The meeting was called to order by G3WOS (in the chair) at 12:00.
The chairman for the meeting, Chris Gare G3WOS introduced the committee for 1998: Cliff Ibell G1IOV - Vice Chairman, Mike Wills G3OIL -Treasurer; Iain Philipps GØRDI - Secretary; Trevor Day G3ZYY, Chris Deacon G4IFX Six News Editor, Clive Davies G4FVP, Frank van Dijk PA3BFM, David Whitaker BRS25429 Contest Manager.
The chairman welcomed the following overseas visitors to the meeting: WA6BYA, JA1VOK, JA6IDJ / MWØBMN, OZ3SDL / EI3IO, VK3OT, I2ADN, OZ9QV / PA3FOP, DL7AV, PE1PZS, PE1LAU, PA3DWD, PA3FBN and PA3EUI.
Apologies for absence had been received from BRS25429, G8VR, G8XTJ,
G6DAY, G4UPS and GØAEV.
The minutes of the 1997 Annual General Meeting were published in the May 1997 issue of Six News. Brian Hummerstone, G3HBR proposed that these were accepted as accurate and this motion was seconded by Neil Carr, GØJHC. The motion was carried on a show of hands.
Bob Treacher BRS32525 (right), the winner of the SWL section of the UKSMG Summer Contest, receives the Treasurers Tray from Angelo, I2ADN.
The Chairman reported another good year for the group, with the main efforts being devoted to the activation of new countries. The groups efforts with Ezzat, SU1ER, had been particularly rewarding. Again our colleagues from Holland had been remarkably productive and another successful expedition (YM7PA) was effected.
Other discussions had been ongoing with Syria (YK1AO, Omar), Equatorial Guinea (3C5I, Alan), Ethiopia (ET3SID, Sid), Oman (A45ZN, Tony), Sudan (ST2SA, Sid) and Greenland (OX3LX, Bo). Additionally discussions were ongoing with stations in United Arab Emirates and Armenia.
The Chairman wished to thank all of the committee for their work and support during the year, and noted with regret that Frank, PA3BFM, would be standing down from his position as UKSMG Country Manager for Holland.
This years 50MHz DXers dinner, held near Sandown Park the night before the UKSMG AGM, was highly successul with more than 25 six metre nuts from around the world attending. Some serious rag-chewing took place after the meal!
Frank would be remaining as a valuable member of the UKSMG committee for the forthcoming year. In terms of country manager, Denis, PE1PZS had volunteered to take over that role, and was introduced to the meeting as such.
Another notable change to the committee for the forthcoming year was that Neil, GØJHC had decided to retire as vice chairman after his marriage in December 1997. As a result, Cliff, G1IOV had been proposed and was elected unopposed as vice chairman for the coming year.
Tom, DL7AV and Hatsuo, JA1VOK at the 50MHz DXers dinner. Toms clearly getting some serious Japanese language tuition!
In terms of new blood, the chairman and all the committee were very pleased to welcome Clive, G4FVP to their number for the forthcoming year. Clives valuable contribution to Six News would continue alongside his work with the committee.
In accordance with the general aims of the group, a country manager for Japan - Han, JE1BMJ -had been appointed. Further, discussions were ongoing with a potential country manager for North America, and it was hoped that details regarding this would be available soon.
Finally, the Chairman noted there were early indications that many contacts might be made using TEP modes in the year to come, and 1998 might be where UKSMG could expect some small but significant growth in its membership as a result.
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 1997 show a particularly satisfactory growth in membership numbers in the order of 9% upon the previous year, with the total membership currently being 847. This represents a modest increase in the previous high number attained in the 1995/1996. Early indications for the forthcoming year point to the potential for a further (although more modest) increase in numbers, with 900 (a further 6%) being the goal at the end of 1998.
To this end, the group would be actively seeking a country manager to represent our interests in North America.
The Treasurer stated that a preliminary examination indicated that a small deficit of perhaps £300 would be shown at year end. Due to the method of collecting subscriptions from country managers, this would almost certainly result in a modest surplus overall. The financial position is therefore considered entirely satisfactory at this time.
The budget for the forthcoming year had been set to achieve a break even position without either an increase in subscriptions or a reduction in the activities of the group.
Major expenditure during the year had, as expected, been the production and distribution costs of Six News, with this activity accounting for an approximate total expenditure of £5,500.
The Treasurer wished to stress that the current good financial standing of the Group was due in the main to the heritage of earlier production methods employed by the Six News team which were no longer appropriate with the current membership number in mind. It would therefore be of paramount importance to continue to prudently manage the groups financial reserves as was his intention.
The Editor said that, in some senses, there was no need for an Editors report since all members could judge the years activity for themselves. Nonetheless, he stressed that Six News is very much a team effort these days, with the contributions of Clive G4FVP (Whats on Six columnist), Chris G4BUE (designer and printer) and John GØJJL (EMC columnist) being particularly valuable.
Incidentally, he had been assured that all the events described so amusingly by GØJJL did actually happen, and he had therefore encouraged both John and Neil, GØJHC to resume their six metre activities so as to generate further material for Six News.
It was reported that unfortunately our Six Metres in the Netherlands column has lapsed; an appeal was made for one of our many Dutch members to contact the Editor to see if this could be restarted.
A great majority of the items appearing in Six News are contributions from the membership. It is important to note that while many good articles continue to be submitted, there are always requirements for further contributions. Those present and the membership at large were urged to contact the Editor if they had any contributions to make or ideas for discussion.
At the conclusion of presentation of trophies to the Summer Contest winners, the Treasurer presented the outgoing chairman, G3WOS, with an inscribed tankard and thanked him on behalf of the group for his significant contribution as chairman.
Mike, G3OIL (left) presenting Chris, G3WOS with an inscribed tankard in recognition of his valuable service as UKSMG Chairman.
The chairman for the meeting raised the issue of the vacancy for a Chairman, stating that it would be necessary for formal nominations to be sent and a postal ballot made before a new Chairman would be elected!
GJ4ICD wished to report that Georges, F8OP had suggested that the groups Winter Contest timings be changed to coincide with the predicted peaks of the Geminids and Quadrantids meteor showers. Further to this, G3HBR suggested that it might be prudent to consider evenings as part of the timings for that contest.
VK3OT wished to know whether a summer challenge would be launched this year. The matter was under consideration.
G3FDW raised the matter of the general philosophy of the use 50 MHz band, stating that there seemed to be a prevalent view that this was an HF band, to be used only when open. It was the view of G3FDW (and many others present) that the band was, in fact, capable of supporting contacts spanning reasonably large distances under almost all conditions, and cited a daily schedule between his station in Cumbria and another in Essex as an example.
VK3OT spoke briefly regarding the general philosophy regarding the use of 50.110 MHz as a calling frequency in the South Pacific area.
G8BCG requested that the group make a larger effort regarding the publication of centres of activity and the acceptance thereof by users of the 50 MHz band.
VK3OT wished the meeting to note that during the next two years, it was the intention of himself and WA6BYA to activate approximately four rare countries in the region of the Indian Ocean for 50 MHz operators.
There being no other business for the time being, the meeting was closed at 12:55
Iain Philipps, Secretary UK Six Metre Group
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