Minutes and Notices

DEVON TWINNING CIRCLE
MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
HELD AT PADBROOK PARK HOTEL ON SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 25TH 2021

1. Attendance and apologies.

There were 22 members present representing 11 associations: Bideford, Bradninch, Cullompton, Dawlish, Exmouth, Exeter TC, Newton Abbot, Sampford Peverell, Tiverton, Torrington, Totnes.
Apologies were received from 3 committee members: Bob Bradshaw, Pauline Knowles, Pat Sherwood, and 18 associations: Bampton, Burnham-on-Sea & Highbridge, Brampford Speke, Chittlehampton, Crediton, Crewkerne, Holsworthy, Horrabridge, Ilfracombe, Kenton, Kingsteignton, Newton & Noss, Northam, Portishead, Scorriton & Buckfastleigh, South Molton, Tavistock, Torrington.

2. Chairman’s opening remarks and report.

“Welcome everybody, it’s a delight to be able to meet members face to face again.
I am sure you will agree that the last two years have been the most unexpected in our history and I hadn’t anticipated being chair for two years.
Meetings were cancelled, but in the gloom of lockdown Twinning used its resources to keep in touch and ‘stay alive’. On line Zoom, quizzes and language lessons were just some of the ways groups kept in contact with members near and far.
Some of the committee met via Zoom and eventually we managed a face to face meeting in Tiverton Town Hall. A very interesting venue; the ten of us were well spaced around the hall, quite strange but the first step back to normality.
Many groups lost valued members and friends to covid or other illnesses, it has been a very testing time. We remember them today and send our condolences to their families.
During this time our treasurer, James Stewart, died. He was an exceptional friend who brought efficiency and humour to the task. When he died James had been trying to set up a new bank account for the Devon Twinning Circle.
With James’s death, it became quite a task to obtain all the records and accounts and we discovered that all the work James had completed was void because of his death and the length of time to complete forms. Lockdown meant the banks closed their branches to new business accounts.
To the rescue rode our knight in shining armour, not only visiting, writing to and messaging every bank that you have ever heard of, but also keeping the committee aware, came Dennis Knowles.
Dennis deserves a vote of thanks for all the time and effort he put in to the task which he succeeded in completing brilliantly. As I keep telling him when he phones he deserves a medal, I thought it would be appropriate to present him with one from all of us today. (Large hand-made medal presented to Dennis. Laughter and applause.) Thank you Dennis for all your dedication to Devon Twinning Circle.
I have enjoyed being Chair, but I hope that the next Chair has the opportunity to attend quarterly meetings as the country returns to normality.”

3. Minutes of 2019 AGM.

These were approved: p. Mike Boyle, s. Dennis Knowles.

4. Matters arising.

Item 8: Exmouth Twinning Association have not yet received the
£50 owing to them from when they won the Monica Saunders trophy because we
had no bank account at the time. Dennis had not been aware of this but would
rectify it if Exmouth would send him a letter.

5. Secretary’ report.

“Much of the past year and a half has of course been very quiet. I
experienced temporary panic about the bank account when James so sadly died but
was rescued, as you have heard by Dennis, and add my thanks to that already
expressed to him. So the only action I had to take was to travel to Newton Abbot
and back a couple of times to fetch a car boot full of papers and other items, some of
which were ties and badges, now on display for you to help yourselves .
One enjoyable event was when I met a few members of Bradninch Association to
present the Monica Saunders cup and Don Leech tankard.
I have heard briefly from a number of associations. The general trend seems to be
that associations in towns are continuing well with their own social activities
although there have been no trips abroad. The villages are finding it more difficult
and for some this may be the end of the road. I shall be glad to hear if this summary
fits in with your own experience – and have you now got any trips or visits by your
twins planned?
Scoriton and Buckfastleigh Twinning Association have asked me to pass on the news
to any members who may remember Leyton and Margaret Juste who were founder
members of their Association. Sadly Leyton died this summer, a year after Margaret.
There has been a little confusion with some groups contact details when the
treasurer’s name seems to have replaced the secretary’s. I am trying to ensure that
this is put right and may be contacting your association very soon to check that we
have the correct contact name and address for mailings.
I agreed at the last meeting to look into the matter of safeguarding. It seems that
Ilfracombe Association have done the work for me and have an excellent
safeguarding policy written into their constitution and revised every year. I have
made a few copies for anyone who is interested to take, but they do ask that anyone
using any of this policy for their own association should acknowledge that it is
Ilfracombe’s work.
And finally, my thanks to Josie for organising this lunch. It is good to meet with you
again after all this time.
Information from members present about visits appears as a separate supplement to
these minutes.

6. Treasurer’s report.

The treasurer presented his report showing a balance of
£9618.10 and was congratulated on the clarity of its presentation.
The report was accepted p. Josie Mardon, s. Jenny Worsfold

7. Insurance Officer’s report.

The insurance officer told us that she has not had a great
deal to do since taking on the role quite recently. There was, of course, no public
liability insurance last year but it is in place this year. In answer to a question, it was
explained that at present we cannot provide travel insurance at any better price than
can be obtained elsewhere.

8. Election of Officers and Committee.

The following were elected, p. Philip Worsfold,
s. Diana Speaight:
Chairman: Mike Boyle
Vice Chairman: Mary Lowther
Secretary: Jenny Worsfold
Treasurer: Dennis Knowles
Insurance Officer: Pam Bines
Committee members: Bob Bradshaw, Margaret Gough, Pauline Knowles, Maurice
Mardon, Philip Worsfold.
(Jean Aplin is also on the committee as newsletter editor and Pat Sherwood and
Josie Mardon as past chairmen.)

9. Plans for future meetings.

Since self-catering for events is so onerous under present
conditions, it was agreed that we should hold further meetings in a pub or similar
venue p. Mike Boyle s. Josie Mardon.
Exmouth offered to arrange the meeting in January, Dawlish in April, and Bideford
possibly later in the year.

10. Any other business.

Padbrook Park was thanked for a good meal and a good room
for the meeting. We have been made to feel very welcome. And Josie was thanked
for organising the meal.

Meeting closed, 15.25