2016 AGM Minutes of Meeting

2/3rd Australian Light Anti-Aircraft Regt Association AGM held at the RACV City Club

23rd April, 2016 at 11.45 hours

1.0                   Meeting Call To Order

President  Ann Rae called the meeting to order at 11.50 Hours.

Anne welcomed all 42 members present, and expressed her appreciation of the number in attendance, and to be patient while she proceeded to outline the Agenda of the AGM.

For the first time there will be no original Regiment members attending this year's AGM and Reunion.

Ann acknowledged those members who had travelled from the country and interstate.

Foster Crooke                                                      Maffra

Russell Luckock                                                   Buninyong

David McDonald                                                  Canberra

Mark Harse and Ruth Harvey                                Ballarat

Ann also welcomed as first time attendees, Daniel Bennett, Sharyne O'Grady and Elissa Tilney.

2.0                  Present

Service Members  - Nil

Others- Heather Beasley, Rob Bennett, Liz Bennett, Gary Berry, Colin Bragg,  Ann Bragg, Doreen Bryant, Ian Campbell, Les Chitts, Foster Crooke, Tim Crooke, Joyce Curnow, Alan Gorman, Mark Harse, Ruth Harvey, Graeme Heddle, Emma Heddle, Kaye Huggins, Russell Luckock, David McDonald, Jill McKenzie, Robert Prideaux, Ann Rae, Jim Rae, Ian Rae, Diedre Robinson, Peter Robinson, Lynton Rose, Rhonda Rose, Dianne Schubert, Carly Schubert, Roger Stephens, Lynn Stephens, Bill Stokes, Barry Stubbs, Pat Thurkbeck, Stephen Welsh, Jenny Welsh, Malcolm Wrigglesworth, Margaret Wrigglesworth, Daniel Wanders, Daryl Wells, Barbara Wells, Lucas Wanders.

3.0                  Apologies

From the Original members (7)

Ian Barker, John Campbell, John Hilliard, Dave Humphreys, Keith Keilar, John Marshall, Alan Martin.

From Widows of Former Deceased Members (4)

Esme Curtis, Valda Malloch, Rosemary Weatherly, Betty Wrigglesworth.

From Remembrance Group Members (47)

Heather Beasley, David Bell, Gaye Berry, Toni Boyce, Ian Brown, Les Chitts, Lynne Chitts, Peter Clift, James Coghlan, David Crooke, Tim Crooke, Alister Dowling, Stuart Edwards, Hugh Finn, Lisa Foran, Hugh Forbes, John Fryer, Robert Knight, Graeme Hawkins, Michael Leichsenring, Don Mclean, Carol McNairn, Daniel McNairn, Heath McNairn, Andrew McPherson, Doug Nicholson, Anne Payne, Robin Payne, Leigh Prideaux, Jim Rae, Diedre Robinson,  Sorrell Robinson, Byron Robinson, Lynton and Rhonda Rose, Adam Rose, Jonathan Rose, Alison Shields, Trish Slattery, Robin Spry, Neil and Pauline Stuart, John Washbourne, Darren and Barbara Wells, Mary Woodfield, and Pat Thurlbeck.

 Moved Graeme Heddle, and seconded by Colin Bragg, "That the apologies be accepted."

4.0                  Lest We Forget

Reading of:                  - Ode For The Fallen.

                                    - Names of deceased Members (Since Previous reunion)                 

Committee member Graeme Heddle narrated the Ode To The Fallen and read out the names of seven former members of the regiment who had passed away since the previous Reunion. These were:

John (Jack) Leaker (8th), Earle"Slim"Webster (7th), Clifford John Cullen (9th), Rex Nelson Emmett (7th), Thomas "Tom"Dusting (9th), and William Alfred Sutherland (7th).

Members stood whilst the Last Post was played, a minute's silence was observed and the Rouse played with the assistance of Ann Rae.

5.0                  Minutes of the 2015 AGM

The minutes of the 2015 AGM held on Saturday 18th April, 2015 had been distributed prior to the meeting, and there being no amendments apart from incorrect spelling of one remembrance name from Stubbs to Stokes, it was Moved by Matt Heddle, Seconded Anne Rae, that the minutes of the 2015 Annual General Meeting be approved. Carried

There was no business arising from the 2014 minutes.

6.0                  President's Report

President Ann Rae thanked so many people for attending the 2016 reunion - a total of 42 including 2 widows of former members and 40 Remembrance Group members.

Ann provided an outline of the days procedures as per the Agenda supplied for the AGM and subsequent luncheon to follow closure of the AGM.

Ann then spoke to her report, about special anniversaries of the 2nd/3rd Australian Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, the full text of which was included in "Take Post" 2016 and distributed at the Luncheon.

Ann thanked the Committee for their work over the past year and stated that she believed that the Association is in a very good position, with the structures already set in place from the previous Committee two years ago, which will keep us in good stead.

Each year our numbers at the Anzac Day march are increasing, and with a steady attendance at the AGM and Reunion, our fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers, the original members of the Association, would be keen for us to continue this memory and in the memory of their mates.

Importantly the Association has steady and strong membership that will avoid the fate that has befallen on so many other WW2 Unit Associations.

Moved Colin Bragg, seconded Matt Heddle "That the President's Report be accepted."Carried

7.0                  Secretary's Report

Malcolm spoke to his report, the full text of which is included in "Take Post" 2016, distributed at the Luncheon. A brief summary of correspondence via phone calls and emails directed to the Secretary is mentioned in "Take Post" together with report headings The Year in Review, Donations, 2nd / 3rd Website and Remembrance Group,to bring members an update on the Associations activities over the past 12 months.

As has been the case in recent years, Secretary Malcolm Wrigglesworth reported that the majority of correspondence is conducted by email and the previous twelve months is no different to the past year. This year a lot of the correspondence and enquiries from members and relatives of members that are of a more technical continue to be referred to and answered by the Association's Research Officer, David McDonald. The majority of these enquiries received from members and interested persons are received through the web site.

The repetitive nature of many enquires are now handled via our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) component of the Association's web site.

Moved Kaye Huggins and seconded Anne Rae  "That the Secretary's Report be accepted. "Carried.

8.0                  Treasurer's Report

The Financial Report for the twelve months ended 31st December 2015 had been distributed prior to the AGM.

A total of 48 members and partners attended the 2015 AGM and Reunion Lunch - only one fewer than the 49 who attended AGM and Reunion Lunch in 2014.

Treasurer Colin Bragg reported an operating surplus of $1144 for the year, compared to a loss of $773 - a significant improvement on 2014, and reflects the very satisfactory increase in subscriptions and donations and a reduction in annual expenditure primarily due to the "smoothing out" of the RACV payments. 

Receipts

Subscriptions and Donations

Subscriptions and donations received from members for the year ended 31st December, 2015 increased by 18%, which is a reflection of both the continuing support from new and existing members and a number of very generous donations.

Subscriptions and Donations received from members are very important factors in enabling this Association to limit annual subscription increases, to continue to underwrite the cost of the Annual Reunion, to produce and print "Take Post", and to pay for printing and stationary, communication and website maintenance costs.

We have continued our policy of removing members from the database if we have not received their subscriptions for two consecutive years.

On a positive note, the addition of new members throughout the year has been encouraging, and hopefully this trend will continue.  Only 75% of our Remembrance Group members are financial at the beginning of the financial year commencing 1st April, 2016 - a worrying trend considering 88% of members were financial twelve months previously.

Sadly, only 41% of our 12 surviving original members and widows of the former original members are financial.

Payments

Reunion Catering

Reunion catering costs were reduced in 2015, but only because only one deposit for the following year's Reunion was required by the RACV, instead of two deposits. The 2015 cost of $3,901 includes an amount of $720 for the 2016 Reunion. We are grateful to the RACV for maintaining the cost of the luncheon at an affordable level, and as you are aware, the reunion luncheon continues to be generously subsided by the Association.

Web Site Maintenance Costs

Web site maintenance costs in 2015 reflect the fact that the web is in a maintenance mode, and the majority of update requirements (new photos and articles) is undertaken by Honorary Treasurer Colin Bragg and Research Officer David McDonald.

We continue to have an excellent relationship with our web site developer, Designsense Web Design, and in particular with its principal, Malcolm Romano.

Treasurer's Note: Your Association incurred a significant cost in February 2016 when it became necessary to upgrade our website Content Management System (JOOMLA), as the version we had been using since 2008, was becoming increasingly prone to web site attacks.

Your Committee would be very appreciative if you were able to make a donation to offset the costs (almost $1,000) associated with the Joomla upgrade.

Investment

Increasing administrative costs required a sum of $1,000 to be transferred to the Association's Operating Account when the Association's Term Deposit was rolled over in June 2014. The remaining $7,000 continues to be invested in a CBA Term Deposit at an annual interest rate of 2.55%, and is currently invested until August 2016.

In Summary

2015 was a good year, particularly in terms of member support and reflects the Committee's efforts in pursuing overdue subscriptions (which had required the transfer of $1,000 from the Term Deposit in 2014). The continuing shortfall in member subscription payments continues to be of a concern to the Committee.

Even allowing for the removal of non-financial members, the shortfall still "costs" the committee between $300 and $400 per annum.

Offsetting the removal of members was the addition of five new members during the year.

The Association continues to be in a healthy financial state at 31st December 2015, with an investment balance of $7,000 and an operating bank balance of $2,087.

The Honorary Treasurer moved that the 2015 Annual Financial Report be adopted, which was seconded by Malcolm Wrigglesworth. Carried

9.0                   General Business

ANZAC Day March Arrangements

The Secretary informed the meeting that those intending to participate in the March should gather on the corner of Flinders and Swanston Street at 0915 Hours, with a view to commencing the March at 0930 to 0945 Hours.

10.0                  Nominations / Elections

Election To The Committee

No nomination forms had been received for Committee positions, and none of the present Committee had advised they were standing down. Therefore the present Committee have been nominated for an additional twelve month term.

Appointment Of Office Bearers

There being no additional nominations from members, and the current Committee members all having indicated they were prepared to continue as Committee members, all current Committee members were re-appointed for a further period of twelve months.

Moved Doreen Byrant and seconded Foster Crooke that the present Committee members be re-elected for a further term of twelve months

The proposal was carried unanimously.

11.0                    Lunch

There was no guest speaker at this year's AGM. However, a Power Point presentation with new and different photos was run as in previous years.

Uniform and artefacts supplied by Matt Heddle were arranged and displayed. An excellent and interesting and well prepared presentation of WW2 artillery uniform was modelled by Matt who provided answers to items of uniform attire which our servicemen needed to wear, and equipment that the 2nd / 3rd soldier would have carried. Matt's daughter Emma also contributed -  dressed with her air warden act  - an excellent presentation followed by an interesting and challenging twenty question quiz competition.

Questions / Quiz competition during the Reunion Lunch. Quiz questions were placed on each table arranged by Matthew Heddle and presented by Graeme Heddle, with the answers provided by President Anne Rae as she asked each table for answers to nominated questions on sheets provided. This was conducted prior to and during the main meal being served.

12.0                  Take Post"" Distribution

This 2016 "Take Post" was distributed after the main meal and during dessert so as not to interfere with the provision of answers to the Quiz competition.

13.0                  Research Officer Report

Association Research Officer David McDonald summarised web site activity over the previous twelve months and the extent to which the web site is attracting interest.

Many emails covering a variety of enquiries have been received. Some examples of these email enquiries received from members and interested persons are included in the 2016 issue of "Take Post".

 Backup of the Association's website is initiated every six months, and if necessary more frequently by Malcolm Romano. The Committee noted that independent separate files might be required in case backup fails, if relying on Malcolm to back up.

At the Associations AGM and Annual Luncheon, Agenda notices and previous years AGM minutes are distributed together with Research Officer David McDonald's information sheet on the deployment of the Regiment 75 years ago, 23rd April 1941, and The Regiment Association 70 years ago on 24 April, 1946, recognising the first official annual reunion. This information sheet brings to the attention of Association members what actions the 2nd /3rd Regiment was involved in overseas 75 years previously.

Sentry's Log

David has responded each month to requests for information about the Regiment to which many are quite straight forward, with descendants seeking information about their relative who served in the Regiment or in other ant-aircraft units. He is usually able to inform them or guide them about how to find out what they are looking for via accessing the Australian Archives web site. A number have already accessed these resources before contacting the Association for further details. A number of helpful web sites has been provided by David in accessing records and contents and abbreviations in Take Post 2016, that maybe of some help as most service records are hand written and sometimes close to illegible.

David also received enquiries from widows of deceased Veterans and descendants requesting copies of "On Target". David mentioned that he been contacted by Matt Teffer - a senior journalist who is writing a feature length screenplay and who requested information on gun crews at work and their relative positions around the Bofors guns. Part of the action takes place in Crete in 1941 with key characters being a gunner in the Regiment's 7th Battery 2nd / 3rd ALAAA and another being a German paratrooper.

During our luncheon, David provided a comprehensive and very informative talk and Power Point display with photo presentation of the 2nd / 3rd ALAA Australian Regt. involvement in and around Syria and Tobruk and the operations of the 2nd/3rd Regiment (and specifically the 7th Battery and 9th Battery during WW2.

Also mentioned in David's informative talk on the 9th Battery, then part of the 2/3rd Australian Composite Anti-aircraft Regiment, was the significant contribution to Operation Oboein June-July 1945. More than 75,000 Australians served in or supported the Oboe landings on Borneo - the final major Australian campaign of the Second World War. (Article in the 2016 edition of "Take Post").

Date set for next Committee - to be determined, possibly at President Ann Rae's residence at 45 Darebin Street, Heidelberg at 2.00pm

14.0                  Meeting closed  

The President declared the formal component of the AGM closed at 12.45hours.