ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING & AUTUMN LUNCH
The Association’s Annual General Meeting was held at 11.30am on 11 October 2016 at the Cavalry & Guards Club, 127 Piccadilly, London W1J 7PX. [The minutes of the meeting will be circulated with the Spring 2017 issue of The Gallipolian.]
Brigadier James Stopford welcomed members to the meeting. It had been a busy year for the Association and he was pleased to report that membership now stood at just under 1,000. The new Membership Secretary, Peter Luff, had continued to build on the work of his predecessor and membership continued to grow.
He drew attention to matters highlighted in the Chairman’s Report which covered the period 1 January 2015 to 30 June 2016. This extended beyond the period covered by the Financial Statements and the Trustees’ Report in order to cover events such as that held at Sandringham in January 2016 to mark the centenary of the evacuation from the peninsula, and more recent Association initiatives. The centenary events had attracted much positive comment both from members and those in the wider community and had raised the profile of the Association and interest in the campaign. In this respect, he drew attention to the valuable contribution made by the Gallipoli 100 sub-committee under the Chairmanship of Colonel Gordon Birdwood ably supported by Lyn Edmonds, the sub-committee’s Executive Officer. G100 had been active in many areas; in particular with the Gallipoli Centenary Education Project where Lyn Edmonds and the Project Officer, Robin Clutterbuck had played leading roles. This project had involved some 1,600 people in local communities; GCEP, had also organised a successful Schools’ Conference and three battlefield visits which had taken students from a number of schools to Gallipoli. With the passing of the centenary it was important that the Association should build on what had already been achieved. There was already an excellent journal and Association website, and a web author had been appointed to provide further support with the latter. The Trustees had also appointed Peter Butterworth as Education Co-ordinator to carry forward the education role and Peter had played a leading role in organising an educational visit to the Peninsula in June 2016.
The Chairman also expressed his appreciation of the support the Association had received from its Patron, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh who had attended a number of events during the centenary year, including the Association’s Autumn Lunch. The President and the Chairman had also had an audience with His Royal Highness in May and it was clear that he continued to take a keen interest in the work of the Association.
In conclusion, the Chairman referred to the enormous contribution made by Captain Fagan during his 30 years as Chairman and was delighted that he had agreed to become President of the Association. He also paid tribute to the work of James Watson Smith who was standing down after 29 years as Hon. Secretary.
Image: The portrait of Lieutenant General Sir William Birdwood, commander ANZAC Corps. Photograph courtesy of Stephen Chambers. The painting is hanging in the Cavalry and Guards Club, London.