Wednesday, 21 February 2018

RSC Belgium 2018 AGM Report

The section's Annual General Meeting (AGM) took place on Friday  2 February 2018 at Les Amis Dinent Restaurant in Wezembeek-Oppem at 19h30 and was followed by the section's Annual Dinner from 20h00. The meeting opened at 19:30 with ten members present but a further eight members, who were unable to attend the AGM in person, had asked the Chairman to act as their proxy for the meeting if a vote was required thus achieving our quorum.

Following recording of apologies received, the minutes of our previous AGM of 10 February 2017 were approved with no corrections.  The section secretary, William Darnley then presented the Committee Report on the Section’s 2017 Activities. During the year the section organised twelve events, four evening lectures, two weekend social events, both of which were guided tours, the usual two school/outreach events and the ever popular Cafe Chimique. The committee attended an inter-section curling event in Kent in December, and finally, the committee did some fundraising to top up the Norman Lloyd Scholarship Fund. Membership of the section stood at 129, a slight dip on last of four.

Among the highlights were the lecture on energetic materials presented by Dr. Matt Andrews of MSIAC at NATO, the guided tour around the “Het Anker” brewery in Mechelen at the beginning of September and the lecture on “Copernicus: the EU’s Earth Observation Success story” back in February. Feedback from Cardiff University about Ms. Jessica Powell (the third recipient of the Norman Lloyd Scholarship) was very positive. The recipient for 2017-2018 was named as Ms. Ffion Cartwright. The report was unanimously approved (proposed by David Terrell and seconded by Brian Sutcliffe).

Section Finances
The treasurer, Julie Tupenny presented the 2017 financial report and accounts. On the 1st of January 2017, the net assets of the RSC Belgium Section were €5918 approx. The annual grant from RSC UK was €6000, somewhat less than the requested €7000. However, with careful management and a very successful Summer Concert at BSB the financial situation is good. The committee aims to keep the account at around €7000 due to Belgian regulations where the section officers are personally responsible for any deficit, and to the end a grant of €7000 will be requested from HQ.

The treasurer personally thanked Ralph Palim F.C.A the Hon. Auditor for his thoroughness in auditing and approving the accounts for the RSC Belgium Section for the year ending 31 December 2017. He will continue as auditor for the section accounts for 2018.

The meeting moved (William Darnley), seconded (Brian Sutcliffe) and unanimously adopted the audited accounts and the Treasurer’s report.

Chairman’s Remarks
Section chairman Tim Reynolds thanked the committee for their hard work and support during the year. We had hosted an interesting programme and survived financially despite a lower grant than that which had been requested.

In particular he thanked two members of the committee that were effectively stepping down from the committee at this AGM – Becki Scott and John Swift who had or were both returning to the UK. He also thanked William Darnley for stepping up to take over Becki’s role as secretary.

The Chairman also noted the sad loss of two very good friends and supporters of the section’s activities during 2017: Dr Ian Carson and Prof Istvan Marko.

The Chairman also extended a welcome to the newly elected committee members and the incoming Treasurer. He looked forward to our varied and interesting programme for the coming year.

Committee elections
Nominations for Section Secretary: William Darnley. Elected with no objections

Nominations for ordinary committee members: Jane Downing and David Terrell. Elected with no objections

The first meeting of the 2018 Executive Committee was held on 20 February 2018.

Closing remarks
The Treasurer said she had found a way to make a modest saving for the section each year, by switching to digital bank statements. This was greeted with enthusiasm by all members present.


All business being completed the meeting adjourned at 19:55 and the Annual Dinner commenced. You can access the draft Minutes of the 2018 AGM here. These minutes will be presented to the AGM of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Belgium Section in 2019 for approval.

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