'A Day in Sevenoaks'

33rd AGM and Family History Day
21st May 2011


Sevenoaks Community Centre


The 33rd Annual General Meeting of the North West Kent Family History Society was held at Sevenoaks Community Centre, Otford Road, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN14 5DN.



This was the programme for the day:

9.30amRegistration and Coffee
10.00amWelcome by the Chairman, Walter Eves
10.15amA talk from Bob Ogley (Author of "In the Wake of the Hurricane" about the great Storm of 1987 and how it affected people in Kent) on Kent in the 19th Century
12.00 - 12.35pmAnnual General Meeting
agm 2011
The AGM was attended by Jean Stirk, President, and 92 members. Jean introduced the Society Officers. Christina Barnett, deputising for the Secretary was then asked to convene the meeting. The main items were as follows:
Minutes of the 32nd AGMApproved without comment. You can read them here.
Matters ArisingNone.
AccountsTreasurer Isabel Leslie stated that the income of the Society for 2010 shows a downturn on previous years but overall the underlying finances of the Society remain sound. Throughout the year, the Society has continued to fund the full programme of branch meetings as well as making further investments in the library facilities and activities.
As a Society, we are still committed to investing in the conservation of records and archived documents and further monies have been allocated in this year’s accounts for in hand project work.
The Society is grateful for the effort in processing our major income streams by the Membership and Renewals Secretaries and the Publications and Projects Committee together with the other Volunteer taskholders who help keep administrative costs at a low level.
Report of the CommitteeA detailed report had already been circulated to members with the March 2011 journal and can also be read here. There were no comments or questions from the floor. Walter Eves, Chair, updated his report for the first few months of the year and said that the newly formed workshops were looking promising and the Taskholders meeting held in March had worked well and produced a number of good ideas on the Society’s way forward. The web site and journal were excellent.
Josephine Birchenough Bursary AwardPrizes were awarded in respect of 2010 journal articles. Jean Stirk spoke of the quality of the articles. She and the Vice Presidents were very pleased to see more family trees and details of sources. £50 was awarded to Colin Watkins, £20 each to Linda Dale, William Rogers, Cliff Scottow and Edwina Higgins and £10 each to Keith Whitemore and Gaynor Wingham. A full report will appear in the journal.
Honorary MembersWalter Eves informed members that the Society Committee had unanimously agreed that Jean Stirk (President), Vera Bailey (Secretary) and Denise Rason be made honorary members of the Society, as acknowledgement of their support and hard work. Certificates of Thanks were presented to Sheila Elisak and Sylvia Hammond. Brenda Cope, Jerry Cope, and Christine Geer, were also awarded Certificates of Thanks but were not present to receive them.
President & Vice PresidentsWalter Eves informed the members that the Society Committee had confirmed the current Vice Presidents, Joan Field, Joyce Hoad, and Susan Pittman for another year. He went on to say that Jean Stirk would be standing down as President after filling the post for nine years, during which time she had done excellent work for the Society. Previously, she had been editor of the journal and during this time had received two Elizabeth Simpson awards. A third award was made to the editorial team under her chairmanship.
Walter then announced that the Society Committee had confirmed David Cufley as the next President of the Society. David had served the Society for many years, as Chair, Vice President and a former representative to the Federation of Family History Societies. Jean then stood down and David took her place as chair of the meeting. David, on behalf of the Vice Presidents and Guy Nevill, an ex Vice President, then presented Jean with a plaque of antique wooden letterpress fonts recording the 31 years she had worked for the Society in various capacities. Janet Rose on behalf of the members presented Jean with a gift token subscribed to by members from all the branches of the Society. Jean Stirk thanked everyone for the gifts and said that no one could do a job for the society without support, whether of officials or volunteers, and she thanked them for that support over the years. David Cufley offered his thanks to the Society for the honour of being made President and said that Jean would be a hard act to follow.
Election of Society CommitteeThere were some changes to the Society Committee: Mike Weeks was elected as the Vice Chair; Stella Baggaley had decided to stand down as the Vice Chair but was re-elected as a Committee Member. Vera Bailey stood down as Secretary, and there were no nominations received by the Chair or from the floor. Barbara Atwatters was also elected onto the Committee. For the new committee, see the Society Officers page.
Any Other BusinessNone.

In closing the meeting, David Cufley thanked the members for their attendance and the Society Committee and all the taskholders for their hard work over the past 12 months. He congratulated the new committee on their election and wished them all the very best for the coming twelve months.
The meeting closed at 12.35pm.
2.00pmCommonwealth War Graves Commission Presentation A speaker from the CWGC presented a short film followed by a question and answer session.
Kentish Archives A presentation was given by Stuart Bligh, Archives and Local History Service Manager, on the new Library and History Centre that is to open at James Whatman Way, Maidstone, Kent.
4.00pmRe-assemble for Tea

Photos: Ron Anthony