ENGLISH WESTERNERS' SOCIETY
REPORT OF THE
51ST ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
HELD ON SATURDAY 13TH OCTOBER 2007
AT DOGGETT'S COAT & BADGE
This year's meeting was at a new location as the old venue at The Royal Overseas League was proving too expensive. The date had to be put back on week due to a prior booking, but the committee had visited and approved the new venue a few weeks before. A total of 18 members and guests took lunch. The meeting opened with the Chairman reminding those present of the death of Joe Balmer, one of the founder members. He welcomed Joe Rosa, the President of EWS and Fred Nolan, a co-founder, both of whom would be taken part in the 'Brain's Trust' later on. He also welcomed Michelle Pollard, who was standing in for Bob Wybrow who had already apologised in not being able to attend. The Chairman also reminded members of the need for new committee members. Reports from the various office holders were received and questions were discussed. (RJP)
Lunch was then taken in the terrace bar and we subsequently returned to the meeting room for the afternoon programme. Kevin Galvin recounted his travels around Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska and South Dakota in 2006, with an illustrated talk, covering his visits to the Little Bighorn, the Fetterman battlefield, Forts Laramie and Robinson, the frontier town of Lusk and the Black Hills. There followed the panel discussion between Michelle Pollard, Joe Rosa and Fred Nolan discussing three Icons of the West: Jesse James, “Wild Bill” Hickok and Jesse James. Finally, before members adjourned to the bar, the Society auctioneer, Peter Harrison, raised £75 for Society funds. Everyone present seemed to have had an enjoyable day and looked forward to future meetings at our new venue.
A note on the AGM: All members are entitled to attend the AGM free of charge, irrespective of whether or not they take lunch. (There is a buttery on the premises, which serves snacks and a three-course meal). We take lunch in our own room partly because in this way we avoid a room-hire charge, and also because this furnishes us with an opportunity to enjoy a meal together. But, please do remember, everyone is welcome to attend the meeting even if they do not take lunch!
The Tally Sheet
I have produced 3 Tally Sheets and explained the need for more material from the membership. I have tried to keep the subject matter of the articles diversified to keep an even balance. I also explained the role of the Associate editor and also thanked all those who have given me material over the last year. I have to thank my committee member colleagues for their support re the production of the Tally Sheet and again Francis Taunton who is in liaison with our printer. (RJP)
The Brand Book
Our current Brand Book now just coming out is Allan Radbourne's Company C, Indian Scouts, a study of the use of Apache Scouts by the Frontier Army. He was lucky to find some interesting photos of the era, so his account makes for an interesting work.
Following through, we now have under preparation a joint effort from Laura Heywood and Bob Wybrow, who have assembled and annotated some historic material from raconteurs Cole Younger and Harry Hoffman under the title The Outlaw and the Lawman.
Just starting out for publication is also Colin Taylor's Wakanyan, a valuable contribution to Siouan ethnology. Practicalities on illustrations will need to be considered, but it should make a worthy addition to our stable when completed. (PH)
The Society was 50 years old in November 2004, and to commemorate this half-century of achievement we are publishing one or more special Golden Jubilee Publications. The first volume, entitled Vignettes in Violence, was despatched to members three years ago. A second volume is now planned to appear in 2007-2008 featuring contributions on the Army and Indian Wars. Two articles have been completed, with two more in an advanced stage of preparation. We will keep members informed of developments. (FBT)
The Secretary’s Report
I remain the point of contact for Westerners International and copies of their publication the Buckskin Bulletin were being received on a regular basis and passed to members of the committee only. This is because they only contain news of other corrals and no articles. UK members may request a copy from the Secretary, which will be photocopied and charged for accordingly including postage and packaging.
We still do not advertise our presence, however it is my intention to send a report of this meeting with an appropriate photograph for inclusion in the Buckskin Bulletin.
Last year there were 6 new members. Since introducing the new members pack in 2000-2001 we have had 76 new members and the bulk of those remain in the Society. Currently an average 10 new members join annually and each receives an information pack which includes the latest Tally Sheet and Brand Book but not Special Publications that have been issued in lieu of Brand Books. Promotional material for the sales of publications and an Order Form for back issues of Brand Books and Special Publications are included. The change in postal rates for different sizes of mail did not affected the cost of sending these packs but recent increases in postage has had an impact. The availability of free photocopying has so far kept costs to a minimum.
The website continues to be updated on a regular basis with exception of the summer months when other commitments prevent this occurring. Although one past article published in the TS was posted in November 2005, I have yet to add more and ideally would like volunteers to transcribe articles so that they can be added. So although it remains my intention to put a selection of articles covering various topics relating to the American West on to the web-site after consulting the authors of articles where possible I have yet to do so. Some of the early works would be idea candidates and ensure that the Society as an electronic record of its valued research since 1954. We are also still investigating how we can potentially support the national curriculum by providing fact sheets on the American West in a similar fashion to those that the BBC currently provide on their web-site. I will be asking those members with expertise in certain subject areas to help with this project. (KEG)
The Treasurer’s Report
There was a surplus last year of £156, a much better position than in any of the previous three years. This is mainly due to sales of Mickey Free by Allan Radbourne – a one-off event - and a reduction in expenditure. Sales of Society publications are much lower than in the past, and are unlikely to show any improvement over the coming years, as our stocks of saleable items is steadily dwindling. On the expenditure side, we have been able, to a great degree, to control what is spent. In terms of membership, we ended the year with 178 members (an improvement on the previous year’s 173), as follows: Honorary Officers - 2; Honorary members – 3; Founder members – 1; Committee members – 5; members and associates - 167. (RJW)
Note: Stocks of Society Publications, People of the Buffalo, polo shirts and ties are not included in the financial statements above
Executive Committee -2007/2008
Note: Although no longer serving on the committee, Mary Christian, with the help of her husband Mike, kindly continues to mail our publications to members as before.
English Westerners' Society