On Thursday 24 September at 11.00a.m. The Shaftesbury & District Historical Society invited its members to take part in its first on-line Annual General Meeting. The meeting was comfortably quorate as members logged in from neighbouring counties and, in one instance, from a distant continent. The AGM is an essential part of the governance of the Society as a registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation, and was scheduled to be held at Gold Hill Museum on 07 July, when it fell victim to the Lockdown. It was postponed to a larger venue, the Town Hall, for early October, but as the end of the pandemic is nowhere in sight the Trustees decided to take advantage of a Charity Commission dispensation to hold a safer, virtual meeting.
At each AGM a third of the Trustees are elected or re-elected and their Annual Report for the previous financial year is up for scrutiny. Newly elected were David Hardiman, Mark Smith and Sue Stamp, while Sheena Commons was re-elected. Chairperson Elaine Barratt thanked many volunteers, past and present, and friends of The S&DHS, while paying tribute to retiring Trustees Ray Simpson and Janet Swiss. Treasurer Linda Wilton also spoke to the Trustees’ Annual Report for 2019-20, which was duly endorsed by the meeting. This includes a summary of the Society’s diverse educational activities as well as its Statement of Accounts, and can be found here.
The host of the virtual AGM was the Society’s President, Sir John Stuttard. In this troubled year of COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter, Sir John is eager that a champion of the abolition of slavery and many other progressive causes, John Rutter, should be remembered by a blue plaque on the site of his nineteenth century print and stationery shop in The Commons, Shaftesbury. ThisisAlfred’s Keri Jones talks to Sir John about this initiative here.