All the 'usual suspects' were there, except Hilary Chapman, who had been co-opted following the resignation of Derek Tatton, but had unavoidable family commitments that weekend. Following Angela Tellier's elevation to Fellowship (and Geoffrey King's to Hon. Life Membership), we decided on another Fellowship, but the name must remain confidential until December. By the by - if anyone can recommend a good caligraphist (hand-writer, if you prefer), I should be grateful: we need someone to fill in certificates of Fellowship, Life Membership and the like - elegantly !
Contact with the Esperanto Federation in India (Bharat) continues and it is very likley that we shall be providing some financial assistance for their annual summer school.
Secretary reported on the ongoing saga of the Review of Wedgwood Memorial College - a process which makes paint-drying quite exciting by comparison. As far as we can ascertain, no decisions have been taken, nor are imminent, but the City Council have promised to advise us immediately any options are under consideration that could affect the Association's interests. So, watch this space - but don't hold your breath.
The financial situation remains broadly satisfactory. Once again, Joyce Bunting managed to sell a few investments (small holdings that we have been meaning to dispose of for some time) just before the markets went on the slide. Uncanny, or what? Edmund Grimley Evans had done an analysis demonstrating that over the past 10 years we have had around a 5% return on our investments which, while not stunning, is highly satisfactory, given the volatility in the financial world - and well ahead of inflation over that period.
We have a new, part-time Admin Assistant in Esperanto House now - Emma Hudson - that some of you may already have spoken to on the telephone. Viv is gradually introducing her to the mysteries of our operations: subscriptions, book sales and the rest. The College is having an Open Day, 4 July 2009; Viv is organising a contribution by EAB.
The Welsh Federation have undertaken to produce a Welsh version of the popular course, Elementary...!, which the Association will assist financially. Malcolm Jones has taken on a co-ordinating role for our various courses at Barlaston, working with Angela, Viv, the College and individual tutors. Good luck, Malcolm. Springboard chugs along very satisfactorily; Angela did a presentation on it at the Universala Congreso in Rotterdam, which was very well received.
On the recommendation of Stephen Thompson, Publicity Co-ordinator, we agreed to retain a professional publicity/PR agent for a trial period of 6 months; Stephen and Hilary Chapman to finalise contractual details.
The proposed publication on Minority Languages in Britain is taking shape, with contributions in prospect on Welsh, Gaelic, Cornish, Manx and Lallans (lowland Scots). David Bisset is checking out the copyright situation on existing publications of the Scottish Association. We agreed that the Welsh-Esperanto dictionary, approaching 25 years old, might now be discounted, in the run-up to the 2010 British Esperanto Congress in Llandudno, Wales.
Finally, we agreed to co-opt Geoffrey Greatrex to the Committee. Although Geoffrey, a former President of EAB, is resident in Canada, he has kept up his membership of the British Association, and is a regular visitor to these shores. He hopes to attend a couple of meetings a year - but, of course, the great bulk of Committee business nowadays is done by e-mail.
Our next meeting will be in February 2009, once again at the YMCA, then during the 2009 British Esperanto Congress in Salisbury.
David Kelso - Secretary
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