who are not paying the correct subscription and these have now been filtered out of membership numbers. There are still 25 people not paying the correct amount and 13 people for which we have no contact information. 147 members are now paying by Direct Debit.
- A working group has been established to analyse the membership offer and scope the future of the Guild in relation to its membership.
- The cost of the Annual Dinner was questioned and Trustees responded that this is being reviewed for 2024.
- We still do not have an events officer or a programme of events for 2023/24. No members at the meeting volunteered to take on this role.
- The Journal received a good reception, and members thanked Ros Whistance for her hard work. The printing of the Journal was not of the best quality and RW will take this into consideration when putting the printing out to tender in 2024.
- Names and addresses were removed from the journal due to GDPR regulations. Some members were not happy about this and Trustees agreed to review this for next year.
- Awards for the year totalled £18,148.
- Maxine Briggs and Colin Hindmarch have been nominated and approved for the George Brown Award.
- Susan Weiler has been nominated and approved for Honorary Fellowship.
- CK announced a new award, to be called 'The Graham Heywood Award'. This award to be funded by donations from existing members.
- Rob Brett stood up as Acting President after Graham died. Rob paid tribute to Graham and thanked the Trustees and Officers for their support.
- Rob Brett was officially inaugurated as President for 2023/24.
- Trustees and Officers were ratified.
- Rob Brett proposed a change to the constitution to reduce the number of trustees from nine to seven. This was approved.
- Dr John David accepted his Honorary Fellowship at this meeting - this is usually carried out at the Annual Dinner but Dr David could not attend.
- Rob Brett announced the new partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society and informed members of the plans for the year.
- Date of next Annual General Meeting: Saturday 7th September 2024, venue to be confirmed.
Mike Fitt, Tim Upson and Chris Kidd
Ray and Ana Harley
Judy Hancock and Sara Redstone
David Taber and Tony Overland
Members at the Coach and Horses