Annual General Meeting Minutes 2012
KENT MASONIC LIBRARY AND MUSEUM TRUST
Annual General Meeting on 15th September 2012 at the Masonic Centre, Canterbury.
RW Bro G. Dearing - PGM
VW Bro R.W. Odd - DepPGM
W Bro A. Notley (Chairman)
W Bro C.E. Boxer (Vice President)
W Bro D.C. Anning (Treasurer)
W Bro E.Baker (Operations Manager)
W Bro A.P.W. Periton (Curator and Librarian)
W Bro J.H.A. Andrews (Secretary)
W Bro M.Bassant (Chairman Association of Patrons)
W Bro R.Evans (Marketing Manager)
W Bro J.N.Lloyd (Committee)
As well as 89 Lodge Representatives and Museum Stewards.
17 Lodge Representatives.
The Chairman opened the meeting at 10.06 a.m. welcoming all present and in particular the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro G.Dearing, and the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, VW Bro Roger Odd. He continued, for those of you that went to the Westgate Hall this morning, I do apologize for the change of plan but it was only three days ago that we learnt the new owners of the Hall had double-booked us. I would like to record two Votes of Thanks: to the management committee and caterer of the Canterbury Centre for accommodating us at such short notice, and to W Bro Eddie Baker who has lost sleep this week overcoming the problem.
I know you are all itching to see the Library & Museum so I will keep this brief - we plan to complete the AGM by 11 am so you can walk next door and have a quick look round.
2. Minutes of the Meeting on 17th September 2011
The Minutes of the previous Meeting having been circulated the Chairman asked these be taken as read. W Bro Anthony Taylor of the Old Ruymian No. 8391 proposed and W Bro Nick Alder of the St. John’s Lodge No. 2753 seconded they should be adopted. This was put to the Meeting and carried.
3. Statement by the Chairman.
You may remember that, this time last year, it was announced that I was to succeed W Bro Roger Waltham as Chairman and that I would be overseeing the redevelopment programme which started in June 2011. At that time, as you may recall, I had a full head of hair and you may be wondering where it has all gone! It has been a challenging year but I must start by thanking all those that have volunteered their time and skills to make the redevelopment possible. There are so many that have given their help and we are indebted to them all, but I must single out W Bros Tony Taylor (redevelopment project manager), Tony Periton (Curator/Librarian) and Charles Boxer (former Chair of Trustees and Hon. Vice President). Their leadership, supported by all those that have volunteered their help, have made the dream a reality. Please join me in showing your appreciation for their efforts. For providing the financial support needed to embark upon the project, I must thank the Province of East Kent, the Arthur Crick Trust and a very generous individual who wishes to remain anonymous. I must also belatedly thank all those that donated monies in the past in anticipation of a redevelopment programme. Without all of them it would not have been possible. We are also fortunate to be in receipt of one or two pledges of future donations to help with specific projects. Our Treasurer has had his work cut out keeping control of the expenditure but I'm pleased to report that, as things stand, we appear to be coming in more-or-less on budget. Many thanks David for keeping control and for doing your best to keep us informed over the rate of expenditure. David also had to manage the day-to-day running costs and he will be reporting on that later this morning. You may also remember at the last AGM, W Bro Mark Bassant announced the intention to launch an Association of Patrons. With thanks to him and his team and, more importantly, the support of all those that have joined so far, the association has made a very promising start. Mark will give you more details under “Any Other Business”. Mark, together with Mac Cheeseman (Secretary), Peter Rhodes (Membership) and Wayne Spring (Events), were appointed at the outset to launch the Association but it is the intention to develop a Constitution to be agreed by the membership. I will say more about this later on when we come to “The Appointment of Officers”. In the meantime, thank you Mark, Mac, Peter and Wayne for your invaluable help in launching the Association and thanks to all fellow patrons for your support. Since the last AGM, and to assist W Bro Tony Periton with his role, we have appointed two assistants to support him. Bro Jeff Davis from Ashford was the winner of the Provincial Essay competition in 2011. His ongoing interest in the library made him the obvious choice to be our Assistant Librarian. I am delighted that he accepted the offer to join the team and his contribution to the development of our new library has been enormous. Mrs Sarah Blatter, our new Assistant Curator, has family experience of Freemasonry. She is the daughter of W Bro David Parker and married to Bro Daniel Blatter (both members of the Valley of Elham Lodge No 6649). Sarah has, for some time, been helping to research some of the information needed for the museum gallery. She has a Master’s Degree in Museum Studies and I am delighted that she accepted the invitation to join the team. Sarah bubbles over with enthusiasm and her influence can already be seen in parts of the new display. The vast collection of genealogical books, kindly donated to the Library and Museum by the Church family, is now housed in a space-saving mechanical shelving system. On behalf of the Trustees, I must record another vote of thanks to Mrs Sandra Bailey and Mrs Sue Ransom who, week after week, have worked their way through the collection and helped to file it in an orderly manner. With thanks to the generosity of the Arthur Crick Trust, the refurbished museum can now proudly make use of some audio-visual systems. These will enable us to display items of Masonic interest using modern technology. On behalf of the Trustees I must thank W Bro Alan Brown of the Old Ruymian’s Lodge No 8391, for his IT expertise in sourcing, installing and commissioning these systems. At this early stage we have had to rely on a few audio-visual materials mostly from other sources but it is our intention to develop some from our own resources here inEast Kent. One such item is already underway - a description of Masonic terms that have crept into everyday language. For this I am grateful to Bro David Pearson of the Septem Lodge No. 7788, who did the voice-over, and W Bro John Greves of the Kingsgate Lodge No. 4882, for the use of his expertise and his recording studio in producing the audio track. We look forward to receiving the finished track shortly. Looking to the future, and to enable the Library & Museum to become a significant visitor attraction - part of the Canterbury tourist trail - we want to open it seven days a week. Many of the existing team have returned but not all, and we have gained some new helpers. However, we still need more volunteers, particularly on Saturdays and Sundays. I would therefore appeal to all Library & Museum Reps; please go back to your Lodges and Chapters, ask for volunteers to help and feedback their names and contact details to W Bro Eddie Baker. The commitment, typically, is one day per month. W Bro Robin Evans, our Marketing Officer, has brought his professional expertise to help raise the profile of the library and museum. Thank you Robin and we look forward to hearing from you later, too. So Ladies and Brethren, there we are. If I have missed anyone that I should have thanked then I am sorry but please be assured that your efforts are very much appreciated. In closing, I hope you will all agree that a tremendous amount has been achieved since the last AGM and we nowhave a real Jewel in the Crown. Our library and museum combines an informative presentation of our past, some interesting images of the present and it has the potential to evolve in future. Please go back to your lodges and chapters and sing its praises. Organise a group visit, may be with the ladies, perhaps combine it with lunch or dinner in the Centre Dining Room? Above all, brief your Lodge Mentors to encourage the idea that all new Brethren be brought here, by their Proposer or Seconder, to see the museum. If they only spend one hour here, they will learn so much about Freemasonry. The same applies from now on to would-be members. Ladies and Brethren, that completes my statement, thank you very much for your kind attention.
4. To Approve the Accounts.
The Audited Accounts for the year ending 31st March 2012 having been distributed, the Treasurer, W Bro David Anning gave his report. The final accounts have been signed off by the Auditors. The Cornwallis lectures brought in an income of £521, and general donations a further £185. The Province of East Kent contributed £10,000 and another £5,000 towards the new computer equipment and software upgrades. In the current year we are to receive £8,000 from the province which represents £1 per capita. The Association of Patrons, at the end of the financial year had contributed £3346, another £2280 has been raised by the end of July. The issue of the water rates has been resolved, the leak was eventually found by W Bro Sid Mills, under the council car park next door. We managed to recover £1,234-89 from Southern and Mid Kent Water. Costs for lighting, heating etc. have been very low as the museum has been closed. The major capital expenditure has of course been the refurbishment of the Museum and Library. The capital for this has been £142,000, made up of £40,000 from our reserves (known as the Edney fund), £50,000 from the Province of East Kent, £30,000 from an anonymous donor and tax relief, £20,000 from the Crick Trust and £2,000 from the Church Family. The expenditure budget for the capital was £132,000 A little over this was spent, because of the demolition and rebuilding of the boundary wall and the provision of gates and railings.
W Bro Brian Meeres enquired about the disposal of the old museum cabinets and library book cases. W Bro Anning answered that these had been sold for £5,000 and the money used to purchase the new movable shelving for the Church Collection.
W Bro Peter Ward of the Catford Lodge No. 3649 enquired if the insurance covered the contents. W Bro Anning replied that the insurance only covered the contents as the fabric of the building was insured by the Province of East Kent, who own the building. The valuation for insurance purposes was carried out by Mr Tony Pratt of Canterbury Auction Galleries.
W Bro Bernard Bullivant of the St. Lawrence Lodge No. 3350 proposed and W Bro George Richardson of the Union Lodge No. 127 seconded, that the Report and Accounts be adopted with grateful thanks to the Treasurer. This was put to the Meeting and carried.
To elect the Treasurer.
On the proposition of W Bro Clive Taylor of the Military Jubilee Lodge No. 2195, seconded by W Bro R. Turner of St. Peter’s Lodge No. 4193, W Bro D.C. Anning was re-elected Treasurer.
To elect the Auditors.
The Trustees, being satisfied with the Auditors, JAD Chartered Accountants Ltd. and wishing to continue with them for the ensuing year, on the proposition of W.Bro. Bernard Weeks-Pearson of the Queenborough Lodge No. 3893, seconded by W Bro Lew Finnis of the Bredenstone Lodge No.8093, this was put to the Meeting and carried.
Election of Trust Officers and Management Committee.
The Provincial Grand Master is reviewing and updating the various Trusts in the Province, including that of the Library and Museum. There are likely to be some changes in the structure of the Trust, W Bro Notley proposed that this item be left in abeyance until after the review of the Trust Deed.
6. Reports of the Operations Manager, Curator and Librarian.
The Operations Manager W Bro E.Baker presented his report.
I would first like to thank the Library and Museum day attendants who have volunteered to continue duties in the museum in this exciting re-opening. We have recently lost some of our volunteers for the Tuesday rota and still need volunteers for the weekends. I would like therefore to ask the Lodge Museum Representatives if they could make enquiries to their respective Lodges to see if we could recruit more voluntary day attendants. Ideally the duty would be for one day per month and, as we are trying to encourage non-masons to become volunteers, if any member knows of a partner or friends that would like to become involved in the Library and Museum please could they contact me. As the museum has been closed for re-design there are no visitor numbers to report for this year. I am just recovering from a sleepless night and two busy days. At the eleventh hour having discovered that the Westgate Hall was double booked for today and with a desperate need that the show must go on I unsuccessfully contacted four organisations in an attempt to identify a suitable venue. Fortunately we were eventually lucky in that the management committee of the Masonic Hall agreed to us using this hall and I would like to thank them for their co-operation. Lastly I would like to thank the Library and Museum Committee and key holders for the help they have given me in carrying out my duties as Operations Manager. Thank you all.
The Librarian and Curator W.Bro. Tony Periton delivered his report.
This time last year I reported that the floor of the museum was strewn with pieces of timber as the construction of the balcony continued and into which had been introduced all the boxes containing the items of the library & museum recently returned from their temporary storage. What a contrast today. We now have the finished product - a library & museum so very different; light, airy, spacious, inviting and above all informative. This has been achieved by a huge team of volunteers who have given their time and the benefit of their considerable skills, selflessly. Thanks have already been given to them and to which I would also like to add mine. I owe a great debt of gratitude to my two assistants Jeff Davis & Sarah Blatter for their unbounded enthusiasm and help in the preparation respectively of the library & museum; to George Richardson for beavering away on the balcony sorting & finding jewels etc for the display cases and in particular to Charles Boxer for his tremendous support in preparing the text and arranging for the production of the graphic information boards as well as taking on the presentation of the display cabinets. This project has always about informing and educating. The Stewards need to support the displays with their help and information while the Library & Museum reps have to sell it to their lodges, to encourage them to visit and take an interest in this their new museum & library. Get them to arrange a lodge visit with their other halves and complete it with a meal at the Centre next door. Persuade them to use the library with its WiFi facility to do research or to just read. There are some 3500 books to browse through. Encourage the newer mason to find out more about the fraternity he has joined. John Hamill in the latest edition of Freemasonry Today reflects that the best thing UGLE did was to open the doors of the Library & Museum in its quest to ‘better inform the public’. We now have a better facility to ‘better inform the public’ so lets grasp this opportunity to do so!
7. Representative’s Points.
W Bro Phil Sayer of the Belvidere Lodge No. 503 wished to have it placed on record the thanks of all present to the Trustees, committee and volunteers, for making the Library and Museum the beautiful place it is today.
W Bro Peter Ward of the Catford Lodge No. 3649 enquired if the disc containing the book catalogue is still current. W Bro Periton the Librarian said this would form the basis of a new system, which will comprise a computer with a data base in the library for any users to consult. This will, however, take some time. W Bro J.Hurdwell the previous Librarian, said he still had about forty of the old discs if anyone needed one.
8. Any Other Business.
The Chairman W Bro A. Notley announced that the next Annual General Meeting would be held on Saturday 7th September 2013, as our usual third Saturday clashed with a major event at the Cathedral in relation to the bi-centenary of the Holy Royal Arch. The Secretary requested all those who had an e-mail address to fill in a form to allow quicker and cheaper communication.
It was requested that the accounts be sent out in advance of the meeting. The Treasurer W Bro Anning agreed that this will be done .
The Chairman called upon W Bro Mark Bassant so say a few words about the Association of Patrons.
It was only last year that I explained how the Association would be set up, how it would be promoted, and it’s future. I am delighted to report to you today that we have in excess of 145 patronages, comprising individual patrons and associate patrons across the Craft, Chapter, Mark, Royal Arc Mariners, and Knights Templar. So far this year we have had a VIP pre-opening, and two ‘Regailing’ newsletters have been sent out. In 6 days time there is our first annual dinner, to be held in the Canterbury Centre. Thank you all for your past support, please keep it up. This will help us to preserve the past, engage the present, and secure the future.
The Provincial Grand Master has given approval that Lodges that take up Associate Patronage can declare this on their summons, for the period for which they remain subscribing Patrons.
The Chairman then called upon W Bro Robin Evans, to say something about our marketing.
It has been an interesting year marketing the Library and Museum for the past 12 months. It has been closed to the Masonic community and the public which creates it’s challenges. My main focus has been on supporting the development team whilst maintaining interest and communicating what has been going on behind the scenes, via the Provincial Communications Team and our Facebook page, which by the way has followers on four continents. The Association of Patrons, which W Bro Bassant has already mentioned, continues to go from strength to strength and as you can see shares a common brand identity with the museum but with it’s own colour scheme. The third edition of Regailing is now in preparation and will be sent out in time for Christmas. A reporter and photographer from Kent Life spent nearly three hours with us yesterday, and we look forward to an article in the November edition of the magazine.
The Chairman called upon VW Bro Roger Odd, the Deputy Provincial Grand Master. VW Bro Odd said he wished to mention three things; the first was the Cornwallis Lecture. The first delivery of the lecture this year was last Saturday, by VW Bro Roland Wade, who spoke on Edward VII and the links between Freemasonry and Royalty. This will be presented on five other occasions. VW Bro Odd urged everyone to hear it if at all possible. The search is on for lecturers to give the lecture next season. The other item was the essay competition, to try to encourage newer and younger members. This has been circulated to all Lodge secretaries to inform their newer members of this opportunity to prepare an essay of up to 2,000 words on any subject they wish, which is of interest to them. The library will of course be only too happy to provide research facilities for this. The winner and possibly the runner up as well will be given the opportunity to talk to one of the research Lodges in Kent, the Hawkhurst St. Lawrence Lodge No. 9690 to arrange a special presentation towards the end of next year at which they will be able to present those essays.
The Chairman called upon the Provincial Grand Master RW Bro Dearing who said it was marvellous to see so many here today, and thanked everyone for coming. He said the reopening of the Library and Museum the day before had been a great day. The Lord Mayor and Mayoress of the City of Canterbury, two Deputy Lieutenants of the County of Kent, one of whom was representing the Lord Lieutenant, the Provincial Grand Master of West Kent, RW Bro Jonathan Winpenny, and the Metropolitan Grand Master, RW Bro Russell Race, were all present. The member of Parliament for Canterbury, Mr Julian Brazier, was also in attendance. Members of the press were here as were representatives of the Library and Museum at Great Queen Street, who are very cooperative and are interested in having reciprocal arrangements with us, so that we can have exhibits here which have been exhibited in Great Queen Street. Without exception, all the guests were extremely complimentary and were very impressed with all that had been done. None of what has been achieved could have happened without a huge amount of work which has been going on for two years, and the Provincial Grand Master thanked on behalf of the Province of East Kent the Chairman, W Bro Andy Notley and all the volunteers. One must not underestimate the amount of time and effort that individuals have put in to make what you are about to see happen. We have had enormous help from Mrs Sandra Bailey and Mrs Sue Ransom in cataloguing the Church Collection. What we have is a magnificent facility. He hoped it would be possible to organise tours so the public can see this wonderful Temple. We have a huge amount to be proud of, it is a magnificent Library and Museum facility and it very firmly puts us on the map. There are not too many libraries and museums out in the Provinces, and this is very well respected by those in London, and it is a great tribute to all of those who have contributed to it. It has cost a great deal of money and the Provincial Grand Master said he was extremely grateful to all those who have contributed. We have had an anonymous donor, the Arthur Crick Trust have contributed also the Church family and a lot of individuals and Lodges. There are 145 current Patrons. RW Bro Dearing said he would encourage as many Lodges, Chapters and individuals who feel able, to support what is here via the Association of Patrons. We do not want to charge visitors to the Library and Museum and it is a key component in terms of meeting the communities in which we all live, so that they can see the history of Freemasonry and other issues relating to Freemasonry. The most important test at the end of the day is how much use Library and Museum gets. Historically, the footfall through the old Library and Museum was very low; he did not believe that would be the future. We have a wonderful facility here for Freemasons but also for the general public. We are recognised by the civic authorities here in Canterbury and are on the Civic Trail. We have the potential to be enormously successful in a number of ways. The starting point is for everyone to return to their Lodges and Chapters and tell others.
The Chairman closed the meeting at 11.10.
Luncheon was taken at the MasonicTemple, Canterbury, under the presidency of the Chairman W Bro Andrew Notley.