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Suez Veterans Association.  2019 Anual General Meeting.

members at the meeting
Members waiting for the meeting to start.
members at the meeting

As the website is open to anyone, and not just members of the Suez Vererans' Associatinn, this report is only a
very brief one.
  Some items discussed at the meeting are not included.
The meeting was held at the Novotel Hotel, Long Eaton, on the morning of Sunday, 20th October. 
The last full day of the Autum Reunion.

Ron Watt, who was elected Chairman of the Association in March 2001, was unable to attend the meeting do to a recent serious operation.  Derek Jackson, who has organised the Association's Spring and Autumn Reunions for the last 22 years, was also unable to attend, again due to him recovering from an operation. They both sent their apologies and a greetings message for the members

At the table were the others of the Committee.  Cedric Barker, (Treasurer,) Liz Woolley, (Secretary,) Richard Woolley, (Membership Secretary and Website Manager,) Tony Spray, (Quartermaster,) Jeff Malone, (Overseas Reunion Organiser,) Evelyn Norton, (Fellowship Officer.)

Cedric Barker took the Chair in Ron Watt's absence.  He opened the meeting at 10.30 am by welcoming everyone and explaining Ron and Derek's situation. Before each Committee member gave their report, Cedric introduced them by giving bits of information about them and how long they had been doing their particular job and how much work they had done.

Copies of the 2018 AGM minutes had been handed out before the meeting started.  After being read there were no matters arising.  John Buchanan proposed, and Rod Bolmer seconded that the minutes were a true record and were accepted unanimously.

Jeff Malone reported that this years trip to Cyprus in November would be the last one he would organise.  whilst in Cyprus a Wreath Laying Ceremony would be held at the Waynes Keep Military Cemetery which is located in the buffer zone controlled by the United Nations Peacekeeping Force. Permission to visit the Cemetery has been granted.

Tony Spray had not ordered any items of regalia for quite some time, he had brought with him what stock that was remaining.  A few lapel badges, cuff links and car sticker, these could be had in exchange of a donation.  He didn't want to take any back home.

Derek Jackson.  Cedric reported that Derek had successfully organised the Reunions for the last 22 years and it was a great disappointment he was unable to attend the final one.  He was very much missed throughout this Reunion and every one wished him a speedy recovery.

Richard Woolley. The membership currently stands at 1,090 which includes 39 Overseas members and 465 life members.  Some members had failed to send their subscription, and, as done previously, a gentle reminder will be included with the next SVA News Sheet.  The Suez Veterans Association website is no longer available but a new site has been started to help keep certain information available for our members and fellow
 Veterans.  (This one.)     

Evelyn Norton. The Association's 'With Sympathy' cards are still sent to families of members who have passed away, and 'Thinking of You' cards sent to those who are ill or have been hospitalised.  This will continue until all stock has gone.

Liz Woolley.  Cedric said that Liz is the newest member of the Committee, but has been working in the background helping other Committee members for a long time.  Liz chose not to give a report.

Cedric Barker.  A full balance sheet had been handed out at the start of the meeting.  The financial situation was being watched very carefully, income from membership had dropped by almost a third, and some had not paid their renewals, a gentle reminder will be sent.  The amount of voluntary donations continue to surprise and are very much appreciated.  Some heavy expenses still had to be paid, i.e. Insurance, Accountant, Arboretum charges and administration.  As yet the cost involved of Laying-Up the National Standard is not known.  The accounts were accepted as a true record and all were in favour.

Election of Officers.  It was proposed, and seconded, that the existing Committee be returned to see the Association through to the finish.  All were in favour.

National Memorial Arboretum.  Tony Spray explained that a maintenance contract had been negotiated with the NMA for the future maintenance / upkeep of the Suez Veterans Association Memorial at Alrewas.  It covers the general upkeep for the next 20 years. It was agreed that the cost involved, x,xxx  was a very good value.

Garden of Remembrance at Westminster. Due to the SVA closure, this would be the last year a space at Westminster the Association would sponsor a plot.  Monty Murrell, and other members of the London Group, would represent the SVA during the time of the Royal visit.

Laying-Up of the National Standard. The meeting was informed that the Laying-Up will be held in Sunderland Minster at 3.00 pm on Sunday 29th March 2020.  Arrangements have now started and updates will be announced on the new website.  (This one.) 

Taff Usher then proposed a vote of thanks to the past and present Committee members for all the work done that had made the Association such a success over the years, this was acknowledged with an enthusiastic round of applause.

Cedric closed the meeting at 11.50 am.

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