Poole Grammar School, Gravel Hill, Poole, Dorset, BH17 9JU | Tel: 01202 692132 | Email: pgsoffice@poolegrammar.com

POGA – Minutes of AGM 2022

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Held on Tuesday 15th November 2022 at 6.30pm

Present: Nigel Paton (Secretary), Nigel Williams (Acting Chairman), Tim Hall, Derek Sawyer, Dr.Amanda Smith       

ALSO By Zoom:     Ed Gibbs

  1. Apologies – Tony Farquhar, John Tansey, Larry Darby, Nick Latcham

 The Chairman welcomed Stephen Westlake and David Warhurst (Association      Members) to the meeting.

  1. Minutes of 2019 AGM – These were agreed as a true record, albeit rather dated at this time due to COVID.
  1. Matters Arising: None
  1. Finance Report – This had been circulated to all members of the committee and was discussed.

The Treasurer highlighted the fact that in addition to funds shown in the account for the Old Grammarians’ Association there were other funds currently held within the Poole Grammar School Trust Fund Account.

  1. Secretary’s Report – The past year seems to have flown by and the Association has weathered the storm once again. Our Committee has continued meetings via Zoom and we are moving forward once again. The year’s main event was the Annual Reunion Dinner, held once again at the RNLI College in Poole and attended by almost 100 former pupils of PGS. We continue to support the school by funding the Dolphin Magazine each year and to also provide support for pupils with specific needs where appropriate.

As with so many clubs and associations around the country we are totally reliant upon volunteers from within our own ranks of former pupils to take on important roles within the Old Grammarians’ association. We would like to feel that we continue to meet the needs of all former pupils by keeping them in touch with the school and all that is going on there. However, in order to do this efficiently we are reaching a point where we URGENTLY need others to step forward and take over from present members. I am extremely grateful for the support and encouragement I have received from Tony Farquhar over many years and would like to express my thanks for the sterling work carried out in producing the newsletter over the past few years and I thank Chris Pearson for recently stepping into his new role as the newsletter editor. Our membership has remained fairly static over the past two years and it is hoped to remedy this during the coming year, Currently we have just over 400 members paying an annual subscription which varies from £2 to £10, with a few members paying even more.

I am sure there are others amongst you who could perhaps also consider taking on the role of Treasurer and Membership Secretary too – roles I have covered for the past 3 years, in addition to continuing to serve as your Secretary, a post I have held for more than 30 years.

PLEASE remember that these requests are not without substance and if others do not come forward there is a risk of the Association being unable to continue in its present form.

  1. Newsletter Report – Members of the committee had received an update on the newsletter from the new editor, Chris Pearson, and were pleased that a newsletter would go out before the end of term and then settle back into its regular pattern. Chris was thanked for his willingness to undertake this task.
  2. The Dolphin Magazine – The quality of The Dolphin continues to be praised and the meeting was told that the new edition had been delivered recently from the printers. It was hoped that all locally based old grammarians would have their copy delivered by hand shortly and those further afield would have theirs posted. We still have the problem of people not informing us of change of address or e-mail and so we do not know where they now live.
  1. Election of Vice Presidents – Under the terms of Rule 7 of the Association it was agreed that,

 In keeping with past practice, the Secretary would write to all those members of staff who have left their posts at the school during the past two years, having served here at Poole Grammar School for 20 years or more, to invite them to become an Honorary Vice President of the Association and thereby retain a link with the school which they had served so well. They would then, if so wished, receive a copy of the Dolphin Magazine each year. These were Robyn Brice, Kath Myers, Mark Partridge, Christene Barton, Andy Dallimore, Liz Wilkinson and Lynsey Joy.

  1. Chairman’s Review of the Association – I am very pleased to be able to express a few words as acting Chairman of the Association in what are good times for the school and also Poole Old Grammarians. The school has been through a very challenging period over the last two years and has come through to the other side in a very positive way.

The annual dinner Dr Amanda Smith (Headteacher) gave a very upbeat update on how the school had been performing both academically and on many other fronts.  The most exciting news was the fact that the school had finally succeeded in gaining the funding required for the replacement of the old traditional gymnasium and now a new modern health, fitness, well- being and sports facility is about to be constructed, due for completion in the summer of 2023.  The school had been applying for appropriate funding for many years and feedback each year helped future applications which eventually led to success especially through the tenacity and determination of Jonathan Stiby, Bursar and Clerk to the Governors who amongst others must be sincerely thanked for his efforts.

Dr Smith has continued to lead the school in fashion with such enthusiasm and vigour was so clear to see when we were very pleased to welcome her as the Association’s President at the Annual   Dinner held at the RNLI in May.  Both Dr Smith and the then head boy gave a summary of the last two years to the attendees, almost 100 in number.  Moving along with the times and including younger members and ex pupils made for a great social evening and hopes are for even greater numbers next year so please look out for details over the next few months for the 2023 event.

I would like to thank Peter Taylor who has stepped down from the role of Chairman due to issues with health and also to one of our teaching favourites, Tony Farquhar who kindly stood in as Chair for the annual dinner.  Tony took the opportunity to invite anyone present to put their best foot forward and join the committee, after all we do work as Poole Old Grammarians’ Association for the benefit of our members and raise funds for the school each year so any help would be appreciated.

In closing I would also like to pay thanks to the hard work of the committee and in particular our Secretary Nigel Paton, without whom much of what we do would not be possible. As always we are looking to the future and would therefore welcome anyone who would like to help on the committee, with work spread around the members it is not an enormous task but certainly a rewarding one.

  1. Election of Officers 2022-23

The following were elected unopposed

Chairman                                                                 Nigel Williams

Secretary/Membership Secretary                            Nigel Paton

Treasurer                                                                 Nigel Paton

Newsletter Editor                                                     Chris Pearson

Assistant Editor                                                        Vacancy

Cricket Club Reps.                                                  Nigel Williams & Tim Hall

Other Committee Members:                                    Ed Gibbs, John Tansey, Derek Sawyer

Others invited onto the Committee   –                     Stephen Westlake, Simon Powell

The Headteacher, Dr Amanda Smith, is President of the Association.

A vote of thanks was given to Nick Latcham for his tireless work and efforts on the Committee over many years and who has now stepped down.

Our thanks go also to Larry Darby has he steps down as Assistant Editor of the newsletter.

  1. Any Other Business: 
  2. Subscriptions – It was agreed to leave the current suggested amount at £10, but advise members of need for donations to the Sports Hall Fund.
  3. Future Initiatives to increase membership and participation: A number of ideas were raised, many of which have been aired in previous years. It was felt that the Association was in a good place to move forward during this coming year, following on from a highly successful reunion dinner earlier in the year. At that event there were quite a number of old boys who had not been in touch with the school for many years and seemed to want to remain in touch again.

 The question of using ‘Facebook’ was raised and members were reminded that there was already a Facebook page available – in fact there were actually two, one being specifically for pupils from 1976 – 82. 

 It was agreed that we could make better use of the school website and ensure much clearer links to the Old Grammarians’ section.

The need to “recruit” members while in last year at the school was also raised and this is something which could easily be implemented.

Members were conscious that Social media was a great tool to use to aid us in these endeavours BUT we probably need a specific person to head this up – ideally from our ranks of old boys but possibly a paid position. This would be dependent upon greater uptake of paid membership of the Association.

We recognise that there are still a large number of past pupils resident in the BCP/Dorset area who could be harnessed to help the Association. The Secretary would write to a number of known   people, including some who are already in contact with us.

It used to be the case that a nominated person, often the Head Boy, would become the “year representative” with the idea of keeping contact with specific year groups. This has not been fully utilised in recent years but could be in the future.

Vote of thanks to Simon Powell and Susie Fry for their tireless work in producing the Dolphin Magazine this year, against a backdrop of the Covid fallout plus increased pressure on their own roles within the school which they have still carried out to the full. It was agreed that the Secretary would write a letter of thanks to both of them and also purchase gift tokens to the value of £100 for each.

The Secretary would also clarify with the school finance officer the current situation of a possible honorarium having been paid to those involved in the magazine production.  It was thought that this might have been funded by the Association but appeared to be no record of this. This would be reported back to the next committee meeting.

  1. Date of next AGM:                                  7 November 2023
  2. Date of next Committee Meeting:         Tuesday 10 January 2023 at 5.30pm