ENGLISH WESTERNERS' SOCIETY
REPORT OF THE
57TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
HELD ON SATURDAY, 5TH OCTOBER 2013
AT DOGGETT'S COAT & BADGE
Once again, our regular attendees (plus Clive Wootton, who was attending for the first time) made their way to the Doggetts’ Coat and Badge, with its views across the Thames, for our yearly get together. It is indeed a satisfying feeling to meet and share a year’s worth of stories; to finally distribute those saved articles and books to friends and fellow enthusiasts; to talk unashamedly about the West and its characters; and to learn something new, which, at the end of the day, is what our Society is all about.
After coffee had been served and members had had the opportunity to reacquaint and mingle, the official part of the meeting was called to order at 11am and the committee members gave their reports. Following this, one of our Vice-Chairmen, Kevin Galvin, gave his talk, The Alamo: Thirteen Days of Glory which dispelled some of the myths surrounding the story and commented upon the films that have been made on the subject. Old paintings and photographs were used to good effect to show the changes to the buildings there, while the difficulty of returning some areas to their previous state have been thwarted by local development. This was followed by a two course meal.
Following lunch, the traditional photograph on the balcony was taken and the members retreated to the main room for a fascinating talk, Old Army Memories: Major General James Parker, presented by our American guest and EWS member, Sandy Barnard. The talk, based on Sandy’s introduction to the reprint of Major General Parker’s memoirs, was packed with tales of his colourful life and abundant adventures.
The auction was its usual mixture of western literature and witty banter as members shared their knowledge of the books being offered whilst bidding against each other good naturedly for the best titles.
Then came our Chairman’s talk, Custer’s Yellowstone Interlude 1873 which, in true Francis Taunton fashion, soon sparked a long and impromptu discussion about the finer points of Custer’s character and the part the Yellowstone Interlude should be playing in unravelling it.
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!
First, I have received apologies for absence from the following members: Graham Berry, Derek Batten, Mike and Mary Christian, Ron Serlin, David Fleck. Harry Hayfield, Richard Pratt, John James and Neil Gilbert. Secondly, I should like to extend my personal thanks to my colleagues for all the hard work they have put in during the past year. In addition, I need to thank Mary Christian for continuing to mail our publications to members, assisted by her husband, Mike, and to Richard Pratt who, until recently, continued to assist her by generating the address labels.
I should first like to welcome Sandy Barnard. I should also like to welcome anyone present today who has not attended a Society meeting in the past.
I am pleased to say that we have continued to be up to date with our publications. I am also delighted to say that we have covered our increase costs and generated a small surplus in the year. I am also delighted to be able to show you the Heads-up Award for 2011 from Westerners International, our co-ordinating body. This was the first time for more than 40 years that we received such an award, and this was largely due to the second volume of our Golden Jubilee Publication. Our congratulations go to its editor, Barry Johnson, who is with us today. FBT
THE VICE CHAIRMAN’S REPORT
As the second vice-chairman my responsibilities include producing the new members’ information folders and the maintenance of the EWS website, which is a collaborative endeavour with Westerners Publication Limited (WPL) and the Custer Association of Great Britain (CAGB).
Folders for new members are normally compiled on receipt of a confirmation from the Treasurer that a new member has formally joined. In the last 12 months, two new members have required folders.
The website is normally updated monthly, or when changes need to be made. The cost of the site has been shared with WPL and CAGB and through this arrangement, the Society saves money. The cost of this service increases annually. I have continued to examine other Internet Service Providers but their costs are relatively similar so we have continued to retain the services of our current ISP – UK2. The cost of the website is paid for, at present by myself but is factored into the budget for such a time when that may not be the case. The website is in need of a redesign. Possible paths of action, please see minutes of last meeting, have failed to provide designers for the new site. I am now looking at other sites so that I can see what the trends are in web design and working on creating a new web template for the Society. KEG
THE SECRETARY’S REPORT
The membership number has remained steady during the year. The present total is 165 - 117 UK members and 48 associate (overseas) members. We remain in contact with Westerners International, our parent body in Oklahoma. We also remain in contact with a number of publishers in the US who specialise in Western books, especially the University of Oklahoma Press.
E-mails. The bulk e-mails we send out to members with e-mail addresses saves on postage costs. Please let us know if your e-mail address changes. Also if you would like to do so please tell us if you haven't advised us of your e-mail address. E-mail addresses will not be used for any purpose other than EWS matters. They will not be shared with other organisations. There may be occasions when a member would like to get in touch with another member. As we are not able to give out members' addresses and telephone numbers under the Data Protection Act without permission, the way around that is for the member to let me know and I will contact the recipient for permission to forward his address. RC
The Brand Book – The last Brand Book (Vol. 46, No 3) was Michelle Pollard’s paper on the death of Jesse James: Witnesses to the Passing of a Legend. The first in volume 47 will be The ‘Fighting Seventh’ at Canyon Creek by Francis Taunton. After that I have at least three works in progress and more needing a bit more work. I thank authors for the patience.
Special Publications – The first volume of the Diamond Jubilee Publication on outlaws and Lawmen should be with members next year. The precise format has not been finalised. At this time there will be two volumes, the other being on Indians and Indian Wars. The amount of material may mean that two volumes is not enough, however, and we are looking at alternative printing ideas. GML
The Tally Sheet - First, can I say a huge thank you to those who have contributed articles, book reviews, and items for the Society News section. Please do continue to send these items in using the usual address.
This year saw all three editions published on time, and you may have noticed a bumper edition for the summer. Work is already underway for the next Tally Sheet, which will include a report of the AGM as always.
With regard to Twitter, changes are afoot! Due to the way in which Twitter works, it is proving rather difficult to manage. So... we intend to keep Twitter as an information only site, making it clear that the Society will not respond to posts there. We will then set up a link to a new Facebook page, which is much easier to use as a way of communicating with members and the outside world. MP
SOCIETY MEMBERSHIP: This remains stable with a current membership of 165 made up as follows: Honorary Officers – 2; Founder members – 1; Committee members – 7; Secretary to the Committee – 1; Full UK members – 106, Overseas associates – 48.
Note: Stocks of Society Publications, People of the Buffalo, polo shirts and ties are not included in the financial statements above
Executive Committee -20013/2014
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.