BALERNO BURNS CLUB
“Let it Blaw”
CONSTITUTION & RULES
1 – Name
The name of the Club shall be the Balerno Burns Club – “Let it Blaw.”
2 – Objectives
The Objectives of the Club shall be:
(a) to encourage the study of the life and works of Robert Burns
(b) to foster an interest in the poetry and songs of Robert Burns
(c) to promote social and friendly relationships among members and sister clubs
(d) to support the objectives of the Burns Federation
3 – Membership
The Club shall be composed of Honorary and Ordinary Members. The Ordinary Members shall be limited to a number decided annually at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). Applications for Ordinary Membership shall be submitted in writing supported by a proposer and seconder, both of whom shall be existing members in good standing. New Members shall be admitted only as vacancies occur and shall be drawn from a Waiting List. The admittance of new Ordinary Members shall be vested in the Committee. In the event of there being more than one applicant for any one vacancy in the ordinary membership, the acceptance of one shall be decided by ballot. The AGM shall have powers to elect as Honorary Members, persons who have rendered outstanding service to the Club, or are in a position to further the aims and objectives of the Club. Any appointment of Honorary Presidents or Honorary Vice-Presidents shall be on the recommendation of the Committee, but must be ratified by the AGM.
4 – Office Bearers
The Office Bearers shall consist of a President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer.
(a) Each Office Bearer shall be appointed for a nominal period of three years subject to annual confirmation by the AGM. Each Office Bearer must retire at the end of his nominal term of Office but may offer himself for re-election. Office Bearers shall retire in rotation; the rotation shall be President and Vice-President in one year, the Treasurer in the next year and the Secretary in the year following.
(b) Honorary Office Bearers shall not have any Executive Powers. They may be represented by the Honorary President at Committee Meetings where he will have no voting rights.
5 – President
The President shall act as Chairman at all meetings including the Annual Supper. The President shall arrange for a deputy to preside should he be unable to do so. The first choice of deputy shall be the Vice-President. At all meetings the President shall have a deliberate vote and a casting vote. The casting vote shall only be used in the event of a tied vote and the President can only use his casting vote if he has already exercised his deliberate vote. Any Chairman deputising for the President shall have the same powers.
6 – Vice-President
The Vice-President shall assist and support the President in upholding the stated objectives of the Club. He shall, wherever possible, act as Chairman in the absence of the President.
7 – Secretary
The Secretary shall, unless in an emergency, arrange all General and Committee Meetings. He shall keep an accurate account of all General and Committee Meetings in Minute form. Each Minute shall be signed by the Chairman after approval by the Meeting and timeously distributed to each Committee Member. The Secretary shall conduct the correspondence of the Club and all general affairs to ensure its efficiency, such as the Club Membership roll.
For the avoidance of doubt all records, minutes, notes and correspondence relating to the business of the Club and kept by the Secretary will be stored by means of an electronic medium.
The responsibilities of the Secretary include:
(a) maintaining an up-to-date list of members and honorary members;
(b) maintaining an up-to-date list of Office Bearers including a record of the date upon which each took office and, if re-elected, the date of re-election;
(c) maintaining an up-to-date inventory of the Club’s property and of the whereabouts from time to time of each artefact.
8 – Treasurer
The Treasurer shall be responsible for:-
(a) all Club funds;
(b) maintaining a record of all transactions;
(c) recommending to the AGM the level of annual subscription;
(d) holding a sum of money in cash to meet all petty transactions but lodging all other monies in a recognised bank in the name of the Club;
(e) producing Bank Books/Statements at any authorised meeting as required;
(f) presenting all vouchers and books to the appointed Auditors for annual inspection and audit;
(g) assisting the Secretary in the maintenance of the Club Membership roll;
(h) giving effect to any decision of the Committee in terms of section 9(m) below (donations) and reporting any such action to the next AGM.
All Bank Accounts shall be operated by the Treasurer, Secretary, President and Vice-President; the signatures of any two being required before any monies can be withdrawn. All Club accounts shall be closed on the 30th September each year.
9 – Other Appointments
Auditors: Two Auditors will be appointed for a nominal period of three years subject to annual confirmation by the AGM. Each Auditor must retire at the end of his nominal term of Office but may offer himself for re-election.
Croupiers: Two Croupiers will be appointed for a nominal period of three years subject to annual confirmation by the AGM. Each Croupier must retire at the end of his nominal term of Office but may offer himself for re-election.
Bard: A Bard will be expected to present an Oration at each Club Supper. The traditions of ‘Let it Blaw’ allow him to record any other event during the year as he sees fit, which would be copied into Club records. The Bard will be appointed for a nominal period of three years subject to annual confirmation by the AGM. The Bard must retire at the end of his nominal term of Office but may offer himself for re-election.
10 – Committee
The Club Committee shall consist of four Office Bearers in addition to five members. They will be appointed for a nominal period of three years subject to annual confirmation by the AGM. Each Committee Member must retire at the end of his nominal term of Office but may offer himself for re-election. Committee Members shall retire in rotation; two one year, two the next year, and one the next year.
The Committee shall:-
(a) arrange the affairs of the Club within the powers delegated to it;
(b) meet as often as deemed necessary;
(c) have the responsibility of arranging the Annual Supper to be held in suitable premises on the Saturday nearest to the 25th January;
(d) have the power of co-option to fill any mid-term vacancies should they occur;
(e) have the power to delete from the roll any member, even in good standing, who fails to attend three consecutive Annual Suppers without advising timeously just cause in each instance. Any member so affected may re-apply;
(f) have the power, where it appears that any member may have acted in a manner likely to bring discredit on the Club, to suspend that member pending its enquiry into the matter and, following such enquiry, to continue such suspension or to expel the member, any decision following enquiry being subject to the right of the member concerned to appeal to the Committee to review it;
(g) have the power to refuse the attendance at the Annual Supper from persons who have not attained the age of 16 years (or such higher age that meets the requirement of the venue), and any proposed guest whose previous conduct has given cause for concern;
(h) have the power to reinstate any former member;
(i) recommend annually to the AGM the membership number for the ensuing year;
(j) consider all applications for membership from persons who have attained the age of 18 years and, if properly proposed and seconded, cause the name of the proposed member to be added to the waiting list;
(k) carry out a regular review of that waiting list;
(l) have power to reimburse any member for work carried out or expense properly incurred on behalf of the Club;
(m) have power to authorise the making of donations in support of charities or groups;
(n) carry out a quinquennial review of the Club Constitution.
The quorum for the Committee shall be five, provided that two of the five be Office Bearers; a meeting shall not be constituted with fewer than two Office Bearers present. Any three members of the Committee can requisition a Special Committee Meeting by notifying the Secretary, in writing, of the need for such a meeting.
On receipt of such a request, the Secretary shall convene a Special Committee Meeting giving each Committee Member at least seven days’ notice. The Secretary may depart from this notice should the matter in question be deemed urgent.
Any Committee Member who fails to attend three consecutive meetings without good reason shall be deemed to have demitted office.
11 – Annual General Meeting
The AGM of the Club shall be held during the last full week in October for:-
(a) consideration of Office Bearers reports;
(b) election and confirmation of Office Bearers;
(c) election of Committee Members;
(d) deciding of Annual Subscription;
(e) approval of Annual Supper arrangements;
(f) election of Auditors, Bard and Croupiers:-
The existing President shall conduct the Meeting but shall hand over to a neutral Chairman, selected by the Members present, to conduct solely the election of Office Bearers. Nominations for any Office or Appointment shall not be valid unless proposed and seconded and have the consent of the nominee. The Secretary shall give at least fourteen days notice of the AGM (including agenda) to each member of the Club. Any member requiring a formal motion to appear on the agenda of the AGM must have the written motion, duly seconded, in the hands of the Secretary by 1st October.
Anything required by this Constitution to be written may competently be done by email, with the exception of applications for membership which must be in paper form and signed.
12 – Subscription
The annual subscription as decided by the AGM must be paid before the 28th February for a member to remain in good standing. Any member who fails to pay his annual subscription by the 28th February shall receive one written reminder and if he fails to respond by 31st March, he will be deemed to have relinquished membership unless just cause can be shown.
13 – Extraordinary General Meeting
An Extraordinary General Meeting shall be called by the Secretary on the written request duly signed by five Members of the Committee or twenty-five Members of the Club. The Secretary shall give each member of the Club at least fourteen days notice of the Meeting giving the stated reason for calling such a Meeting. The Secretary may depart from this notice should the matter in question be deemed urgent.
14 – Property
All property of the Club such as Minute Books, Records, Pictures, Photographs, Memorabilia, Ties and Badges shall remain the property of the Club and shall be securely housed and maintained.
15 – Amendment of the Constitution
The aforestated Rules shall not be altered or amended except by a General Meeting. Any proposed alteration, deletion or addition, duly proposed and seconded, must be submitted in writing to the Secretary in time to appear on the Agenda of the General Meeting at which it will be considered.