ENGLISH WESTERNERS' SOCIETY
REPORT OF THE
55TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
HELD ON SATURDAY 1st OCTOBER 2011
AT DOGGETT'S COAT & BADGE
Doggett's’ Coat & Badge is now our regular venue for London meetings. As in recent years, following morning coffee, the committee members delivered their reports. This was a sad day as our chairman, Richard Pratt announced his departure from the committee, having served for nearly forty years. Francis Taunton was elected as his successor. Bob Wybrow ceased to hold the offices of treasurer and associate editor, being succeeded by Barry Corbett as treasurer and by Michelle Pollard as associate editor. He was, however, elected a vice chairman, the other offices remaining unchanged. This year we arranged talks by three speakers. Before lunch, Francis Taunton gave an analytical talk, accompanied by maps and slides on the Fetterman Affair of 1866 to an audience of 20 members and guests. Those present then enjoyed a satisfying two-course lunch in our own private bar and afterwards we were entertained by Bob Wybrow on writings by the Pinkertons. The annual auction, with Leon Mould proving to be his usual entertaining self was successful, raising £112 for the Society, which was used to defray meeting room costs. Afternoon tea was followed by our final talk: Kevin Galvin gave his listeners an account of the Red River War of 1874-75. Each talk was followed by discussion with various members raising points with the speakers.
After the formal part was over, members chatted informally for sometime and later, some of the hardy members adjourned to the bar to continue their reminiscences into the evening. FBT
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!
I am grateful to all committee members for their hard work and take this opportunity to thank not only them. but also Mike and Mary Christian who, although not on the committee, continue to mail our publications to members. As indicated last year, for personal reasons I am now standing down from the committee. My departure has led to a reorganisation of the committee, with Barry Corbett succeeding Bob Wybrow as treasurer, and Michelle Pollard joins the committee, succeeding him as associate editor. Bob, however, remains on the committee as a vice-chairman. I wish them well in the future. RJP
Special Publications. The second volume of the Golden Jubilee Publication, Secrets of Box 20, Custer’s War Department File, edited by Barry C Johnson has continued its tortuous process throughout 2011 but as at last appeared and has been mailed to members. Future Special Publications are under consideration and members will be advised accordingly in due course. FBT
The Brand Book. In the last twelve months, we have produced three Brand Books: Texas Wants ‘Em by Bob Wybrow; Aspects of Lakota Leadership papers by Kingsley Bray and Joseph Balmer; and Henry Starr and his Era by Roy O’Dell.
The next two Brand Books are scheduled to be:
Making Pacts with Old Enemies by Brian Keefe; and Jeff Broome’s paper Wild Bill Hickok’s Hays City Brawl, both of which should have been published by the Spring of 2012.
Future issues are planned to feature papers by Tony Cunningham on Buffalo Bill’s 1891 tour of Great Britain; Making the Itazipcho Hoop by Kingsley Bray, which deals with the Sans Arc tribal organisation; Witnesses to the Passing of a Legend by Michelle Pollard concerning the death of Jesse James and its immediate aftermath; Keith Robinson’s Wyatt Earp – Fair and Square Referee relates the lawman’s foray into fist fighting; Francis Taunton’s The Fighting 7th at Canyon Creek, which examines the 1877 confrontation between the Seventh Cavalry and the Nez Perce in Montana. Papers are also well under way by Bob Wybrow and Roy O’Dell. So there is a great deal for members to look forward to in the coming months.
All in all, the production of the Brand Book has been going well. We have had an interesting selection of papers with some from members who may not yet have contributed to the Society’s publications in the past. GML
The Tally Sheet This year we have published a wide variety of articles covering outlaws, the Cheyenne Sun Dance, Indian ethnology, an early Society ‘character’, army officers’ wives and the Indian wars. Similarly, a large number of book reviews have been published. Michelle Pollard takes over from me as Associate Editor with the next volume; so please remember we can only publish what we are given by members. So do keep those articles and book reviews flowing in! RJW
The Secretary’s Report
There have been few enquiries during the year, one from a non-member who purchased four copies of a recent Brand Book. There was no further communication from him. There was an enquiry from the South Dakota State Historical Society at Pierre requesting access to or the purchase of our membership list. We advised that we could not provide this, but would be willing to give them a mention in the Tally Sheet. On enquiry, we also advised them that we review books, which resulted in two of their recent books being included for review, a welcome change as normally we have to request review copies from publishers. Subsequently, there was also an offer of review copies of two recent books from the University of North Texas Press. Our Texas member Chuck Parsons has offered to do reviews for these. The University of Oklahoma Press also continues to oblige with books for review when requested,. which is welcome as book reviews remain an important and distinctive element in the Society publications.
There has been no communication from Westerners International. However Kevin Galvin still receives the Buckskin Bulletin.
There was a letter for members from the director of the John Wayne Birthplace Society in Winterset, Iowa, where the John Wayne (JW) home was restored to reflect its appearance in 1907, the year of his birth. Most Westerners will have some affinity with JW from his Western films. The letter refers to funds for a gallery to be built which "will assure that John Wayne's personal character and popularity will endure for generations to come ... our goal is to begin construction of the planned museum complete with a 50-seat theatre and expansive collection of rare memorabilia". It asks for small donations to that end. So if anyone feels that this is a worthy cause and would like to contribute let me know. RC
The Vice-Chairman’s Report
Since my appointment, I have continued to produce new members’ information folders and maintain the Society website, a collaborative endeavour with Westerners Publication Limited (WPL) and the Custer Association of Great Britain (CAGB) who share the cost, which increases annually. There are alternative Internet providers to the one used by the society but their costs are similar so we have retained the services of the current provider.
New members’ folders includes an updated EWS Publications Catalogue of the Tally Sheet, a complimentary copy of both a Brand Book and Tally Sheet, together with an Order Form for the purchase of back issues.
The website is normally updated monthly. The site is in need of a redesign but this potentially can be an expensive. I intend examine the feasibility of doing this personally in order to save Society funds.
In June 2011, the Pahaska Corral of Westerners in Cody, Wyoming, hosted Gary Leonard and myself. The Chairperson or ‘Sheriff’ as they are referred to in the United States was presented with an EWS Tie. A short presentation on EWS was made to the Corral’s members, who had turned out in force to attend the specially convened event. KEG
The Treasurer’s Report
There was a surplus last year of £21, compared with a surplus of £350 the previous year. In terms of membership, we ended the year with 166 members (almost the same as the previous year’s 165), as follows: Honorary Officers - 3; Honorary members - 3; Founder members - 1; Committee members - 7; members and associates - 152. Two members joined ‘late’ in the Society’s year and are not included in the figures for 2011/12.
Note: Stocks of Society Publications, People of the Buffalo, polo shirts and ties are not included in the financial statements above.
Executive Committee -2011/2012
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