Present: John Isaac, Chairman, and 53 members.

1. Welcome

John Isaac welcomed everyone to the 32nd AGM of the Friends of Torbay, held during the 47th Torbay Musical Weekend.

2. Greetings and Apologies

Our President, Peter Gammond, and his wife Anna had sent their very best wishes to the meeting. Sadly, age prevented them from attending.

Greetings and apologies had been received from the following:

Jill Coombs

Pat Southall

Ralph and Anne Hebditch

His Honour Michael and Mrs Valerie Evans

George Bray

Trevor and Diane Board

John Futter

Some of these people had concluded, with regret, that age and infirmity meant that they would no longer be able to attend.

Others hoped to join us next year.

The Chairman was asked to convey the good wishes of the meeting to our President & Anna, and to all who had sent greetings.

3. Minutes and Matters Arising

The minutes of the 31st meeting were taken as read. There were no Matters Arising which would not come up under the main agenda.

4. Chairman’s Report

John Isaac said that all would agree that this year’s programme was truly wonderful - for which very many thanks were due to our programme Secretary, Maureen Greenhouse.

Under the stewardship of our Treasurer, Gillian Babbs, to whom also many thanks were due, we had achieved surpluses in each of the past three years, and end-year funds on hand had risen from £3,173 to £5,917. We were aiming to break even this year.

The Chairman also extended the grateful thanks of the members to the Technical Team - Mike Price, John Walker, Paul and Veronica Whittle - without whose efforts behind the scenes the weekend simply would not happen. The Committee Officers and the Technical Team were presented with gifts, in token of the members’ appreciation of their efforts.

Larry Napthine had very kindly continued to maintain the website, despite not being able to attend the weekend in his current circumstances. We did, however, need a back-up arrangement for the maintenance of the website, and the Chairman was seeking access to the relevant codes.

The number of residents was only one down on last year, which was an excellent effort in the circumstances. This was due to the efforts of members like Rosemary Frischer whose article in “Harmony” had produced 5-6 new members.

Many thanks were also due to our 20 or so guarantors - some no longer able to attend - who provided a degree of financial security in the event of the unexpected.

Members were encouraged to make full use of the feedback questionnaire - although perhaps not in the form of the member in 1998 who responded to the question whether they would be attending the following year with a firm “no”, on the basis that they expected to be dead by then!

The next Torbay Musical Weekend would be 17-20 November 2017. Members were asked to put the dates in their diaries now and to attempt to bring their friends. Left-over flyers from 2016 would be useful publicity material, because, apart from  the advertisement in the FRMS magazine, we had nil additional budget for publicity.

John Isaac concluded with a profound thought from the U3A magazine: “Music is a lot more than just a pleasing noise…(it) is strongly connected to well-being, to comfort, achievement, health and happiness”.

5. Financial Report and Accounts

Gillian Babbs reported that we had achieved a small surplus of £182 in 2015/16. Against an aim of breaking even in 2016/17, there might be a small deficit, but there were plenty of funds available for next year. The main difference from last year was a decline in the number of local day tickets sold. It would be wonderful if this could be reversed for next year.

The accounts were accepted nem con.

The re-appointment of Bernadette Slatford as Honorary Independent  Examiner was agreed, with many thanks for her help in this regard.

6. Election of Committee and Officers

Very many thanks were due to Clare Shepherd who was standing down as Secretary. Chris Babbs had been co-opted as AGM Secretary.

There being no other candidates, the following committee members were declared to have been elected:

Chairman                         John Isaac

Treasurer                         Gillian Babbs

Programme Secretary   Maureen Greenhouse

Member                           Kevin Ryland

AGM Secretary               Chris Babbs

The Chairman urged other members to consider putting themselves forward as additional members of the committee.

7. Comments from Members

Jenny Smith emphasised the importance of the friendship aspect of the Weekend, complementing the music.

It was wonderful to see old friends each year, and to make new ones.

Lesley Orson thanked the committee for a superb weekend, particularly Saturday evening’s concert.

Barry Miller on behalf of everyone thanked John Isaac very much for all his work as Chairman.

Anne Speirs, speaking as a new member, said how much she and her daughter were enjoying the weekend. They would be staunch attenders from now on.

8. Close

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 10am, with a final reminder that the 48th Torbay Musical Weekend would be held on 17-20 November 2017, to which everyone was urged to bring their friends!

Post-meeting Note: Sheila Carr suggested running a raffle.

The committee would be very open to discussion of this suggestion.

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Minutes of the 32nd Annual General Meeting

held at the Palace Hotel, Torquay,

at 9.30am on Sunday 20th November 2016