SHS AGM 2009 report

by David Morgan. From SHS Newsletter August 2009
The Socialist History Society’s Annual General Meeting of 2009 took place in the impressive and spacious library of the Bishopsgate Institute, a historic building located in the heart of London virtually opposite Liverpool St Station. We thank committee member, Stefan Dickers, for arranging this for us. Members were fortunate to be able to enjoy the special atmosphere of this venue seated beneath its stained glass domed roof and surrounded by volumes of radical history, as they took part in the proceedings.
The items of business will be familiar to any members who have attended our AGMs on previous occasions; there was little of controversy to report. Unfortunately, the AGM failed to draw a large crowd, but the turnout improved slightly for the talk by Andy Croft that followed.
As Willie Thompson, chairing the meeting, indicated, our Secretary, Professor Nina Fishman, was recovering from an operation and had said that she was unlikely to be active for a while. To cover until Nina is fully recovered, a proposal was made and endorsed by the AGM that Nina and David Morgan act as joint secretaries.
Other changes to SHS officers agreed by the AGM can be noted: Gidon Cohen, the editor of Socialist History, stepped down and was thanked for all his work in making a success of the journal especially in catching up with the publishing schedule, which had been erratic due to problems at the publishers. It was agreed that Andy Flinn, a member of the committee and editorial team, would become the new editor.
Eddie Dare was warmly thanked for his work in establishing the Newsletter as an essential read for news about the society and for adding a degree of professionalism to the editorial content. Sid Kaufman, who has assisted Eddie on the design and layout was also thanked for his work, and he indicated that he would be happy to continue doing this. The AGM agreed that Mike Squires and David Morgan would work with Sid on the Newsletter in future.
As far as members and finances of the society are concerned, Treasurer Francis King reported a total membership of 267, but stressed that we had still not been recruiting sufficient new members to ensure our long-term solvency and viability. Another 60 members were needed to achieve that, he estimated.
In terms of Occasional Papers, Francis reported that the latest title, Union Bread, concerning the Jewish Bakers’ Union, had been well received. It had been jointly published with the Jewish Socialists’ Group. The AGM agreed to a proposal that would give the society greater flexibility in publishing OPs in future, which meant that we would not be strictly bound to bringing out two issues a year.
Finally, with regard the SHS website, the AGM heard of plans to develop its content, in particular to include a section devoted to activists’ memoirs and other manuscripts that the society is not able to publish.
The existing committee was re-elected along with the officers, taking account of the changes mentioned. One additional member, Dr Laura Miller, was welcomed onto the committee.

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August 2009

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