The meeting was called to order by the Chairman at 10:50.
Introduction of the Committee.
The Chairman, Chris Gare G3WOS introduced the Committee: Mike Wills G3OIL, Treasurer; Iain Philipps G0RDI, Secretary; Neil Carr G0JHC, Cliff Ibell G1IOV, Dave Whitaker BRS 25429 and Trevor Day G3ZYY.
Welcome of Guests.
The Chairman welcomed Bob WA6BYA, Frank PA3BFM, Pim PA0TLX, Allard PE1NWL, Angelo I2AND and Mar JA6IDJ to the meeting.
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence had been received from Emma 2E0AAX, Ted GUPS, Nick G3KOX, John G8XTJ, Chris G4IFX, Steve G4JCC, Pat 2E1AFN (now M0ATX) and David G8YYB.
Approval of the Minutes of the 1996 Annual General Meeting.
The Minutes of the 1996 Annual General Meeting were published in the May 1996 issue of "Six News". Cliff Ibell G1IOV proposed that these were accepted as accurate, and this motion was seconded by Ken Wills G8VR. The motioned was carried unanimously on a show of hands.
The Chairman thanked the Committee for their efforts during the last twelve months and especially thanked the Six News production team for their remarkable achievements; the columnists and contributors to the newsletter had also provided excellent support. It was noted that some further areas of potential improvement to the newsletter had been identified and that these would be fully investigated during the year ahead.
The new Secretary, Iain Philipps G0RDI was welcomed. Thanks were also expressed to the Country Managers who appeared to have worked as hard as ever.
With the definite signs of the beginning of the new sunspot cycle the Chairman was hopeful that UKSMG were now well placed to move forwards from the current nominal membership of 800 towards 1000 members during the next two to three years. With the reactivation of "SMIRK" it had become clear that worldwide interest in 50 MHz activities was now once again increasing.
It had been an interesting year for DX, with the highlight for many being a contact with 4L6PA, who had fielded a first class team, and all concerned were congratulated on their efforts.
The CY0 expedition had proven to be somewhat disappointing since the propagation opportunities to Europe were either minimal or non-existent. However, many U.S.A. and Canada stations made contacts and overall the expedition must be regarded as a success. For 1997 VE9AA had been persuaded to activate CY9 with a particular emphasis on 50 MHz contacts with Europe.
Investment in the web site had proved worthwhile, with approximately 1500 visits per month being recorded from locations world wide. As a result of a "trial membership offer" being run from the web site, this, coupled with other recruitment activities had resulted in 30 to 440 new memberships during February 1997 - an unprecedented level for that month.
The Country Managers - FC5OIH, DL8HCZ, I7CSB, 9H5EE, EA2LU and PA3BFM had provided their usual enthusiastic support and had again been exceptional ambassadors for UKSMG. VK3ALM was welcomed as Country Manager for VK and ZL. It is desirable that the group should have better representation in Japan and the U.S.A. and therefore the Committee will be taking actions throughout the coming year to recruit suitable managers in those countries.
The concentration of membership renewals continues (unsurprisingly) to be in the summer months, with August remaining the peak. The picture for the five years 1991-1996 shows this to remain both constant and predictable.
The nett results for 1996 show a small decline - in the order of 3% - in total memberships and is an exception thought to be attributable to the prevailing band conditions. However, considerable interest in UKSMG was now being shown in the Asia and Pacific regions (via the web site) and hence the Committees desire to seek suitable Country Managers in those regions.
The Treasurer stated that a preliminary examination indicated that a small deficit of perhaps £100 would be shown at year end and was due to the one-off investment of setting up the web site facilities. With substantial reserves of approximately £5,000 this is not seen as an issue, but since no surplus has been generated the previously deferred rise in subscriptions for UK and European members to £9 would be implemented with effect from 1st April 1997. Taking increased revenue into account, the current budget forecast predicts a year end surplus of £285 for 1997/8.
Donations from group funds for the year amounted to £1,250 and was made up of £800 to the CY0 expedition, £400 to the 4L6 expedition and £50 to the FP beacon. The budget for the coming year included provision for donations of up to £1,000 being met from current subscriptions, thus safeguarding the reserves.
Numerous presentations of certificates and trophies were made, with JA6IDJ, G3HBR, and I2ADN handing over the awards.
The Chairman presented the outgoing Chairman, G3HBR, with an inscribed tankard and thanked him for his significant contribution as Chairman.
The Jersey Trophy was presented by G3HBR to the 4L6PA team in recognition of their outstanding efforts in activating that country on 50 MHz.
CY0 Expedition Funding.
The Chairman advised the meeting of an earlier discussion at Committee and asked for support for the groups proposal to provide some financial backing for this expedition. G4IGO proposed that an amount of £500 would appear appropriate and G0OFE seconded this motion. The vote was carried unanimously on a show of hands.
Any Other Business.
The Chairman raised the issue of the vacancy for a Vice Chairman and called for nominations from the floor. Ken G8VR proposed Neil G0JHC, a motion which was seconded by Frank PA3BFM. This being the only nomination G0JHC is therefore considered elected, unopposed.
Additionally, G4ASR was proposed for Committee membership by G8BQX, seconded by G3HBR; PA3BFM was proposed by G1IOV and seconded by WA6BYA. Both are accordingly elected as Ordinary members of the Committee.
A question from the floor asked why UKSMG had no publicity in the "Ham Radio Today" clubs and societies column. Action: G0RDI
A question from the floor asked, with the near global distribution of membership, whether the groups name continued to be relevant and appropriate. The Chairman stated that no reason could be seen for the UKSMG to change its name in the short term, but obviously the situation would be reviewed periodically.
PA0TLX provided an informative and entertaining insight into the preparation and execution of last years expedition to Georgia.
There being no other business, the meeting was closed at 11:55
Secretary UK Six Metre Group
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