The Chairman, Mr Stephen Morley, was in the chair.
1. Welcome address.
Stephen Morley briefly welcomed the Members and thanked them for coming in spite of the cold weather.
2. To approve the Minutes of the 2022 AGM.
Since the 2022 Minutes had previously been distributed to Members and there were no objections, the Minutes were passed unanimously.
3. To receive the Chairman’s Report on the Society’s Year in 2022.
A printed copy of the Chairman’s report was distributed to the Members present. The Chairman remarked on the challenging weather conditions and the varied and interesting programme we had enjoyed, including visits to Exbury Gardens and RHS Wisley, the garden party at the home of Ted and Ann Winfield and a Coffee Morning and seed and plant swap.
He noted some of the varied talks we had enjoyed, said that numbers at meetings had been good this year and mentioned the return of Alresford Show in September which had been a success for us in terms of the numbers of entries.
He finished by announcing his retirement from the Chairmanship, although he will remain on the Committee.
4. Vote of Thanks to Retiring Committee Members.
No members of the Committee are retiring this year.
5. Adoption of the Financial Statement and Examined Balance Sheet to 31st December 2022.
The Treasurer, Steven Johnson, distributed a copy of the accounts. He said that there had been a slight loss this year, mainly owing to increased costs of Speakers’ fees. Ted Winfield remarked that this was a case for considering raising subscription charges in the future.
Stephen Morley proposed accepting the adoption of the Financial Statement and Benny Brundish seconded it. The Members present voted unanimously to adopt it.
6. To elect Officers and Committee.
A list of the present and proposed Officers and Committee Members had previously been distributed to all members.
Stephen Morley having earlier announced his intention to stand down as Chairman, Janet Pooley was proposed as new Chairman by Ann Winfield, seconded by Shireen Coghlan and was unanimously accepted by the Members present.
Steven Johnson agreed to continue as Treasurer, nominated by Stephen Morley and seconded by Peter Tudor and Shireen Coghlan agreed to continue as Secretary, nominated by Stephen Morley and seconded by Janet Pooley.
The remaining Committee Members were nominated en bloc by Janet Pooley, seconded by Stephen Morley and elected unanimously by the Members present.
7. To appoint the Honorary Examiner of Accounts.
Mr Keith Brundish has agreed to act in this capacity for another year so was nominated by Steven Johnson, seconded by Stephen Morley and unanimously accepted by the members present.
8. Presentation of Flower of the Month Award.
Stephen Morley explained the rules for this ongoing competition which included submitting at least three entries. Entries are given points out of ten and those points are added up and averaged out. He said that 12 people had taken part and the top two scores were very close but that finally Simon Terry had won on the consistency of his entries. He was presented with the cup to loud applause!
9. Proposal for change of name to ‘Alresford Garden Club.’
At this point, Janet Pooley took the chair as newly elected Chairman. She gave a brief history of the Club and its name changes from its inauguration as the ‘Alresford Produce Association’ in 1947/8 until it changed to its present name in 1965. Several Committee Members had noted that people had been deterred from joining the Society by the word ‘Horticultural’ which sounded rather learned to some people who simply enjoyed gardens and gardening. She asked the Members to give the proposal their consideration for the next year until it could be formally adopted or rejected at the next AGM in 2024.
Janet Pooley raised several points pertaining to the coming year.
i) In previous years members had said they were not aware of the date of Alresford Show in time to volunteer so she pointed out that it will be on 2nd September and appealed for more volunteers.
ii) The Members’ Only Spring Show will be held on 12th April in St Gregory’s Parish Hall and schedules will be sent out soon.
iii) Subscriptions will remain unchanged this year at £15, but as costs increase may have to be increased in 2024. They are due next month.
iv) Val Ramshaw said there had been a disappointing response to this year’s holiday to Yorkshire and more people were needed to express an interest by March if it was not to be cancelled. Anyone can go, not just Society Members.
11. Votes of Thanks.
Ann Winfield thanked Stephen Morley on behalf of the Members for all his work over the years, especially has practical involvement with Alresford Show. He received a round of applause which concluded the formal part of the meeting.
The evening was concluded with a talk by Simon Justice, Course Manager at Alresford Golf Club, who explained how he and his staff cared for the course over a year.
Finally, Members shared drinks, snacks and conversation.