Archive for the ‘MINUTES 2012’ Category
Minutes – The Royal British Legion Chiang Mai Sub Branch BR3625
Annual General Meeting 17th October 2012
The Salad House, Airport Rd. Chiang Mai
Present: Trevor Dobson, Chairman; Kari Sirelius, Vice Chairman; Rex Baggaley, Acting Secretary:
Gill Dobson, Treasurer; John Burnett, Membership Secretary; Richard Prouse, Poppy Appeal Organiser; Tony Archer, Welfare Representative. Carol Archer, Peter Campbell, Bob Duncan, David Eastmond, Bob Elkins, Kyle Gaddie, Victor Hayes, Bernie Houlden, Colin Jarvis, Rob Kelly, Preeyakron Luangtangjai, Alf Machin, Pam Maynard, Nancy Lindley, Roger Lindley, Warren Preddy, Ken Rossell, Tanamon Supirom, Al Trussell, David Walker, Pat Ward, Barry Williams.
1. Act of Remembrance – was given by Rex Baggaley, the meeting opened at 7.35.
2. Apologies – were given by Peter Dawson, Ron Rae and from the floor on behalf of Bob Machin.
3. Chairman’s Opening Remarks – It was pointed out that Bob Machin had been detained
by illness in the UK and may not return until the New Year, our Best Wishes go to him.
The following communication has been received from the UK:-
Many Overseas Branches outside of Europe choose to view The Legion magazine on-line rather than having a hard copy printed and sent to each member thus saving the charity on printing and postal costs. This is a completely voluntary idea and one which would save money however small. If you would like to not have a hard copy of the magazine sent to you, please let the Branch Secretary or a member of the Committee know who will in turn (hopefully) inform Head Office, we can then stop your magazine until such times as you wish to have it sent to you again. Simply follow the link below where you can view an up to date copy or past copies of the Legion magazine online without clutter. Anyone wishing to assist the Legion in reducing costs in this way is invited to contact the incoming Secretary and so advise him.
4. Minutes of Previous Annual Meeting – The minutes of the previous AGM having been circulated & there being no additions or amendments the Act Sec proposed they be taken as read, seconded by Victor Hayes & passed unanimously.
5. Matters arising from previous meeting –
5.1 Golf Tournament – Last year’s tournament at Gold Canyon was a great success. All members will be aware that the tournament this year takes place on 26th Oct at Green Valley & the Vice Chm looks forward to seeing members during the day or in the evening for the presentation dinner.
David Eastmond commented that 11 members from another Charity played in the RBL Charity, but no-one from RBl responded by competing in their tournament, as a result these players will not be entering the RBL competition this year. This was noted with regret.
5.2 Christmas Cards – Last year’s cards were a complete sell out. 6 new cards have been professionally designed for us this year, they should be available for sale in the near future. A sample sheet of the designs was passed around and admired.
5.3 Poppy Appeal & Remembrance Day – The proceeds from last year’s Poppy Appeal doubled those of the previous event. It is hoped to improve on those figures as 11th Nov this year falls on a Sunday and Invitations have been issued to all local consulates and will be reinforced by the Brit Con sending a personal reminder.
5.4 Invitation to Seri Thai for Remembrance. This was issued last year, although Seri Thai did not attend. The Invite will be repeated this year.
5.5 Anzac Day. This was the first organised trip to Kanchanaburi to be well attended, there being only 4 people who took up the founding chairman’s invitation in 2010.
Thanks were extended to John Burnett whose organisation & patience earned the admiration of all 18 travellers & helped make the event a must repeat success.
6. Chairman’s Report.
This has been a year of achievements & disappointments. Amongst the achievements we have held regular Social events, kept to the schedule of Branch Meetings and organised a number of Fund Raising Activities, which enabled us to return over 100,000 baht to the RBL Funds. The Disappointments have included a number of unfortunate incidents leading us to have to search for a new home.
Anzac Day – a great success & opportunity to meet up with members from other parts of the country.
Social Evenings, over the past few months at The Pub, No.1 Beer Garden, where we enjoyed a massive turnout to say farewell to Sally and the Dog & Bone.
D2 – a dinner & super lotto, attended by 65 people.
Summer Sun Splash – our 3rd Visit to The Real Centre of the Universe, our thanks to Philip & his team for looking after us and the David from Dukes for feeding us, both did it so well.
The numbers are growing 75 attended this year and were entertained by Anna Gracy and members Rob Kelly & Peter Campbell, singing with their guitars.
Ladies Night, our first chance for the gentleman to honour their ladies. We filled the restaurant and raised some funds, we’re sure to do this one again as part of our “Calendar”
British Embassy Bangkok, RBL members were invited to visit and meet Prince Andrew. Our Sub Branch was represented by Frank Sethi, Bob Machin & Jaa.
Welfare Officers – now we have a fully qualified team following the training course held here following the BGM in July, their numbers have expanded, but so may their workload – we are grateful to them and wish them success.
We must now look to the future. We need new, younger members to help update our image. WE need new ideas and those ideas to be supported by members who come along and are willing to take charge of their idea and help see things to fruition – we cannot do everything alone we need help to expand our success.
To Finish I would like to thank all those members who have helped make this year’s successes and will stay the course to help benefit those who need it – not just in Thailand but wherever there are our service folk in want of assistance.
7. Secretary’s Report – The committee has met on 11 occasions since the last AGM, at such diverse locations as Raming Lodge hotel, The Olde Bell, Chiengmai Gymkhana Club, The Salad House, The Chairman’s Home and the Lobby Lounge of the Grandview Hotel. All incidental costs being met by the committee members themselves.
Agendas and minutes of these meetings are retained & may be viewed by any member on request. There have been two resignations from the committee. Charles Gross as Secretary in January and Pedr Fawkes as Branch Steward in April. At a committee meeting held on 24th August John Burnett and Bob Machin were co-opted as Membership Secretary & Branch Steward respectively. No expenses have been incurred by the Secretarial Function as all materials and consumables have been provided by the Act Sec.
As mentioned at the last Branch General Meeting I have been working on the Archive presented to the Branch by Peter Dawson recording the first attempt ever to form an RBL branch in Thailand, this took place during 1997-8 and the records are complete enough to include application forms with uncashed cheques and over 1,300 baht in cash. The Act Sec then presented the weighty Archive Box to the Chairman which was greeted with applause.
8. Membership Secretary’s Report – We currently have a Nominal Roll of 79 members, of which currently 53 are paid up. Although we would ideally like members to pay their renewals before the 1st October it seems that we are ahead with our renewals compared to last year and several of those who have not yet renewed are overseas & have indicated that they intend to do so when they return to Thailand.
We now have an on-line enrolment form so if anyone knows of someone wishing to join if they would give the Mem Sec the email address it can all be arranged quickly & easily.
9. Branch Steward’s Report – in Bob Machin’s absence it fell to the Chairman to announce the venues for November. The first Wednesday of the month (7th) we will visit Paak Daeng, a fine Thai Restaurant by the Ping and the third Wednesday (21st) Rob Kelly will close his fine Bistro at Mee Chok Plaza to give members a fish & chip supper. More details of these events will follow.
10. Welfare Representative’s Report – Chiang Mai Sub Branch now have 6 qualified case workers. These individuals can be sent anywhere within N. Thailand to offer assistance & comfort to fellow members of the RBL and ex-servicemen & women who have fallen on hard times. We have been lucky here in Chiang Mai in that our workload has not been too taxing. However this will not always be the case. To help those that ask for assistance costs money. Money for emergency care & support, money for transportation etc.
The Chiang Mai Sub Branch has paid out almost 48 thousand baht from Oct 2010 to date from accumulated Funds. Without our Fund Raising efforts and the support of our Mother Branch this would not have been possible. TRBL in Thailand this year alone has had 31 welfare cases, including 3 in the Immigration Centre, Bangkok. Many have been complicated medical cases and some repatriations. The cost? Year to date 242,349 baht. The Welfare team has made many visits to the sick & elderly who are not registered support cases, both ex-service, other Legion & community members whom we try to help within the guidelines.
I would like to offer my personal thanks to my fellow case workers for their unstinting support & tireless efforts over the past year and hope that we may continue to be the No. 1 provider of welfare, comradeship, representation and Remembrance for the Armed Forces community here in Chiang Mai.
11. Presentation and adoption of Branch Three Year Plan – The plan revolves around 5 major points:-
* Membership – despite the difficulties we have overcome this year our membership is still above that of a year ago – we have an increasing number of people wanting to join us. During the coming year we propose to hold a “Member Get Member” Incentive. If every member introduces only 1 new member in a year we will be over 100 strong when we meet at next year’s AGM. The member (committee excluded) who brings in the most new members will win a prize – details yet to be finalised. If this is successful we will repeat this in later years.
* Welfare – We have already strengthened our welfare team from 1 to 6, but our case work is likely to increase. Our Mother Branch now undertakes welfare work in Cambodia; it is likely that our teams will visit Myanmar, possibly in conjunction with the Burma star Association we must prepare for this eventuality.
* Poppy Appeal –The range of items to support our Poppy Appeal activities is growing the PAO showed a range of items including Crosses, Wristbands, Keyrings and Adult & Children’s T Shirts. All are available for sale and will be used to turn our Remembrance tide fundraising into a year round activity. A major part of this fundraising in 2012 will take place at the Christmas Fair to be held at JJ Market on 24th November in conjunction with LCN (Lanna Care Net).
Nancy Lindley, speaking on behalf of both TRBL & LCN outlined the many useful ways in which members could offer assistance and received some positive feedback both during and after the meeting.
Functions & Events – This is an ongoing programme, the extension of which requires more members to come forward and assist. The success of this programme depends on the members, not the committee and the programme will be varied in response to the support received.
* Training – It is intended that the Sec of our Mother Branch, who undertook a “Train the Trainer” course in UK this year will organise some on the spot training in Chiang Mai for Branch Officers during 2013. This is not limited to existing Officers but could be made available to anyone interested in developing their skills for the future.
12. Presentation & Adoption of Accounts – The Treasurer’s review of the immediate situation showed:-
1. Current Balance 16-10-2012 8,490
Deposit re JJ Market – refund due 5,625
Actual funds held 14,115
Of which Poppy Appeal Funds 4,200
Net balance 9.915
2. Accumulator funds held in cash 4,610
A proposal that this financial statement be adopted was passed unanimously.
13. Election of Officers and Committee Members – The Chairman proposed a Vote of Thanks to the Act Sec who was now standing down after some sterling work during a difficult period, seconded by Carol Archer and passed unanimously. He then announced the nominees and called for seconders:-
Secretary: Major Ron Rae; proposed by Rex Baggaley, seconded John Burnett
Membership Secretary: John Burnett; proposed by Victor Hayes, seconded Peter Campbell
Branch Steward: Bob Machin; proposed by Victor Hayes, seconded Richard Prouse
Committee Member: No Nominee
A unanimous vote of approval was passed.
Warren Preddy then asked that it be noted that the committee has handled the recent events well and were now placed to move ahead and asked for members appreciation for their efforts, this was well supported in a move led by Peter Campbell
14. Closing Remarks by Chairman.
Members were thanked for their attendance and attention and were assured more information would be forthcoming in the next couple of weeks following the first meeting of the revised committee. The meeting closed at 8.50 pm.
pp Major Ron Rae
Secretary TRBL BR 3625 19th Oct 2012
Minutes – The Royal British Legion Sub Branch BR3625 Branch General Meeting July 2012 – The Salad House, Airport Rd, Chiang Mai.
Present: Graham MacDonald, President; Trevor Dobson, Chairman; Kari Sirelius, Vice Chairman; Rex Baggaley, Acting Secretary; Richard Prouse, Membership Secretary & Poppy Appeal organiser; Tony Archer, Welfare Representative; Derek Brook, Chairman, BR3588; Bert Elson Secretary & Welfare Chairman, BR3588; Russell Barnes; John Burnett; Bob Duncan; Bob Elkins; Kyle Gaddie; Charles Gross; Victor Hayes; Derek Higgs; Bernard Houlden; Colin Jarvis; Rob Kelly; Nancy Lindley; Roger Lindley; Alf Machin; Bob Machin; Pam Maynard; Malcolm Neams; Matthew Oddie; Warren Preddy; Tanamon Supirom; Geoff Tolley; Sally Ward; Barry Williams.
1. Act of Remembrance – All stood whilst Sally Ward delivered the Exhoration & Kohima Epitaph.
2. Chairman’s Opening Remarks – The meeting opened at 7.30. The Chm remarked on the good attendance and thanked everyone for coming to welcome our visitors. He indicated that the 3 months since the last BGM had seen many changes and requested members to allow the business of the meeting to proceed until the matters arose from the agendum.
3. Apologies – The Act Sec had received apologies from Gill Dobson, Carol Archer, Bill West, David Walker & Peter Dawson. There were no apologies from the floor.
4. Introduction of New Members – The Mem Sec, having said that 3 new members had joined since the last meeting, introduced Alfred Machin, Bob’s father, whom we are proud to now number in our ranks.
5. Minutes of Previous Meeting – The minutes of the previous meeting having been circulated & there being no additions or amendments the Act Sec proposed that these been taken as read, seconded by Colin Jarvis and passed unanimously as a true & accurate record by those members who had attended the previous meeting.
6. Welcome to the President & Visitors from the Mother Branch. – The Chairman extended a warm welcome to our visitors from the Mother Branch, welcoming Both the national President & the Chm, Chonburi back to Chiang Mai and thanking The Hon Sec, Chonburi for making his first visit and for organising the caseworkers course which would follow over the next two days.
The President, The Royal British Legion, Thailand , rose to respond: Saying he was delighted to be back and that he was sorry that he had not been able to visit for some time he then demonstrated that he kept an interested eye on progress of the sub branch by revealing that Membership is up 65% in just two years – Currently we have 78 members of whom 14% of are ladies, many of whom are active in their support. Special mention was made of Gill Dobson, Treasurer; Sally Ward, Events and of course Miss Jaa, Welfare. Poppy Appeal collection boxes amount doubled year on year to over 20,000 baht in 2011 as did the total raised for the Poppy Appeal – up to 46,447 baht. The sum of baht 151,227 was raised in 2011 and sent to Chonburi (including the Poppy funds mentioned previously). One event last month raised over 50,000 for this year’s appeal. This is very important as we now have 2 current case workers and another 4 in training as the workload in supporting those eligible for help from the trbl is increasing. Once again we will be holding a Poppy Golf tournament at Green Valley at the beginning of this year’s Remembrancetide on Friday Oct 26 th. This will culminate with our own Service of Remembrance on the 11th
November at the Foreign Cemetery.
Over 130 people attended last year including half a dozen Consuls and Honorary Consuls. There will be greater publicity and wider official attendance this year. Mentioning PR – this seems to increase year on year – for example the extensive advertising and publicity for the upcoming fund-raiser “Summer Sun Splash” being held in the extensive grounds of the Centre of the Universe, an exclusive swimming club who have hosted the event twice before. The owner of which is very sympathetic to the work of the Legion. His remarks were greeted with applause.
7. Matters arising from previous meeting –
7.1 Website – Golfer’s section. The V Chm explained that the golfing section were now using Golfaholics.com and asked the webmaster for a link to this, rather than a separate golf page.
7.2 Appeal for assistance. The particular need would be to find a Secretary to replace the Act Sec by the time of the AGM. Anyone willing to take on this post or knowing someone who may was urged to contact the CHM.
7.3 Funeral to Go Box. Whilst the “box” itself has still to be resourced preparation of the contents is well advanced. We have purchased flags covering all the services, we now need to locate a supplier of a reasonably priced RBL flag to complete our needs. Suitable poems have been prepared and printed and are awaiting lamination . It now only remains for us to retrieve Poppies and other Legion items from The Olde Bell – more on this later.
8. Update by Chairman – The presentation began by the Chm explaining that all members of the committee had refrained from comment concerning the inaccurate and somewhat speculative emails that have been circulating concerning our withdrawal from The Olde Bell and the refusal to accept branch membership renewal from it’s landlord. This was in keeping with our promise to discuss this issues with members at this BGM, so as not embarrass any individual in what is a disturbing chain of events, However, Pedr Fawkes (PF in future references) and David Hardcastle had brought the matter into the public domain so he & the committee felt entitled to deliver a more accurate assessment of what had transpired.
Looking back, the Chm reminded members that some two years ago he together with the then Secretary and Rob Kelly, Treasurer made a visit to Chonburi at their own expense to cement what was the fragile relationship with the Mother Branch. They had only recently been elected at an EGM following the resignation of the previous Chairman, largely as a result of serious disagreements over PF’s performance as Treasurer in the founding committee. Fortunately we were able to develop a sound working relationship with the Chonburi team and particularly with the 3 visitors who are with us today. This was managed despite serious reservations on the part of the Mother Branch, largely as a result of PF’s behaviour in emails during this emergency period. We needed their help & support as there had been grave danger of the sub branch being closed as PF’s unfortunate attitude extended to Head Office in UK.
Despite this and in recognition of his hard work in establishing the sub branch in the first place he was offered a seat on the committee, given the title of Social Secretary and tasked with organising socials for members at TOB and in other locations and taking responsibility for organising fund raising events, a task previously undertake by the ex-chairman. He pointed out that it would be difficult for him to handle all aspects of this and was assured of assistance and accepted that this fell within his purview. Despite this during 2011 and particularly after he was elected for a 3 year term it became increasingly obvious that he spent little time on any event that did not take place at TOB and even became aggressive, particularly in emails, when outside venues were proposed. This also applied to committee meetings, all of which he wished to be held on his premises, although there were other locations more convenient to other committee members.
In February 2012 it became apparent that his performance was below the standard that his other colleagues were setting and this came to a head when he failed to attend a meeting on 15th Feb. During this meeting a vote of no confidence was passed unanimously by the committee. The grounds being unsatisfactory performance of duties. There followed discussions with PF outside the committee and eventually to another committee meeting when the matter was reviewed, he acknowledged the vote of no confidence but declined to stand down.
Following this several members of the committee felt they could not work satisfactorily in these circumstances and indicated their intention to resign. At this point and outside the meeting PF gave a written resignation from the committee & as Social Secretary, dated 30th May. He was then offered the post of Branch Steward which he accepted and he continued to offer a variety of promotions to RBL members on Wednesday evenings.
This continued, albeit with declining relations until Wednesday 20th June when first he had an unpleasant exchange with one committee member and then a verbally abusive attack on another. At the same time vilifying the Chairman and Treasurer. By this time he had already started directly circulating Legion members, despite having been advised that this may well contravene RBL data protection policy and certainly breached sub branch guidelines. It also undermined an RBL fundraising event by his upscaling the agreed BBQ for members not attending the Ladies Night to a full blown “Gentleman’s evening”
The decisions your committee faced at their emergency meeting on 29th of June were 2 fold.
A. Location of Socials – we now had a situation where 4 members of the committee no longer felt able to visit TOB. The Chm & Treasurer due to the disparaging remarks made and the fact that he now totally ignored their presence. The Mem Sec following the obscene language and threatening behaviour he exhibited and the Wel Rep whose actions he had misrepresented. The location of the home of any branch of TRBL is at the discretion of the committee in consultation with members and it was felt that to ease the tension we should discontinue regular socials at TOB and look for a new base. This process is ongoing.
B. The Aggressive behaviour and foul language in the presence of witnesses, both members of the Legion, his own customers, passers-by and customers sitting in other bars in the street, were seen as bringing TRBL into disrepute and it was decided to advise him that as a result of this the Chiang Mai Sub Branch would refuse to accept renewal of his membership for 2012-13. He was duly visited by the V Chm & Act Sec, advised of these decisions and
handed details of how and to whom he should make an appeal should he wish to do so. During this meeting his behaviour was correct, he indicated that he understood what he had done and said that he was unlikely to appeal. He agreed that we could visit him again and could retrieve any RBL assets held on his premises. He did however also state that it had been foolish of “the committee” to be so straight forward as now we had ‘no hold’ on him and he could behave as he liked.
Unfortunately it seems that he is doing just that. He has refused to hand over RBL assets, has made derogatory remarks on an open forum concerning the boasting habits of ex-servicemen and has similarly derided by implication
some of the lady members of the branch. This is especially hard as over 20% of the serving military are female, much higher if ancillaries are included. The Chm then invited questions which were answered by himself, the Act Sec
and Sec, Chonburi who between them confirmed:-that the branch had been close to closure in May 2010, partly as a result of PF’s attitude; that actions taken were local committee decisions and had been made in full compliance with RBL procedures and policies; that it was felt that no response was required to the documents recently circulated to members as to attempt to clarify the inaccuracies, innuendo and speculation gave the writers greater legitimacy than the missives deserved; that there was no local system for an appeal, it must be made to the Appeals committee in UK; that PF had been given written advice on how to make an appeal and that there was a written resignation letter from him covering his leaving the committee & the post of Social Secretary; that the Sub branch refusal to accept him as a member did not prevent him being a member of RBL, either as a member of another branch or by direct subscription; that there were witnesses to most events described.
There were no further questions but a proposal came from the floor requesting that the meeting agenda move on.
The planned Future events are being worked on, indeed Sally Ward held tickets for the Summer Sun Splash on 4th
August and would be delighted to sell tickets to members later. The Golf day preparations are well in hand for
26th October and the date for the Christmas Fayre has been finalised as Saturday 24th November.
Bob Machin addressed the meeting, the action members are taking to support the committee is to organise visits to locations that may be considered as the home of TRBL. There will be an ‘informal’ visit on the first Wednesday of the month – your Act Sec will flash news of the location to you a few days in advance and then a more organised affair on the third Wednesday when more activities will be arranged, again, look out for news for the Act Sec. Bob and the Barflies will be setting up a programme to last until at least the AGM so there should be plenty of variety. The Chm then paid tribute to the committee and asked for acknowledgement of their work on behalf of TRBL, this was given in the form of applause.
9. Report from Secretary – The Act Sec took pleasure in telling the meeting that Peter Dawson had kindly donated a large volume of material relating to the first attempt to form an RBL branch in Thailand. This took place in late 1997, early 1998 and had it been successful would have been the only branch between Dubai & Hong Kong! It is proposed to refine the material and prepare an archive so that members can share this interesting & historic documentation. A vote of thanks to P Dawson was proposed, seconded and passed to applause.
The committee met 3 times since the last BGM on 18th May, 29th June and 11th July, there has been extensive correspondence between the committee, members, the Mother Branch and UK. Records are up to date, however the work due to commence on establishing an RBL assets record had been delayed by recent circumstances
10. Report & Financial Statement from Treasurer- In the Treasurer’s absence overseas the Wel Rep explained that he had been left in custody of the financial affairs of the Sub Branch. As of today’s date the general Fund stands at Baht 16,015, including 4000 baht towards the Poppy Appeal. The sum of 1000 baht has been received from the Mem Sec recently. In addition a sum of baht 500 , has yet to be deposited, being a donation received at the recent Ladies Night Fund raising event
11. Report from Welfare Representative – Since the last BGM the legion has dealt with two new cases. One case involved a non-Legion member but nevertheless an ex-serviceman who needed our assistance. This case, because of its complexity, had to be referred to London, which I believe they ultimately dealt with sympathetically and satisfactorily. The other, more recent, case one of the members of this branch. Although not requiring any financial help he requested that we assist his wife in dealing with the UK Border Agency, whilst he returned to UK for an urgent operation. He thanked the president for his assistance in this matter which helped bring it to a prompt & successful conclusion. The member is in UK awaiting his operation & his condition has improved, we are in regular contact with the family. There is a ‘Get Well’ card which all members are invited to sign. His wife has now returned to her home here and the meeting joined in wishing him well and a safe return to Thailand.
The caseworkers Course ably lead by Bert Elson, starts tomorrow. There are 4 branch members taking part – Tony Archer, John Burnett, Barry Williams & Tanamon Supirom ( Jaa). We wish them success as this will give the sub branch 6 trained case workers, the Sec, Chonburi pointed out they may well be needed as the aim is that our sub branch will cover at least Northern Thailand and the trend is certainly to more ex-service personnel requiring assistance. The Wel Rep requested all members, if approached by a fellow member or any ex-serviceman or woman requesting assistance, unless specifically asked by them for their personal help to refer them to him or any of the caseworkers. Even if they do not ask for legion assistance please let the Welfare team know, it could become a more complicated case than it first seems – forewarned is forearmed!
12. Report from Membership Secretary – The Mem Sec confirmed that we have 78 members to date and looks forwards to members renewing over the next few weeks. The RBL membership fee is 850 baht; there will be an optional 150 baht for the Veteran’s fund
13. Points for the Next Meeting – An update is requested on removal of TRBL signage outside TOB and of the recovery of RBL assets from the premises.
14. Date of Next Branch General Meeting – The next BGM is scheduled for 16th Jan 2013, however this will be preceded by the Annual General Meeting scheduled for 17th Oct 2012….
15. The meeting closed at 21.15.
Rex Baggaley, Acting Secretary. 27th July 2012
Minutes – The Royal British Legion Sub Branch BR3625 Branch General Meeting
2nd May 2012 – The Olde Bell, Loi Kroh Rd, Chiang Mai.
Trevor Dobson, Chairman; Kari Sirelius, Vice Chairman; Rex Baggaley, Acting Secretary; Gill Dobson, Treasurer; Tony Archer,
Welfare Representative; Richard Prouse, Membership Secretary & Poppy Appeal Organiser. Russ Barnes; Rob Kelly; Carol Archer; Miss Jah; Sally Ward; Victor Hayes; John Burnett; Bob Elkins; Pedr & Beer Fawkes; Kevin Reilly.
1. Act of Remembrance – This was read by Rob Kelly in due form.
2. Chairman’s Opening Remarks – The Chm opened the meeting at 7.40 pm. He explained that Raming Lodge were planning renovations and had withdrawn use of their meeting room at the last minute. He extended thanks to our Branch Steward to swiftly organising this 2 floor meeting room, Pedr’s efforts were greeted with applause. Onwards & Upwards was our theme for the evening, it was the view of the committee that the record members were about to hear would show good progress and some excellent plans for the future.
3. Apologies – were received from Pat Ward, Derek Higgs, Geoff Tolley, Matthew Oddie, David Hardcastle, Preeyakron Luangtangjai and Bob Machin.
Bob had to return to UK in view of his mother’s worsening condition, our best wishes & sympathies go with him.
4. Introduction of New Members – The Mem Sec confirmed there were no new members present at that point.
5. Minutes of Previous Meeting – The minutes of the previous meeting having been circulated & there being no additions or amendments the Act Sec proposed they be taken as read, this was seconded by Rob Kelly and passed unanimously.
6. Matters arising from previous meeting – Chairman.
6.1 ANZAC Day Visit to Kanchanaburi. Those who visited Kanchanaburi extended a vote of thanks to John Burnett for his excellent organisation, this was followed by applause. The event was a great success, leading to the thought that Chiang Mai sub branch may consider joining the trip to Malaysia later this year. Peter Campbell has joined TRBL as a result of his taking part in the trip. He also bid successfully for a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal, which he then re-donated, raising a total of 11,000 baht. The Chm extended thanks to peter for this generous action.
6.2 Frequency of Social Meetings. This will be discussed at 13.1
6.3 Support for TRBL Chiang Mai Website. This has recently been updated, thanks to webmaster Victor Hayes and now includes photos from the ANZAC trip and the trip to distribute the share of the proceeds from the Citylife Garden party, please visit the website for details.
The website has recently been extended to include a section for golfers, more details on this will follow
6.4 Questionnaire re. Member’s Interests. The committee reviewed this proposal and decided that to undertake this task correctly would involve costs and time which would be better spent on other activities and therefore decided to postpone this indefinitely. However any member who wishes to express an interest or make suggestions is welcome to do so. As anonymous suggestions are not acceptable members may visit the website and email any committee member of their choice or simply click ‘contact us’ During these discussions new member Colin Haggar joined the meeting.
7. Update by Chairman – The immediate need for additional main committee members has receded as the Act Sec will continue until the next AGM. What would be welcomed is for members to assist those people already responsible for various activities, for example Tony Archer would like to form a Welfare Committee to support the caseworkers & Sally Ward would welcome assistance in organising the various fund raising events.
These need not be time consuming tasks, even a few hours a month would be welcomed. Please contact the Chm to discuss this if you would like to help.
Funeral To Go Box. When the need arises we intend to be in a position to respond rapidly to requests for TRBL to attend and pay last respects to departed ex-service personnel. We are adding such items as flags for coffin drapes, Acts of Remembrance and appropriate poems for each branch of the armed forces. The flags are being order now so we can be ready to make a dignified contribution when called upon.
This will not at present include a Chiang Mai RBL Standard, the costs and conditions surrounding the purchase of such an item prohibit our doing so at present.
Fundraising. The Grand Lotto Buffet at D2 was attended by 61 people and all 100 draw tickets at 1,000 baht each were sold, a considerable achievement. Cash prizes totalling 60,000 were distributed, the principal prize winner Pat Ward, has also joined TRBL! 40,000 bahts worth of prizes were also won, a very successful event.
At this point the Chm asked Events Organiser Sally Ward to outline plans for future events.
TRBL Ladies Night. This will be held at Pern’s Restaurant on Wednesday 27 June. This will be in addition to the normal Social evening at TOB which will go ahead as planned. The Restaurant will create a special menu and ‘treats’ for the event and will be able to seat 34 people. The evening is to honour the Ladies of the Legion and to raise a modest amount of funds, more details will be circulated within the next couple of weeks but already there has been a good take up of seats for the meal costing around 550 baht.
Summer Splash. Once again and by request of members this popular event will be held at The Real Centre of the Universe on Saturday 4 August with Duke’s Restaurant catering the BBQ, wines provided by TRBL and Beers & Soft Drinks
from TRCotU. Details to follow.
Sponsored Walk. A team from TRBL completed a journey from Myanmar to Kanchanaburi in time to join the ANZAC Day services. This has inspired 6 Chiang Mai residents & members to plan a similar trip for October. They plan a sponsored walk of the Death Railway and will be looking for sponsors at 1,000 baht per team. This is an exciting project with PR potential and we wish the teams well and await more details.
Christmas Fayre. Projected for the last weekend in November, up to 150 stalls will be available for food, drink, crafts and gifts and other products. Members with local businesses are particularly urged to take a stall to make this an RBL family affair. This will be held at JJ Market and will be a shared event, Lanna Care Net are our projected partners.
The Vice Chm also added that once again there will be a Golf Event in support of the Poppy Appeal. To be held at the Green Valley Golf Club on Friday 26 October. The format will follow that of the 2011 competition, around 100 golfers will take part. If you are not a player why not just come along to the dinner in the evening?
The Chairman thanked both contributors for their efforts and reports.
8. Report from Secretary – The Act Sec advised that since his resuming office the committee has met on 4 occasions. 9th & 15th Feb; 30 April. A total of 3 meetings as the final meeting on 30 Mar was suspended & resumed on 6th April.
The Committee had no alternative but to accept the resignation of the Social Secretary from his position and the committee, we are delighted that he has agreed to continue to serve TRBL in a new role as Branch Steward, we shall be hearing from him later.
The branch records of minutes and meetings are now updated and complete. It only remains to establish and complete a Branch Assets Record Book, it is hoped to do this within the next few weeks.
9. Report & Financial Statement from Treasurer – The General Fund now holds 17,740 baht, including 2,100 baht donated in support of the locally held ANZAC Day service. This will be retained and added to our Poppy Appeal proceeds in November. We also have the 6,000 baht winning bid (6.1) which will be sent to Chonburi with any monies over the 10,000 baht float agreed with our Mother Branch. Bank Books and statements are available for inspection after the meeting.
10. Report from Welfare Representative – There have been no new cases in Chiang Mai since the last BGM. The Welfare team continue to look for more volunteers. At present Bob M is in UK and John B is ever willing to assist but is not yet trained. As Trevor D is travelling more this leaves us short of caseworkers, a course is being planned for Tony A & John B, if anyone else
would like to take part they will be more than welcome. Likewise anyone prepared to keep some confidential minutes or financial records or to lend a hand generally would be sure to be appreciated.
11. Report from Membership Secretary – currently we have 74 members, including this evening’s signing. To make joining even simpler a shortened version of the membership has been devised, purely for local use to make the transcribing to TRBL paperwork records more straightforward. These can be obtained from the branch Steward at TOB or members of the committee and will shortly be available for completion on line on the Chiang Mai Sub Branch website:- http://trblchiangmai.org/
12. Report from Branch Steward – The new large illuminated sign identifying TOB as the ‘Home’ of the Sub Branch is now in place. There are banners in the course of design which will be used in the interior bar area. In addition your Steward will be co-ordinating with the Welfare Rep, who has an interest in improving the appearance and facilities for RBL members, to see what other improvements can be introduced.
The exclusive promotions for May include
ToNight – Guinness & Kilkenny at 165 baht a pint.
9th May – Pool tournament.
16th May – Free Sandwiches.
23th May – Sausage & Mash or Pork Steak at reduced prices
30th May – Cheese Night. A gourmet evening of which RBL members are encouraged to take advantage. Great Value if you’re a Cheeseaholic
13. Additional Agenda.
13.1 Every Wednesday is Legion Night – To clarify that this the Act Sec read from the committee meeting minutes of 6 April:-It was also decided to clarify arrangements over ‘Legion Nights’ the Act Sec should advise members that every Wednesday was a Legion Night. Any promotions arranged for those evenings should be exclusive to RBL members & sponsored by The Olde Bell. In the event that RBL wished to hold a promotion at TOB on any Wednesday the costs to be agreed beforehand with the Branch Steward. It should be publicised that Committee Members would do their utmost to be present on the 1st & 3rd Wednesdays.
13.2 Football Cards – The Chm explained that Football cards would be numbered for ease of recording. To simplify the decision as to whether to hold a Football Card sale all cards would be drawn on the night, irrespective of the numbers of squares sold and the proceeds divided equally between the winner and RBL Veteran’s Fund.
13.3 Improvements to RBL facilities at TOB – The Wel Rep confirmed that he would meet with the Branch Steward and they would work up some ideas together. Another thought is to ask members if they would volunteer to give a few hours to do some handiwork or decorating and thus reduce the costs involved, particularly to TRBL.
13.4 Identifying TOB as the ‘Home’ of TRBL – see 13.3.
14. Points for the Next Meeting.
There were no points raised for the next meeting.
15. Date of Next Branch General Meeting.
The next Branch General Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 18 July. This date and the venue will be confirmed nearer the time.
The meeting closed at 8.35.
Rex Baggaley, Acting Secretary. 4 May 2012
Minutes – The Royal British Legion Sub Branch BR3625
Branch General Meeting
18th January 2012 – Raminglodge Hotel, Loi Kroh Rd.
Present: Trevor Dobson, Chairman; Kari Sirelius, Vice Chairman;
Rex Baggaley, Acting Secretary; Gill Dodson, Treasurer;
Tony Archer, Welfare Representative, Richard Prouse, Poppy Appeal Organiser;
Pedr Fawkes, Social Secretary.
Carol Archer; John Burnett; Bob Elkins; Beer Fawkes; Victor Hayes; Bernie Houlden;
Rob Kelly; Nancy Lindley; Ronald Rea; Geoff Tolley; Barry & Pam Williams.
- 1. Act of Remembrance. All stood whilst Bernie Houlden read the Exhortation and Kohima Epitaph in due form.
- 2. Chairman’s Opening Remarks. The Chairman opened the meeting at 7.30 pm and offered Bernie the traditional “Many Happy Returns’ on the occasion of his recent birthday. The business of the evening was straight forward but some items on the agenda would show the need for participation within the branch. The success that the sub-branch had enjoyed in the recent past has been sustained during the vital membership renewals period and we must now target the strengthening of the commit and set a target of 100 plus members for this year.
- 3. Apologies. Derek Higgs; Martin Eley; David Watts; David Walker; Niall Burns; James Johnstone-Hall; Frank & Vanetta Sethi; Luangtangjai Preeyakorn; Mathew Oddie.
- 4. Introduction of new members. Barry & Pam Williams introduced themselves to the meeting & were cordially welcomed.
- 5. Minutes of Previous Meeting. The minutes having been circulated & there being no additions or amendments suggested the Acting Secretary proposed they be taken as read, seconded by Victor Hayes and passed unanimously.
- 6. Matters arising from previous meeting.
6.1 Poppy Appeal & Golf Tournament. Thanks were first extended to Richard Prouse for his work on the Poppy Appeal and to Kari Sirelius for his role in ensuring the success of the Golf Tournament. Whilst more consideration needs to be given to the location of our efforts with collecting boxes we doubled last year result and with the sums raised from the Golf Chiang Mai made a notable contribution to the nationwide fundraising campaign. TRBL raised over One Million Baht for the poppy Appeal & also contributed 250,000 Baht to the Thai Veteran’s Hospital.
6.2 Remembrance. Again Richard Prouse was thanked for his efforts,
Over 120 people attended the service at the Foreign Cemetery and afterwards at the Gymkhana Club. Ron Rea advised that the Foreign Cemetery Committee had plans to move the memorial to land they hope to regain from an encroacher and would like to acquire a statue of a (1914-18?) soldier as a focal point, the branch were asked to help, the matter will be taken forward to committee,
6.3 ANZAC Day Visit to Kanchanaburi. John Burnett outlined this 4 day visit and advised that so far 18 members had expressed interest in the visit. Transport would be resourced on this basis and 11 rooms had been booked. It was also agreed that the trip be publicised to friends and other interested parties, particularly Australian & New Zealand expats living locally. The Chairman gave first news of an initiative to raise funds by organising a an event to travel the full length of the Burma railway, perhaps involving contingents from serving military from the regiments associated with the building of the railway as well as locals, expats, families, friends and visitors. More details will be available shortly, please contact the chairman if interested in participating.
6.4 Frequency of Social Meetings. See agendum 13.
6.5 Support for TRBL Chiang Mai Website. Everyone is encouraged to visit and use the website which has been considerably upgraded by webmaster Victor Hayes, to whom much thanks. In particular articles and pictures are welcome, should members not know how to upload please contact Victor via the website, he will be pleased to help.
6.6 Sales of branch & Other Christmas Cards. The remaining stock of 2010 cards were almost completely sold out, 4 new designs were introduced & a lot of 100 each sold to Chonburi. Additional cards of the new designs were printed so we now have a stock to begin sales for the 2012 Xmas season well in advance. Pictures & details of the cards will be added to the website.
- 7. Update by Chairman. The chairman’s message concerning the need to fill the vacant offices of Branch Secretary and Membership Secretary received one response from Maurice Phelps who offered to help as time & circumstances permit, Maurice was thanked for this offer of assistance, it may well be taken up in the future. However ideally these Committee Posts must be filled. Since current officers have taken some of the former burden of the Secretarial role the workload has lessened and both positions are now function specific so members are again asked to consider if they would be able to undertake either of these posts. Richard Prouse indicated that it may be possible for him to combine the Mem Sec job with his current roles, this will be referred to Committee. The Acting Secretary advised that whilst he was happy to assist fully in the short term he would not be willing to stand for office.
- 8. Report from Secretary. Having only recently offered to act as Secretary and not yet being in possession of the records the acting sec could only report that he been able to put together an Agendum for this meeting and hoped to issue minutes over the weekend, he would then liaise with the Chairman to bring himself and the records up to date and hoped to be able to hand over to a successor in the near future.
- 9. Report & Financial Statement from Treasurer. The Sub- branch float has been increased to 10,000 baht to better reflect the cash flow needed for expenses, particularly related to the increased activities of the Welfare Representative and his team. The current balance in the General fund stands at 10,740 baht, copies of the accounts are available after the meeting, members are welcome to review them and to discuss them with the Treasurer.
- 10. Report from Welfare Representative. This has been a comparatively quiet quarter, there has been one request for assistance which has been referred to London. Trevor Dobson and Bob Machin have completed their case worker course and John Burnett will participate in the next course to be organised in Thailand, Khun Jah has again provided local back up & knowledge.
- 11. Report from Membership Secretary. As no one currently fills this office there was no report.
- 12. Report from Social Secretary. The Social Secretay read his proposed outline of activities, this will be reviewed at the next committee meeting.
The Chairman indicated that Events co-ordinator, Sally Ward will return to the UK for an extended period and meanwhile will be revising Fund raising events in a way better to attract donations and profits. This is important as it not only raises funds for TRBL but enables the branch to subsidise it’s activities.
- 13. Questionnaire re. Members Interests & Requirements. The Chairman explained that the idea of circulating an email to assess member’s interests & suggestions had been put forward by a member and asked for views from the meeting. There was a wide range of opinions expressed, now bullet pointed:
- That the committee has been appointed, that they should discuss, agree and implement their plans and be judged on them.
- The questionnaire should guarantee anonymity.
- Rather than an email it should be put on the website and members asked to visit and complete a return.
- The members should be circulated and asked if they welcome this approach before proceeding.
- That informal discussions be held at Wednesday Socials across a broad base to see what ideas are put forward.
- Such a questionnaire requires professional assistance to compile to avoid offence to members or bias appearing in the answers. The Vice-Chairman may have such a document.
The issue should be reviewed in committee, agreed & presented to the members before proceeding.
- 14. Points for the Next Meeting. No Points were proposed.
- 15. Date of Next Branch General Meeting. This should take place on Wednesday 18th April, as this falls immediately after Songkran a final date will be agreed and circulated in good time.
- 16. The meeting closed at 20.42.
- 17. Presentation and Auction.
17.1. Geoff Tolley presented two shields to the branch, on behalf of himself & John Burnett. These beautifully painted shields depict:-
* 18th Field Squadron R.E. * Services Sound & Vision Corporation
The Chairman accepted them with thanks on behalf of the branch, they will hang in the Legion Room of The Olde Bell.
17.2. Barry & Pam Williams donated a gift voucher from Chic Jungle Resort for accommodation with a face value of 3500 baht and this was offered for auction. After some fierce but friendly bidding Rob Kelly took the prize as the hammer fell.
Both these activities were followed by applause.
Rex Baggaley, Acting Secretary. 23rd Jan 2011
Post Script – for the information of contributors to the Veteran’s Fund.
During Item 7 the Chairman read a letter from the Thai Burma Railway Association advising that they plan a sponsored Bike Ride of the railway and soliciting a donation from the branch. It was proposed that we contribute the equivalent of US$50.00 from the Veterans Fund and seconded by the acting secretary. The motion was passed unanimously.