Minutes of the 76th Annual General Meeting of the YPA.
Held at York Racecourse, Saturday 22nd July 2023
Present: Keith Burton (President), Robert McMillan (Vice-President), Richard Hindle (Junior Vice-President), Philip Reynolds (Treasurer) Daphne McMillan (Secretary) and 8 members representing a total of 7 societies.
1. Apologies were received from Rachel McHugh, Harrogate and Colin Lea, York (Colin’s apologies sent early morning by email, not seen by secretary until after the meeting). Edith and Rodney Knight and Brian Hague were attending another meeting.
The President welcomed the members and sought the meeting’s approval to continue despite not having the usual number present for a quorum. The members chose to proceed with the meeting, which was then declared quorate.
2. Minutes of the 2022 AGM. These had been circulated in advance and their acceptance was proposed by Barnsley, seconded by Sheffield. Passed nem. con.
3. Matters Arising: None.
4. President’s Report.
My two years are up, and a new President is ready to take over.
I consider that a President’s report should be full of achievements and looking forward to a positive future under the new management. Unfortunately, I look back at what I said originally and what I hoped for, and see little to make me feel positive. What have I achieved this year – we finally managed to find three places to keep the frames – one at Pocklington (about 25 frames), one at Fulford (25 frames) and the rest in a very unsatisfactory long-term place near Bradford. We haven’t put any together to check them since Wakefield last year. We don’t know if we can do that as there are few people willing and able to give the time to make any inroads into them. So is there any sense in keeping them? Did I and a few others waste our time and effort in moving them?
I asked repeatedly for your views as to what you wanted your federation and me to do. I cannot recall receiving a single answer. Daphne has asked for help, opinions, attendance at management meetings and the response from many societies has been silence.
We could not organise our usual AGM at a convention, so we were lucky to get some very positive support from Chris Rainey to enable us to hold it here. Daphne asked for help on the YPA table – hardly any response again; asked for material to put on the table to advertise your society - just 5 produced anything – and not a great deal.
So I close my year with an apology for having failed you – and 1 or 3 questions:
Do you want a federation? If the answer is No – we should close.
If the answer is Yes – Question 2 is Why?
And 3 then follows: What are you as a society and an individual prepared to put into it?
Consequently, I feel that I have failed you.
Keith S Burton FRPSL
(The Treasurer and Secretary strongly refuted the President’s declarations of failure above, and the members present supported their statements, thanking him for all his efforts on behalf of the federation. They were asked to postpone further discussion until after the Treasurer’s report.)
5. Treasurer’s Report
Copies of the examined reports were distributed, and the Treasurer elaborated on them where needed. 15 societies have paid subscriptions and one is awaited.
In the financial year 6th April 2022 – 5th April 2023 receipts were £253.50, and payments totalled £572.67, giving a deficit of £319.17. The latest figures presented were: Current Account: £767.56, Reserve Account £2027.19, cash in hand £47.62, Total £2842.37.
Discussion prompted by the President’s report.
Richard Hindle (Sheffield) said that there is a need for a federation as it provides an essential intermediate step between local society competitions and national levels for members wanting to show competitively.
Bill Tait (Harrogate)said that we should aim to stress the positives of the YPA rather than dwell on weaknesses.
The importance of meeting people and networking was mentioned as was the creation and maintaining of an up-to-date list of speakers.
6. Competition Secretary’s Report
For various reasons, arrangements have been difficult this year. This has resulted in fewer than usual competition entries. Many Federations are now asking for scans of material which are sent for judging, which we have adopted, and I believe that this is better than sending original material to the judges with some entries containing rare and expensive material.
Thanks to everyone who has submitted an entry or in some cases entries. Your participation is greatly appreciated. We are fortunate to have two excellent judges, Steven Harrison, Senior Judge, and John Davies. I consider that they have done a very good and fair job for us.
I was fortunate to be able to take the entries down to the Royal Philatelic Society, London and hand them over in person and likewise was able to collect them in the same way at a later date. This has saved sending them by courier as has been done previously.
The judges were very impressed with the standard of the entries, and this is reflected in the marks awarded. Sadly, some classes only had one entry, but they have deserved to have the appropriate trophy awarded. This year, the Sidebottom Trophy for the best exhibit is shared, with two entries being awarded a Large Gold Medal with identical marks.
Unfortunately, we have had some problems and have not been able to get any tables to put the frames on so we regret that we cannot display any entries, but they are available if anyone wants to look at them.
I am aware that sadly numbers of members have decreased in many of our Societies, and some have had to fold but I hope that things will improve and next year we are able to have many more entries and more classes entered. We have some lovely trophies that deserve to be won so please plan early and realise that competitions are an important part of our activities.
Robert F. McMillan FRPSL
The Senior Judge, Steven Harrison gave the Judges’ report, praising the high standards achieved by the participants. His main advice for future entrants was to ensure that they provided the judges with a comprehensive and well-structured introductory page as this is a great help to them when assessing entries.
After thanking the judges on the Federation’s behalf, the President then distributed trophies and certificates to the successful competitors.
7. Election of Officers
The President, Keith Burton, passed his badge of office to his successor, Robert McMillan.
The Junior Vice-President Richard Hindle became Senior Vice-President.
There is currently no candidate for the post of Junior Vice-President.
The Secretary (Daphne McMillan), Treasurer (Philip Reynolds), Webmaster (Keith Burton) and Competition Secretary (Robert McMillan), having agreed to continue, were confirmed in post.
8. Appointment of Examiner.
Rodney Knight, having agreed to continue, was proposed by the Vice-President and seconded by the Treasurer. Passed.
9. AOB The Webmaster’s report, omitted from the Agenda in error (the Webmaster now having been designated an Officer), was presented at this point.
Through the good offices of a great friend Michael Hoffman, we now have our website back under our control.
I maintain it regularly – about once a fortnight in general.
I ask for material to put on it – and some has come from Harrogate, Hull, Leeds, Sheffield and Scarborough- regularly or occasionally.
We have a speakers’ list which needs some work on it – including checking that those on it are still showing and that titles are still relevant and active. That is the next task.
I occasionally have received requests for help from individuals seeking help in disposing of unwanted usually inherited collections – and have tried to be of help, though that can be difficult as the requests are often from people who are not sure what the collection/accumulation contains.
I will need your help when I start to check the speakers’ list.
I need your help in adding to the list.
I need your help in providing material to add to the website – to remind of fairs, to note achievements, to congratulate or whatever you would like to suggest.
I will not add your syllabus as we have links on the site to take visitors to your own website so there is no point in creating work for myself that has already been done – but if you have other ideas or specific things that you want to raise please email me with the details or questions – use email@example.com – it gets to the right place and is where I can best use it.
Keith S Burton FRPSL
A general discussion followed. Richard Hindle mentioned that societies/members are often asked to advise on the disposal of material. It was agreed that societies must not sell items on behalf of members of the public for legal liability reasons.
Peter Rix (Harrogate) urged us to project the positives about the Federation. Should competition entries be displayed on the internet? Possibly, but with no or minimal identification of owners or locations.
It was suggested that the YPA and the York fair could be merged in some way, but this was rejected in view of the fact that the York fair is a large commercial undertaking, well out of the ambit of the YPA.
There are pros and cons of combining the AGM and/or other activities with either day of the York Fair. This will be discussed further.
We should try to develop better P.R. for events and potential recruitment.
On the question of reaching more collectors, Jill Fearons (Barnsley/Wakefield) commented that there are collectors who just wish to pursue the hobby in isolation and have no desire to engage with organised philately.
It was suggested that since it had not been possible to display competition entries at the AGM, it might be possible to display them at the Leeds Fair in November.
At the end of the meeting, Richard Hindle thanked Keith Burton for his work over the last two years. This was echoed by all members present.