The Royal Society provided the venue for the AGM of the Kennel Club on May 18th. An elegant and spacious location that provided the additional room that the increased membership of 1053 now needed to allow those members to attend.
Under the watchful eyes of Isaac Newton who with other great scientists gazed down from the walls, the meeting started promptly at 11.15am. It was chaired by Ronnie Irving who ran the meeting in a crisp and orderly manner. Having got the routine matters out of the way (convening the AGM and agreeing the minutes of the bi-annual meeting); matters arising were discussed.
The only matter arising being an update on the Art Foundation proposed at the bi-annual meeting, which has now been submitted to the Charity Commission and subject to their approval the foundation will come into being. This foundation will make it possible in future to leave collections of art and dog artefacts to the KC in a way that will avoid death duties. No other matters arising from the bi-annual meeting were raised.
The meeting re-elected Her Serene Highness The Princess Antoinette of Monaco, His Grace The Duke of Wellington, The Earl of Buchan, The Right Hon Lord Fairhaven, Mr J P C James and Mr L Pagliero as Vice-Presidents
Mrs L Llewelyln Davies was proposed as an Honorary Life Member and duly elected. The meeting moved on to the election of eight members for the General committee. Six of the committee were standing for re-election, with Miss Lanning and Mrs Everton standing down. A vote of thanks was proposed by the chairman, to Miss Lanning and Mrs Everton for their work and efforts supporting the General Committee over the years.
Mr Irving asked members to stand in silent memory of the members who had died and then proceeded to deliver the General Committee’s report of business carried out since the Bi-Annual meeting (The full transcript of the report appeared in last weeks Our DogS.) The most interesting part was that the committee felt the need to reassure members that "at no time have we neglected what may be called the "purist" show aspects of the pedigree show world." Does this, together with the efforts announced in the same report to create another tier of membership, indicate that the General Committee are listening and are attempting to address some of the concerns expressed in the wider world?
Terry Thorn, in his roll as Crufts Committee chairman, then took the floor and delivered his report on the 2006 show. This had been one of the best ever, with a gate of 143,000 and entry of 22,256 dogs just short of the centenary show entry, with 902 dogs from 32 countries swelling the numbers. Agility and obedience also drew a worldwide entry and, together with flyball, proved very popular with the general public.
Mr Thorn thanked the exhibitors, judges, stewards, trade stand holders, support staff and all those from the KC staff who made the show a success. A problem had been noted with the flow of traffic around the Special Events Ring and Discover Dogs and these shortcomings were to be addressed. The BBC had been delighted with the 11 million viewers the show had delivered over the event and the Friends for Life competition had proved particularly engaging for watchers.
Two changes to KC rules were considered.
a)The addition of the word ‘preferably’ to the rule governing the membership of the Scottish Disciplinary Committee to allow more flexibility in selecting members for hearings.
b) The addition of the words ‘To assist the General Committee in furthering the Kennel Club’s strategic objectives as published from time to time’ to all of the sub committee function rules to ensure that they too are charged with delivering the Kennel Clubs aims.
Both were passed by the required majority. Mr Irving making clear before each vote, that a two-thirds majority of those present and voting was required to make the rule change.
No matters were raised under other business. The KC requires members to give the secretary 48 hours notice of matters they wish to raise at meetings. Nothing on this point or the others items on the agenda had been notified to the secretary. However, as he had done throughout the meeting, Mr Irving asked members if anyone wished to raise anything from the floor of the meeting. No one did.
Following this the result of General Committee voting was reported to the meeting. Just over 22% of the membership participated in this vote which saw Dr R Barbour, Mr S C Ford, Mrs V O Foss, Mr G A Hill, Mr F Kane, Mr W H King, Mr P E Rawlings and Mr M Townsend being elected. Following this announcement the meeting was closed some 45 minutes after it commenced.