National Viola and Pansy Society Newsletter Autumn 1997

The Annual General Meeting.

Not so very long ago I attended my first AGM. It was held in the dining room of our President Tom Pitt, there were ten of us altogether. At this time membership was at a low ebb and the 'National' in our title seemed somewhat overstated.

Glad to say that membership has increased to over 150, and we can truly say that we are 'National' having members in all parts of the United Kingdom. However, our AGM remains rather lodged in the past. True, it is now held in the somewhat larger Court Oak Methodist Church in Harborne. The attendance has not increased much, although the business has. Could this be due to the fact that we hold the AGM on a Tuesday night (usually wet) in April?

The business is done, the Society thrives and we therefore assume that the membership is at least content. Meetings and elections are not, in general, popular; after all are we not more interested in the flowers? I have felt for some time that our present timing of AGM is far from desirable in that it automatically precludes any member not residing within the confines of the Midlands.

I belong to two other florist societies, Auricular and Tulip, both having well attended AGM's. Why? I believe that the answer is what they have in common. Firstly they are held on a Saturday, and the necessary business although conducted thoroughly is kept to a minimum. Members can have their all important say. Then there is the availability of treasure; there is a plant sale at the Auricular gathering and rarities may be purchased to the delight of members and the financial benefit of the Society. The tulips, surely the rarest of our florist blooms, are given to those who would exhibit, in small precious parcels. 1 have to admit here that I took inspiration for our Newsletter and giving new members three plants from the work of James and Wendy Akers of the Wakefield and North of England Tulip Society.

Both societies provide 'entertainment' in the form of a talk or illustrated lecture on some aspect of their own branch of floristry. Last, and by no means least, is the opportunity to share good food in the good company of a shared enthusiasm. With this in mind, 1 really need to gauge the feeling of the membership, therefore I should be most grateful for as much response as possible to the following.

Would you be likely to attend the AGM of the Society if:
 i) it was held on a Saturday
 ii) included some 'entertainment'
 iii) provided opportunities to acquire plants
 iv) was at a central venue, but outside Birmingham.

I appreciate that not all members want to attend, and indeed a number will be unable to attend. With a favourable response, I hope that more members will at least have the opportunity to make a choice.

Secretary's Notes Subscriptions Awards to Blooms Schedule Changes for 1998 A.G.M. Annual Show Shrewsbury
Ayr Show Kings Heath The Pansy Around the Gardens Ceri Bowen Plant Distribution 1998 Society Library

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