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AGM 2012 Minutes

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on Friday 10th August 2012 at the Glenaden Hotel, Ballater.



Clan Chief Captain A. Farquharson, Honorary Vice-Presidents Sir Angus & Alison, Lady Farquharson & Alan Caig. Clan President, Alistair Farquharson, Andrew Farquharson. Stuart Coutts (Dundee), Ray & Muriel Ward-Leitch (Australia), Arthur & Elizabeth Findlay, Joan Farquharson, , Gordon & Maureen Farquharson, Stuart & Betty Farquharson, Ian Farquharson, Ansgar Boehmer, Jane & Michael Farquharson-Hill, Margaret Finlay.

1: Apologies

Apologies John Farquharson, Roxana & Andris Vuskalns, Deirdre Farquharson, Catherine Farquharson (Fochabers), Gordon & Jane Farquharson (Guidford), Connie & Alan Cleps, Geoffrey Farquharson, Desmond & Lily Quaite, David Coates, Douglas, Jeanette & Margaret Farquharson, Sydney Waite, Hannah Jones, Norah Farquharson.

Welcome from The Chief
Captain Farquharson said what a pleasure it was to be back in Ballater again as he welcomed everyone.  He was delighted about the enthusiastic letter he
 Had received from Ethel Gray on behalf of her family of eight from New Zealand, who were of Farquharson descent.  They had briefly met The Chief some 10 years ago & now, having seen the clan web site before a pre-planned visit to The UK, they wanted to make a special visit to the Ballater Games to meet again in person.  The letter mentioned strong Farquharson connections & their thoughts of perhaps starting a clan association in  NZ.   Now, having met at Ballater, their enthusiasm was very evident & they had a wonderful time meeting other clan members & enjoying the day. There was time for discussion on the topic of NZ  & they returned to Edinburgh to finish their holiday with lovely memories of new friendships made at Ballater. The Chief was very pleased to welcome other overseas  clan visitors including  Douglas Coutts from New Zealand & members Muriel & Ray from Australia.  Our Chief had received a letter from another very keen German piper who has already made contact with Ansgar & they hope to meet up at some stage.  Horst Kraus is keen to join the clan. He has considerable skills in photography as well, & has sent his CV & a list of leisure interests to Margaret.

The Chief said what an enjoyable programme of events had been arranged for the week, with Sheila Sedgewick’s interesting talk on Invercvauld records & some aspects of social history of the area.  The German TV film was very popular & had 2 viewings.  It was disappointing to have had to miss the 4 x 4 picnic & Mar Estate day, due to the garden party at Balmoral as 3 of the drivers of those vehicles had been invited to the Royal garden party., but Clansmen nevertheless had a good week.  The Cairn service had been very poignant, with the loss of Val, Paul & other clansmen, who were remembered in the prayers.  Stones were placed on the cairn in their memory.  The week would finish on the usual high note of a formal dinner at The Albert Hall with the excellent food & conviviality which we always enjoy.

The Chief referred to the petition by The Council of Scottish Chiefs to  remove the ancient Attainder, which was explained in the last Lion’s Face & informed the membership that the petition could not be accepted in its present  form, so it  has been returned to the legal team for revision & amendment before being re-submitted.

Captain Farquharson concluded by congratulating & thanking Alistair for his three years of presidency, during which he & his committee had worked hard to maintain & develop the strength & friendship of Clan Farquharson.  The Chief thanked committee members & also the full membership for their support.

2: Minutes of the AGM Held on 7th August 2011.  

The minutes were deemed correct, proposed by Alan & seconded by Joan.

Matters Arising, not covered on this agenda

There were no matters requiring attention.

4: President’s Annual Report.  

Alistair expressed the great sadness of everyone at the deaths of Val & Paul, who had been two such special people within the clan.  They are so sorely missed by everyone & this time last year, they were both thoroughly enjoying all the clan events & happily socialising with everybody.  Their passing has left a big void.  The clan service had been a very special one as stones were laid on the cairn in remembrance.

Alistair was pleased that all events had been enjoyed despite losing our Mar Estate day.

Sheila’s talk had been very well received as was the TV film.  Thanks were given to Ansgar for producing DVDs which he made available & for which donations were given.

Alistair was grateful for the help from Fiona & staff at The Glenaden  & for the loan of tables. Thanks also to the local Pipe band whose music was so much appreciated.  Alistair also thanked Ansgar & Archie for their sensitive & haunting playing at our cairn service.

Alistair thanked everyone who had supported & contributed to our clan gathering & he made a special mention of his wife Joan, who had shared in the planning of events & organised the catering so successfully as well as supporting him  generally with all the presidential tasks.  He also mentioned the Aboyne Games which had attracted many visitors to our clan tent within the ‘Clan Village’ & The Ballater Games, where we welcomed our new friends from New Zealand. Alistair was appreciative of all the help from everyone at the Games who had helped before, during & after the event.

5.  Treasurer’s Report. 

Andrew had reviewed the accounts & found them to be in order.
Gordon had stated that much money had been saved because of Alistair & Joan’s generosity in providing the tent & some of the food & drinks.  He also said their generosity in taking over the catering arrangements at the clan tent for the Aboyne Highland Games had saved the clan considerable money.
 The bank a/c showed £6,800 which is a very healthy balance.

It was proposed by Andrew & seconded by Ian that the statement of accounts should be accepted & this was agreed by all the membership present.


6.  Secretary’s Report  

Margaret paid tribute to our indomitable Valerie for her 10 years of most efficient management in the role of membership secretary.  Her excellent communication skills had been of enormous benefit to prospective members as well as dealing with members’ queries & the many people who telephoned about various clan related matters & requesting help with tracing family history.  John’s knowledge in this area came in very useful too.  Since Val’s death there has been a large amount of correspondence & it seemed that those in the clan who had lost husbands over the past year had really wanted to ‘touch base’ & share their sadness with other clansmen.  It was quite clear that they valued the clan as part of their extended family & wanted to remain in touch.  They were assured that the cairn service would remember their loved ones as indeed it had.

There was some difficulty in extracting a definite number of paid up clan members as the data base was not up to date.  After September, the treasurer will be able to see how many people have paid their membership fees. 

Margaret thanked President Alistair for his help & consideration as she tried to continue a secretarial role without Val’s guidance.  She also thanked Alistair & Andrew for their help with group e mailing.

It was proposed by Alan, seconded by Jane & agreed by members that this report be accepted.

7.  Newsletter Editor’s Report  

Hannah & Gordon present two newsletters a year & always welcome contributions from clan members. It was agreed that the newsletters had been good, with interesting articles & pictures.   Muriel asked a technical question concerning a photo she had submitted with her article, to which Andrew responded.

8.   Web Site. 

Andrew outlined various difficulties with the Web which he  & Morag had encountered.  He mentioned 750 hits on the site & the clan face book was also popular.  Andrew also explained that at present, Andrew the Web from Edinburgh ‘owned the site’ & it was agreed that ideally, it should be the property of the clan but we need Andrew The Web’s permission for this to happen.  Andrew will look into the matter.  This was unanimously agreed.

9.  Constitutional Matters:

As this is a comprehensive document, it is presented separately. The proposed amendments were ratified, having been explained by President Alistair.

10.  Election of Officers & Committee

Gordon, Margaret & Andrew were willing to stand again as Treasurer, Honorary Secretary & Web Site Manager, respectively & were re-elected by the membership present. There was discussion about whether the post of Editor should be altered to  ex officio as the present post holder has difficulty in attending meetings. However, no decision was reached so the status quo will remain.  Geoffrey Farquharson was re-elected to the committee & it was noted that as he works full-time, consideration would be given to a weekend AGM & committee meeting at Ballater to enable his wish to participate more fully in clan affairs.   Ansgar Boehmer, Michael Farquharson-Hill & Ian Farquharson  were willing to stand as committee members & were duly elected.

11. Election of President  

Alistair Farquharson had completed his 3 year term of office & as there were 2 members willing to stand, namely Alain Caig & Andrew Farquharson,  there was a secret ballot which was then checked by Elizabeth Findlay.  Andrew Farquharson has now been elected as the new President.

AGM minutes