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Eisteddfod AGM 2022

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Guernsey Eisteddfod Society held in the Lecture Theatre, The Grammar School, Les Varendes, St Andrews on Wednesday 15th June 2022 at 6.00 p.m. In the Chair: Mr A. Brown Present: 31Members Apologies: Sir Richard Collas, Shaun Winterflood, R. McMahon, June and John Bourget, Helen Colmer, Graham and Janet De Jersey, Gloria Dekker, Ann Atkinson, Linda Armstead Minutes: Minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting held on 15th September 2021 were taken as read and approved and signed. Matters Arising The cost of storing Eisteddfod equipment was discussed as this is quite costly, Mr Darren Alderton offered storage at his rehearsal space. General Secretary’s Annual Report Mrs Minta read her 41st Annual Report to those present. Mrs Minta said the Festival had been successful despite problems still arising with covid. There had been deletions from participants, problems had arisen both with Eisteddfod personnel and Beau Sejour staff who had been unwell or had to isolate. Mr Roy Sarre received the Centenary Trophy , which had been donated by Sir Richard Collas, awarded in recognition of Mr Sarre’s various roles within the Eisteddfod and he was very pleased to be presented with it at the Gala Concert. The Literary Section is without an Executive Officer and thanks were expressed to Janet Rolfe and Sophie Appleqvist for leading the team of adjudicators, thanks were also given to Alan Brown and his wife Mel who set out the display of literary entries. There has been no success in finding an Executive Officer for this section and if one cannot be found the section will not be able to function which will be a huge loss. Mr Graham De Jersey and Mr Peter Dumont both wish to retire from their positions and were thanked for their hard work and again replacements were needing to be found. The video section also needs a new Executive Officer or this section will also cease to be included in the Exhibition. On happier things, Anna Lisa Detassis will be taking over the Modern Foreign Languages Section, and this year Linda Armstead ran a very successful Flower Arranging Section. The Guernesiais Section had been enjoyed by participants and audience; Joy Ligget was thanked for her organisation. Roller Skating should also be back in the Festival in 2023 which is good news after an absence of a few years. The Music and Speech and Drama sections ran very well and both adjudicators for the relevant sections were highly impressed with the organisation and the talent on show. Thanks were given to Katherine Wegerer and Shaun Winterflood for their organisation. The Exhibition was a joy to behold and thanks to Peter de Garis for organising and running the event. In 2022 when Sir Richard Collas retired as President he set the Society a challenge with a question ‘Is the Eisteddfod sustainable in its present form?’ Much of the work undertaken by the Committee this year apart from organising the Festival has been devoted to this, an island wide survey was undertaken to gauge islanders thoughts on the Eisteddfod and the way forward, subsequently a review committee was formed which has met on several occasions and recommendations made which will be discussed further. Thanks were given to Alan Brown who has spearheaded the work tirelessly. The Centenary celebrations started with a successful quiz organised by Mr Thompson and Mrs Duport, thanks were given to them both, a Concert will be held on 9th September organised by Katherine Wegerer and Helen Colmer, and a dinner on 26th November at Les Cotils.

-2- Mrs Minta concluded her report with thanks to sponsors, participants, exhibitors, the Guernsey Press for their coverage, Martyn Guille, all those who have acted as stewards and in particular David Wilson and Muriel Ferbrache whose help has been invaluable. Thanks, were also given to Martin Shires who audits the accounts and other committee members who have helped in various roles. [A full transcript of the General Secretary’s Report can be seen in the official Minute Book]. Mr Brown thanked Mrs Minta for her report and all that she does to hold the Eisteddfod together to make it a great success every year. Mrs Minta’s 41st Annual Report’s acceptance was proposed by Mr Bob Thompson and seconded by Mrs Sue Duport. Mr Roy Sarre raised the point of the Sacred Music Competitions and asked if it could be held at the Town Church as had been done previously. Some discussion followed regarding the cost of St James the logistics of the Town Church, Mr Brown said that a new venue was being sought for next year, possibly Capelles Church. Honorary Treasurer’s Annual Report Mr Dumont gave his annual report and copies of the balance sheet were circulated to those present. Mr Dumont said that his report covers the period from the 1st August 2021 to 31st May 2022 due to the extension of the previous financial year as a result of last year’s Exhibition being postponed until June 2021. Income was down in many areas particularly admissions, sponsorship and Friends’ subscriptions coupled with increased costs and the one-off expense of the Bailiwick wide survey which cost £10,700. The balance of cash with HSBC on 1st August 2021 stood at £70, 899.98 and closed the Financial Year on 31st May 2022 at £44, 921.43. Entry fees were only slightly down compared to 2019 with Music and Speech and Drama being the main contributors, admissions were down by 23.1% due to the shorter performance programmes and reduced number of ticketed sessions. Festival expenses were up by 4.6% mainly due to the significant increase in St James higher costs. Overall expenditure for the 10 months was £61,241.80 up by 12.8% Mr Dumont thanked Mr Shires for his auditing of the accounts and reiterated his intention to retire as Treasurer after doing the job for the last ten years, he said that he would assist until a suitable replacement could be found. Mr Alderton questioned the cost of printing and said that cheaper could be found, some discussion followed and less copies of the syllabus and programmes are to be printed as the way forward appears to be digital which is more eco friendly as well as cheaper. Acceptance of The Treasurer’s report was proposed by Mrs Sue Duport and seconded by Mr Paul Davis. Mr Brown thanked Mr Dumont for his exemplary work as Treasurer.

Election of Officers The following were elected or re-elected en bloc proposed by Mr Thompson and seconded by Mrs Duport Vice Presidents Chair – Mr Alan Brown General Secretary – Mrs Barbara Minta Assistant Secretary – Mrs Susan de Garis Honorary Treasurer – Vacant Membership Secretary – Mr Paul Davis Public Relations Officer – Mr Peter Le Lacheur Executive Officers Music – Mrs Katherine Wegerer Speech/Drama – Mr Shaun Winterflood/Mrs Helen Colmer French – Mrs Anna Lisa Detassis Guernesiais -Mrs Joy Ligget Roller Skating – Mrs Gloria Dekker Art & Craft Senior – Vacant Art and Craft Junior (Schools) – Mrs Sue Duport Cookery – Miss Ann Mauger English Literary- Vacant Needlecraft- Miss Margaret Girard Flower Arranging- Mrs Linda Armstead Photography- Mr Robin Millard Video Photography – Vacant Shorthand Typing – Mrs Janet De Jersey Exhibition Organiser – Mr Peter de Garis The positions of House Manager are also vacant as both Mrs Minta and Mrs Ferbrache wish to stand down. Mr Martin Shires was also re-elected as auditor. The Way Forward Recommendations from the Review Committee Mr Dumont said that the Eisteddfod needed to move forward to be financially viable in the future the survey made it very clear that modernisation was needed Mr Brown said that the main important thing to discuss was to accept the results of the survey or to carry on as before and not make any changes. If changes are to be made, which seems to be the will of the committee, then small changes could be made for the 2023 Festival but all major changes would need to be done for the 2024 Festival. Mr Thompson said something bigger and better could be achieved which would appeal to the wider audience which was needed to make the Eisteddfod sustainable. Mrs Beacom proposed and Mr Alderton seconded said that the Eisteddfod be Limited by Guarantee, Mr Brown said this was already being explored. Mr Sarre expressed concern about changing things too dramatically but Mr Brown said that what works well within the society would be kept and those that didn’t could be changed. A plan was hoped to be formulated by September by the review committee and working party which will include Peter de Garis, Hannah Beacom, Claire Dawson and Darren Alderton.

-4- The Working Party set up at the AGM will bring recommendations to an Extraordinary Meeting in the Autumn which will include:

  • Formulation of a plan to implement changes in time for 2024 Festival

  • Rebranding

  • Rule changes

  • Structural changes, classes etc.

  • Website design including content and ongoing maintenance

  • Application for Grant Funding

  • Push for new sponsorship/advertising support

  • Syllabus rewrite

  • Programme rewrite Any Other Business Mr Sarre asked about international adjudicators for the Festival some discussion took place but Mrs Minta said that all adjudicators had to come under the auspices of the Federation in order to preside over a Festival. There being no further business the meeting closed at 7.03.

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