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MINUTES OF THE 19th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE NEIL MUNRO SOCIETY HELD IN CAIRNDOW VILLAGE HALL ON SATURDAY 16TH MAY 2015 1 Welcome
The chairman welcomed delegates to the Cairndow Village Hall for the 19th Annual General Meeting of the Society.
2 SEDERUNT
The Chairman, Ronnie Renton, and 30 other members as detailed on the sederunt sheet.
3 APOLOGIES
Rennie McOwan, Archie White, Kenneth MacTaggart, James Beaton, Jim Alison, John & Erica Kerr, May & Harry McIver, Rae MacGregor, Finella & David Wilson, Murdoch Beaton, Rev Roddy MacLeod, Colin Stevenson.
4 MINUTES
The Minutes of the 18th Annual General Meeting were approved. [Proposed by Clare Gray and seconded by Anne Cairns.]
5 MATTERS ARISING: No matters were brought to the attention of the meeting.
6 CHAIRMAN’S REPORT and WELCOME
The Chairman welcomed members to the Annual General Meeting of the society held in the Cairndow Village Hall. This was the 19th AGM in 19 years which have seen all Neil Munro’s major work brought back into print, 37 volumes of our annual journal ParaGraphs issued, many fine lectures, interesting visits and excursions and, above all, the happy and lasting friendships that have been formed.
He thanked Dorothy Paterson for her hard work in making arrangements for all today’s events and for her meticulous work as treasurer and Efric McNeil for arranging postage of ParaGraphs etc at reduced rates.
He extended a warm welcome to our speakers, Professor Alan Riach of Glasgow University, and Dr Iain MacDonald, and Alan’s wife, Rae.
Sadly he had to record the deaths of two members, Margaret Macaulay and James Clarkson.
(a) Membership of the Society:
Membership of the Society had fallen from 105 last year to 90 subscribers this year. These figures were for individual subscriptions – subscriptions also covered other family members not counted in the above total.
(b) Committee Meetings: The committee met four times in the past year. The members are: Rev Brian Wilkinson, Hon. President, Ronnie Renton, Chairman, Dorothy Paterson, Treasurer, Margaret Renton, Secretary, James Beaton, Archivist, Finella Wilson, Editor, Paragraphs, Duncan Beaton, Christine Mackay, Kenneth MacTaggart, Michael Kidd. There have been three resignations from the committee: Archie Gray, Archie White and Efric McNeil. The Chairman thanked them for their valuable contributions to the Society. The four co-opted members are: John Hodgart, Rev.Roddy MacLeod, Colin Stevenson and Jim McMillan (who is happy to remain as a co-opted member). It was proposed that the other three co-opted members be elevated to full committee status. This leaves three co-opted places to fill and suggestions were invited for these.
(c) Subscription Levels remain unchanged at £15.00 for ordinary membership, £12.00 for unwaged and OAP and £20.00 for Institutions.
(d) AGM and Spring Conference 2014 was held on Saturday 10th May. In the morning, after coffee in the castle tearoom, one group visited the castle and the other walked in the castle grounds. We then met up to visit Carlunan doocot and were fortunate to see inside the outline of the fireplace featured in The New Road as the tomb of Aeneas Macmaster. In the afternoon we had two talks: Ronnie Renton on The New Road and Ian Rowatt on ‘The Redcoat Road’. In the evening a number of members remained for dinner in the George Hotel.
(e) Autumn meeting was a visit to Helensburgh where, in the morning we were privileged to visit two prestigious villas, one by the architect William Leiper, where we were fortunate to be shown round by the owners in the absence of Michael Davis who had kindly organised this event for us. In the afternoon we visited the Hill House.
(f) Winter Meeting 2015 – Took the form of a Neil Munro Supper and was held in the Glasgow Art Club and attended by thirty members. The diners were entertained by James Beaton, bagpipes, music by Ivor Britten and Bobby Harvey, Gaelic songs by Maeve McKinnon and poetry readings by Christine Mackay and John Hodgart, a reading from Erchie by Michael Kidd, grace by Efric McNeil and vote of thanks by Dorothy Paterson.
(g) Paragraphs: Two editions of ParaGraphs had been issued as usual. The chairman expressed the society’s gratitude to the editor, Finella Wilson for making available so much material from the family archive which she includes in this excellent publication.
(h.) Junior Piobaireachd was won by Ciaran Ross who was warmly congratulated.
(i) Inveraray Primary School Writing Competition: The Neil Munro Quaich for creative writing, open to senior pupils at Inveraray Primary School, was won by Iona McCulloch to whom warmest congratulations were afforded. Dorothy was thanked for going along to the school to present the prizes.
(j) The Neil Munro Medal was presented for the 12th time to the most distinguished student in Scottish Literature, Jessica Reid.
(k) The chairman was delighted to report that, thanks to the sterling efforts of Efric McNeil, the bust of Neil Munro which was made in 1929 by Alexander Proudfoot has been loaned by the Kelvingrove Art Gallery to The Glasgow Art Club, where it is on display to visitors.
(l) Munro Bench: At the last committee meeting it was decided that, since there did not appear to be any need for more public benches in Inveraray, we should postpone the replacement of the Neil Munro bench for the immediate future.
(m) Thanks to the help of our webmaster, John McShane, the website is up and running.
(n) The Glenaray Monument: Thanks to the excellent advocacy and negotiation skills of Ken MacTaggart and Christine MacKay real progress has been made. The owner of the monument, An Comunn Gaidhealach, is now prepared to repair the monument by replacing the missing decorative stone at the top of it and carrying out other essential refurbishment. Our Committee have agreed we should contribute £2000 to this work and Duncan Beaton has agreed to oversee the works by making two visits at the beginning and end of the restoration. An Comunn intend to do this fairly quickly as they wish to re-dedicate the monument in October to coincide with the national Mod in Oban. They have also put together an attractive programme of Neil Munro-related Fringe events for the Mod.
(o) The chairman thanked members for their continuing support and committee members for all their hard work. Brian Wilkinson thanked the chairman.
7 TREASURER’S REPORT
In presenting the statement of income and expenditure for the year to 31st March 2015, the Treasurer, Dorothy Paterson, thanked Jim McMillan for auditing the Society’s accounts and for general help and the Chairman and Secretary for their hard work.
Subscriptions & conference fees : £2,009.94, Sales: £29.00, Bank Interest: £117.98, Helensburgh outing: (£180.00 – expenditure £175.90) £4.10
Total Income: Balance £20,985.52 + £2161.02 (total of the above)
Total expenditure (conferences, medal & prizes, ParaGraphs, Wreaths(Armistice day),Website, Dinner(loss £92.35), book stock, printing, stationery, postage) £2484.77.
Bank Balance £23,146.54.
In addition £50.00 was contributed to the Nepal Appeal. Bank interest will be donated to Inveraray Primary School.
8 ARCHIVIST’S REPORT
The Archivist, James Beaton, was unable to attend the meeting. The Society’s archive remained at Cherry Park and was not at present in a form where it could be made accessible.
9 ELECTION OF OFFICE BEARERS AND COMMITTEE
The Honorary President, Brian Wilkinson, took the Chair for this item.
The Committee’s constitution permitted 12 elected members and 4 co-opted members. Current members were: Chairman: Ronald Renton; Secretary: Margaret Renton; Treasurer: Dorothy Paterson; Archivist: James Beaton; Ordinary Elected Members: Duncan Beaton, Archie Gray, Michael Kidd, Christine MacKay, Efric McNeil, Ken MacTaggart, Archie White, Finella Wilson.
Co-opted Members: Roddy MacLeod, Jim McMillan, John Hodgart and Colin Stevenson.
Archie White, Archie Gray and Efric McNeil had all tendered their resignations in the course of the year. The remainder of the Committee was re-elected en bloc and co-opted members John Hodgart, Rev Roddy MacLeod and Colin Stevenson were elected to become full committee members. (See item 6b above.)
Michael Kidd stated that the committee feels that a Vice Chairman should be appointed to ensure the continued smooth running of the Society and proposed that the committe be empowered to to find a vice Chairman.[Proposer: Michael Kidd , Seconded by Peter Cairns.]
The Committee would consider further co-options in due course.
10. FUTURE EVENTS : We are investigating the possibility of a sail on Loch Lomond in September.
11. CLOSE OF MEETING
There being no further business, the Chairman declared the meeting closed.

MINUTES OF THE 18TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE NEIL MUNRO SOCIETY HELD IN THE CAMPBELL ROOM OF THE ARGYLL HOTEL INVERARAY ON SATURDAY 10TH MAY 2014

1 Welcome
The chairman welcomed delegates to the Campbell Room in The Argyll Hotel for the 18th Annual General Meeting of the Society. He expressed the opinion that the Society would not be in existence today had it not been for the skill and hard work of our late Secretary Brian Osborne who died 6 years ago. His brilliant sense of humour and warm personality were much missed – especially during AGMs!
The Chairman thanked Dorothy Paterson for making the arrangements for our visit to Inveraray Castle this morning. Also Duncan Beaton and John Hodgart for guiding members round the Castle estate, unfortunately conditions were unsuitable for climbing Dun na Cuaiche. He hoped also that delegates all got copies of Rae McGregor’s excellent booklet Argyll Estate Roads. He extended a very warm welcome to Mr Ian Rowatt who would talk to us today about the history of the road over the Rest and be Thankful which features briefly in Munro’s novel The New Road and more especially in its unfinished sequel The Search. He recorded that 2014 is the centenary year of The New Road. Sadly he announced the deaths of two members: Hilary Foxworthy and Isabel McPhedran and tributes and expressions of sympathy were made to their families.
The chairman expressed delight that the Society was still active 18 years after its foundation in 1996 and thanked the members for their continuing support.
2 SEDERUNT
The Chairman, Ronnie Renton, and 30 other members as detailed on the sederunt sheet.
3 APOLOGIES
Rennie McOwan, Archie White, Michael Kidd, Kenneth MacTaggart, James Beaton, Charles and Elsie Freer, Allan and Evelyn Grassic, Jim Alison, Allan Maclean.
4 MINUTES
The Minutes of the 17th Annual General Meeting were approved. [Proposed by Finella Wilson and seconded by Brian Wilkinson.
5 MATTERS ARISING: No matters were brought to the attention of the meeting.
6CHAIRMAN’S REPORT
(a) Membership of the Society:
Membership of the Society had fallen from 120 last year to 105 subscribers this year. These figures were for individual subscriptions – subscriptions also covered other family members not counted in the above total.
(b) Committee Meetings
The Committee had met four times this year. Brian Wilkinson was thanked for his hard work and advice, and Archie White was thanked for his minutes of Committee meetings. [See also Minute 9 below – Election of Office Bearers and Committee]
(c) Subscription Levels remain unchanged at £15.00 for ordinary membership, £12.00 for unwaged and OAP and £20.00 for Institutions.
(d) AGM and Spring Conference 2013
The 17th Annual General Meeting and Spring Conference had taken place on Saturday 11th May 2013. In the morning, after coffee in Inver Cottage, Strathlachlan members were welcomed to Strachur Church by Rev Robin McKenzie and to the Smiddy by Cathie Montgomery. After a superb lunch in Strachur Hall two excellent talks were delivered by Alan Y. MacDougall on Neil Munro’s Journalism and Professor David Finkelstein on Munro and the House of Blackwood. In the evening some members met in the George Hotel for dinner.
(e) On 6th -8th September 15 members participated in an excellent visit to Campbeltown and the Kintyre Peninsula and Efric McNeil was thanked for her hard work in organising this most successful weekend.
(f) Winter Meeting 2014 – featured ‘Scottish Art in the Time of Neil Munro’ delivered by Professor Murdo MacDonald of Dundee University. This lecture was accompanied by an excellent selection of images and was enjoyed by 40 members of the Neil Munro Society and 13 members of Glasgow Art Club. The talk was preceded by a sketch, scripted by Finella Wilson of Neil Munro’s Erchie story ‘Among the Pictures’ which was performed by herself, John Hodgart and Michael Kidd (g) Paragraphs: Two editions of ParaGraphs had been issued as usual.
The Chairman noted that, of the Society’s membership, only about 40 regularly attended events, while the remainder did not or could not, perhaps because of long distances or other obstacles. But they remained loyal Society members, and their only connection with the Society was through ParaGraphs. This bore testimony to the quality of the magazine. Finella Wilson was thanked for two more excellent issues.
(h) Publications : no new publications were produced in the past year.
(i) Junior Piobaireachd
The Society continued to sponsor the Neil Munro Quaich at the Inveraray Games. The Quaich had been won by Edward Lavender from Cumbria at the Games in 2013.
(j) Inveraray Primary School Writing Competition: The Neil Munro Quaich for creative writing, open to senior pupils at Inveraray Primary School, had been presented as part of the prizegiving ceremony at the end of term in June 2013 in the school. The winner was Cara Blyth. Dorothy Paterson was thanked for presenting the prizes.
(k) Archive: In the absence of the Archivist there was nothing new to report.
(l) Website: The Society’s website had developed some problems and was not currently up to date. John McShane, webmaster, would rectify matters next week.
(m) The Neil Munro Medal: The Neil Munro Medal had been presented for the eleventh time to the most distinguished student in Scottish Literary Studies at the University of Glasgow in June 2013. The winner was Ian McGhee, who had obtained a First Class Honours Degree in Scottish Literature and Language.
(n) The Proudfoot bust of Neil Munro (featured on the cover of paragraphs 20) is currently held in storage by the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Persistence by Efric McNeil has paid off and the bust will be on loan to Glasgow Art Club where it will be on display in the near future.
(o) The bench gifted by the Society to Inveraray is now in very poor condition and will be replaced. A suitable site needs to be identified and members were asked for suggestions. Planning permission would only be required if the chosen site was on a highway or footpath.
(p) The Neil Munro monument in Glenaray has had one of the topmost decorated stones missing for many years and the Society is keen that it should be replaced. Kenneth MacTaggart and Christine Mackay have investigated the matter and arranged for a survey to inform us of what repairs are required. We are now in negotiation with the owner of the monument, An Comunn Gaidhealach as to how to proceed.
(r) Conclusion
In concluding his report, the Chairman thanked his fellow Committee members for their support. The Honorary President, Brian Wilkinson, thanked the Chairman.
7 TREASURER’S REPORT
In presenting the statement of income and expenditure for the year to 31st March 2012, the Treasurer, Dorothy Paterson, thanked Jim McMillan for auditing the Society’s accounts and for general help and the Chairman for his hard work.
Subscriptions & conference fees : £2357.16, Bank interest was £202.72, sales £24.00 only (members now have all the publications they require), Kintyre trip surplus £38.50.The Winter meeting showed a surplus of £224.00. Outgoings were Para Handy volumes for school prizes and books for resale, Neil Munro Medal £100, Secretarial expenses £394.17,Wreath (2yrs) £48.40, Conf Fees £1184, Monument survey £300. Efric McNeil was thanked for arranging to have mailings franked thus saving the Society money on postage. The members approved the proposal that where possible email should be used for Society mailings but not for ParaGraphs.
Inveraray Primary School received £250 interest from the Brian Osborne Memorial Fund and used the money to buy books by the children’s favourite authors for the school library. The accounts showed a loss between income and expenditure of £226.65.
Approval of the Treasurer’s Report was proposed by Archie Gray and seconded by Peter Cairns.
8 ARCHIVIST’S REPORT
The Archivist, James Beaton, was unable to attend the meeting. The Society’s archive remained at Cherry Park and was not at present in a form where it could be made accessible.
9 ELECTION OF OFFICE BEARERS AND COMMITTEE
The Honorary President, Brian Wilkinson, took the Chair for this item.
The Committee’s constitution permitted 12 elected members and 4 co-opted members. Current members were:
Chairman: Ronald Renton; Secretary: Margaret Renton; Treasurer: Dorothy Paterson; Archivist: James Beaton; Ordinary Elected Members: Duncan Beaton, Archie Gray, Michael Kidd, Christine MacKay, Efric McNeil, Ken MacTaggart, Archie White, Finella Wilson.
Co-opted Members: Roddy MacLeod, Jim McMillan, John Hodgart and Colin Stevenson.
The Committee was re-elected en bloc.
The Committee would consider further co-options in due course.
10. FUTURE EVENTS
The following events were planned for the future:
(1) 13th September 2014 : one day outing to Helensburgh accompanied by architectural expert, Michael Davis.
(2) February, 2015.Winter meeting in Glasgow Art Club.
(3) May 2015. Annual Conference
. 11. CLOSE OF MEETING
There being no further business, the Chairman declared the meeting closed.


MINUTES OF THE 16TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE NEIL MUNRO SOCIETY HELD IN THE CAMPBELL ROOM OF THE ARGYLL HOTEL INVERARAY ON SATURDAY 12TH MAY 2012


1 WELCOME
The Chairman welcomed members and guests to the 16th Annual General Meeting. In particular he welcomed Euan Robson, one of the afternoon’s speakers; Muren Schachter, Ailsa Munro and partner who had travelled a considerable distance; Ronnie Armstrong; and Hamish Kirk, Gordon Liddell and Jean Macrae, who were attending for the first time. Best wishes were offered to founder member Rae McGregor, who celebrated her birthday on this date.
In his opening remarks, the Chairman noted that the past year had been particularly busy, with five major events. He extended thanks to the staff of the Argyll Hotel for making the Campbell Room available and for their warm hospitality; to James Beaton for arranging access to the Shira Dam; and to John Hodgart and Euan Robson in anticipation of their forthcoming talks on Ayrshire Idylls and George Houston respectively. The evening meal in the George Hotel had been successful last year, and this event would be repeated this year.
Sadly, two of the Society’s founding members, Lesley Bratton and Robert Stewart, had died during the year. The Chairman paid suitable tributes, and the AGM observed a brief silence in their memory.
2 SEDERUNT
The Chairman, Ronnie Renton, and 35 other members as detailed on the sederunt sheet.
3 APOLOGIES
Jim Alison, Rennie McOwan, Allan Maclean, Hamish Thompson.
4 MINUTES
The Minutes of the 15th Annual General Meeting were approved. [Proposed by Michael Kidd and seconded by Charlie Freer.]
5 CHAIRMAN’S REPORT
(a) Membership of the Society
Membership of the Society remained constant, at 121 this year compared with 122 and 121 in the two previous years. These figures were for individual subscriptions – subscriptions also covered other family members.
(b) Committee Meetings
The Committee had met four times this year. Brian Wilkinson was thanked for his hard work and advice, and Archie White was thanked for his minutes of Committee meetings.
[See also Minute 8 below – Election of Office Bearers and Committee]
(c) Subscription Levels
[See minute 6 below]
(d) AGM and Spring Conference 2011
The 15th Annual General Meeting and Spring Conference had taken place on Saturday 14th May 2011. In the morning, after coffee in the Stagecoach Inn at Cairndow, there had been an excellent visit to Ardkinglas, and this visit had been followed by a sandwich lunch in the Argyll Hotel. In the afternoon, Ronnie Renton had reflected on Neil Munro’s collection The Lost Pibroch and Other Sheiling Stories, and Michael Kidd had read “The Red Hand”. Professor Murdo Macdonald had then given a talk on the paintings of William McTaggart. The day had concluded with an evening meal in The George Hotel.
(e) Summer Outing – Lismore
On 14th June 2011, 32 members had visited the Island of Lismore, with visits to Bachuil House, Lismore Parish Church and the broch at Tirfuir.
(f) Autumn Outing – Mid Argyll
On 3rd September 2011, 32 members had visited sites in mid-Argyll. After coffee in the Galley of Lorn Hotel, members had visited Barbreck House, and had proceeded in the afternoon to Carnasserie Castle and then to the old parish church of Kilneuair.
(g) October Theatre Visit
In October 2011, the Open Book theatre company had toured Scotland with its production of Para Handy – A Voyage Round the Stories of Neil Munro. There had been performances in Inverness, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh, and many Society members had attended those in Glasgow or Edinburgh. Shortly before her death, Lesley Bratton had written a note for the printed programme.
(h) Winter Meeting 2012 – The Songs of Gaelic Scotland
At the Society’s Winter Meeting in Glasgow Art Club on 17th February 2012, Anne Lorne Gillies had given a splendid lecture (and singing) illustrating her award-winning book, The Songs of Gaelic Scotland. This meeting had been attended by 58 people from the Neil Munro Society and the St Andrew’s Society of Glasgow.
(i) ParaGraphs
Two editions of ParaGraphs had been issued as usual. The Chairman noted that, of the Society’s 120 members, only about 40 regularly attended events, while the remainder did not or could not, perhaps because of long distances or other obstacles. But they remained loyal Society members, and their only connection with the Society was through ParaGraphs. This bore testimony to the quality of the magazine. Finella Wilson was thanked for two more excellent issues.
The AGM recorded its thanks to David Wilson for finding a cheaper publisher for ParaGraphs. This had reduced production costs by about 50%.
(j) Publications
In February 2012, the Committee had been approached by a group of students from the postgraduate publishing course at Edinburgh Napier University who, for their project, wished to publish a new edition of Neil Munro’s The New Road. They intended to issue it as an E-book, and they had also obtained £2,000 from the Clan Campbell Association which would enable them to issue a new printed edition. Their new edition would contain an introduction (written by Ronnie Renton) and a detailed glossary. Until now, none of Munro’s novels had been equipped with a glossary, and so this development represented a significant advance in Munro studies. The Chairman expressed the hope that the possibility of issuing other Munro books with glossaries could be explored.
(k) Junior Piobaireachd
The Society continued to sponsor the Neil Munro Quaich at the Inveraray Games. This year the Quaich had been won by Daniel McDermott from Rothesay.
(l) Inveraray Primary School Writing Competition
The Neil Munro Quaich for creative writing, open to senior pupils at Inveraray Primary School, had been presented as part of the prizegiving ceremony at the end of term in June 2011 in the school. The winner was Carla Johnston. Dorothy Paterson was thanked for presenting the prizes.
(m) Archive
See Minute 7 below
(n) Website
The Society’s website was up-to-date. Thanks were recorded to Margaret Renton and John McShane for maintaining it.
(o) The Neil Munro Medal
The Neil Munro Medal had been presented for the ninth time to the most distinguished student in Scottish Literary Studies at the University of Glasgow in June 2011. The winner was Laura Buchan, who had obtained a First Class Honours Degree in Scottish Literature and the History of Art.
(p) Brian Osborne Memorial Bequest
The Chairman recalled that £20,000 had been gifted to the Society from the late Brian Osborne’s estate. Of this sum, £10,000 had been invested, the interest to be used for educational purposes; £1,250 had been spent on a piping competition, which had yielded two pipe tunes in honour of Neil Munro; and £112 had been spent on a new signboard at the monument in Glen Aray. This left £8,638.
The Society had previously discussed putting some of this money towards the cost of a statue or bas relief of Munro, using some for a writing competition, and/or using some for posters to advertise Munro’s books. After considerable discussion, the Committee had decided to recommend that, in these difficult times, we should abandon these schemes and concentrate our efforts in providing help, but not necessarily exclusively, to Inveraray Primary School. Accordingly, at its last meeting the Committee had decided to invest a further £3,000 in fixed term bonds. However, Jim McMillan had subsequently advised that a minimum of £5,000 was required for this type of investment, and the Chairman and Treasurer had concluded that a further investment of £5,000 could be afforded. This meant that a total of £15,000 had been invested. The interest would, initially at least, be made over annually to Inveraray Primary School for use at the Headteacher’s discretion. This meant that there was still a balance of £3,638 of the Osborne Bequest in the Society’s bank account.
The AGM approved the Committee’s actions.
(q) Glen Aray Monument
In addition to arranging for a new bi-lingual information board at the monument to Neil Munro in Glen Aray, Archie Gray was acquiring a smaller version of this information board for erection nearer the road. He had also constructed a little bridge over the ditch at the foot of the path leading to the monument from the road. The AGM recorded its thanks to Archie for his efforts.
(r) Conclusion,br> In concluding his report, the Chairman thanked his fellow Committee members for their support. The Honorary President, Brian Wilkinson, thanked the Chairman.
6 TREASURER’S REPORT
In presenting the statement of income and expenditure for the year to 31st March 2012, the Treasurer, Dorothy Paterson, thanked Jim McMillan for auditing the Society’s accounts and for general help.
Total income for the year amounted to £2,598.57 (coming from subscriptions and conference fees, sales, bank interest, profit on the Autumn 2011 meeting, and a donation from the Royal Bank of Scotland in respect of the publication of Munro’s History of the Bank). The balance from 31st March 2011 was £19,798.28, making a total of £22,396.85.
Expenditure amounted to £2,506.05 (going towards purchase of books for resale and for the archive (including a rare edition of Children of Tempest), ParaGraphs, the Munro Medal, sundries (including donations to Oban Hospital and Inveraray Pipe Band in memory of Robert Stewart), a wreath for Armistice Day, conference fees, a loss on the Winter Meeting and a deposit for the Mull trip in August/September 2012).
The balance at 31st March 2012 was accordingly £19,890, comprising £10,000 invested and £9,890 in the Bank Account. [Note: Subsequent to 31st March, a further £5,000 was transferred from the Bank Account to the Invested Funds – see Minute 5(p) above, Brian Osborne Memorial Bequest.]
It was noted that the hire of the Glasgow Art Club for the Winter Meeting was expensive, but it was hoped to continue with this venue owing to its associations with Munro and his friends.
As noted in Minute 5(i) above, David Wilson had found a cheaper publisher for ParaGraphs, resulting in a savings of about 50% in production costs.
The Committee had recommended a modest increase in subscriptions due to increasing costs, notably postage. The AGM approved the following increases:
Ordinary Membership: from £13 to £15
Students/OAP/Unwaged: from £10 to £12
Institutional Members: from £16 to £20.
Finella Wilson suggested that, in order to save on postage, as many communications as possible should be sent by e-mail to members who were on-line. Other communications might be included, where possible, with ParaGraphs rather than sent as separate mailings.
Approval of the Treasurer’s Report was proposed by Peter Cairns and seconded by Murdoch Beaton.
7 ARCHIVIST’S REPORT
The Archivist, James Beaton, was unable to attend the meeting. The Society’s archive remained at Cherry Park and was not at present in a form where it could be made accessible. However, it was understood that Argyll Estates had recently appointed an archivist for a short term, who might be willing to look after the Society’s archive.
8 ELECTION OF OFFICE BEARERS AND COMMITTEE
The Honorary President, Brian Wilkinson, took the Chair for this item.
The Committee’s constitution permitted 12 elected members and 4 co-opted members. Current members were:
Chairman: Ronald Renton
Secretary: Margaret Renton
Treasurer: Dorothy Paterson
Archivist: James Beaton
Ordinary Elected Members: Duncan Beaton, Archie Gray, Michael Kidd, Christine MacKay, Ken MacTaggart, Finella Wilson
Co-opted Members: Roddy MacLeod, Jim McMillan, Efric McNeil, Archie White
Lesley Bratton and Robert Stewart had served as elected members before their deaths.
On the proposal of Brian Wilkinson and seconded by Charlie Freer, the AGM elected Efric McNeil and Archie White to replace Lesley Bratton and Robert Stewart, and re-elected the other members of the Committee.
The Committee would consider further co-options in due course.
9 FUTURE EVENTS
The following events were planned for the future:
(1) 16th June 2012. Trip to Dalry, Alloway and Kirkoswald to visit some places associated with Ayrshire Idylls. Members were asked to book by 25th May at the latest. A minimum of 20 participants would be needed for viability.
(2) 31st August to 3rd September 2012. Visit to various places in Mull including Duart Castle, Lochbuy, Tobermory and the west coast overlooking Inchkenneth and Ulva. Members were asked to book by 31st May 2012. The maximum number was 28.
(3) 15th February, 2013. Winter meeting in Glasgow Art Club. Talk by John Cairney on Robert Louis Stevenson and slide show on Kintyre.
(4) May 2013. Annual Conference, to be held this year at Strachur. Talks on Munro’s journalism and on his correspondence with Blackwoods. Visits to Castle Lachlan and other places of interest.
(5) Autumn 2013: Visit to Kintyre.
10 CLOSE OF MEETING
There being no further business, the Chairman declared the meeting closed.


NEIL MUNRO SOCIETY MINUTES

MINUTES OF THE 15TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE NEIL MUNRO SOCIETY HELD IN THE CAMPBELL ROOM OF THE ARGYLL HOTEL INVERARAY ON SATURDAY 14TH MAY 2011


1. The Chairman welcomed society members to the Annual General Meeting.

2. Sederunt: the Chairman, Ronnie Renton and 39 other members as detailed on the sederunt sheet.

3. Apologies: Peter and Anne Cairns, Christine MacKay, Rae MacGregor.
,br> 4. The minutes of the 14tth AGM were adopted without amendment. [Proposed by Rev.Allan Maclean and seconded by Mrs Clare Gray]

5. Matters arising

6. CHAIRMAN’S REPORT
i. The chairman reported that membership of the Society is still very healthy with 122 paying members and as membership includes family members the true number is approximately 160. Subscriptions remain unchanged at £13.00 (ordinary membership), £10.00 (retired, unwaged, student), and £16.00 (institutional).
ii. The committee currently comprised: Ronald Renton (Chairman), Dorothy Paterson (Treasurer), James Beaton (Archivist), Margaret Renton (Secretary), Duncan Beaton, Lesley Bratton, Archie Gray, Michael Kidd, Christine MacKay, Kenneth MacTaggart, Robert Stewart, Finella Wilson (ParaGraphs Editor).
Co-opted Members: Efric McNeil, Archie White, Jim MacMillan, Rev Roddie McLeod.
iii. An events sub-committee has been formed and comprises: James Beaton, Efric McNeil, Duncan Beaton, Archie White, Margaret Renton, Ronnie Renton.
This committee was formed from members who could readily convene with the objective of facilitating the organisation of society events. It has met on one occasion.
iv. Archie Gray and Archie White were thanked for the minutes of 14th AGM and minutes of committee meetings.
v. Society President, Rev. Brian Wilkinson was thanked for all the hard work he has done and continues to do on behalf of the society.
vi. Events: Last year’s Annual Meeting featured a visit to Dunderave Castle and lectures by Professor Douglas Gifford, Kenneth MacTaggart and Angus Peter Campbell.
In June 30 members of the society enjoyed a long weekend visit to Islay (thanks to Dorothy Paterson) and on 11th September members visited Keills, Kilmory and Castle Sween (thanks to Steve Boyle, Brian Wilkinson and Duncan Beaton).
The 2011 Winter Meeting on 18th February featured a talk by Margaret Macaulay on Lady Grange and a presentation of pictures from 14 years of society events by Duncan Beaton. We were joined for this by members of the St Andrew Society of Glasgow and 60 people attended (thanks to Tom Rodger and Peter Cairns for their photographs).
vii. ParaGraphs 29 was recently published and Finella Wilson was complimented on a fine issue.
viii. Publications: Bagpipe Ballads and Other Poems: the poetry of Neil Munro by Bob Preston with a literary appreciation by Alan MacGillivray was recently published and as The Clyde, River and Firth and The History of the Royal Bank of Scotland have also been recently republished this means t hat all of Neil Munro’s literary work, apart from his uncollected journalism, is now in print. Thanks are due to Kennedy and Boyd, publishers, for these most recent publications.
ix. Alan MacDougall has recently completed his MPhil.on Neil Munro at the University of Glasgow.
x. The Neil Munro quaich for piping at the Inveraray Highland Games 2010 was won by Bradley Parker from Northern Ireland.
xi,The primary school short story competition was judged by Lesley Bratton and Finella Wilson and copies of 'Para Handy'were presented to all the winners.
xii.The Neil Munro Medal for the most distinguished student in Scottish Literature at the university of Glasgow in 2010 was won by Joanna Malecka.

7. TREASURER’S REPORT:
Thanks were given to Jim MacMillan for auditing the accounts of the society.
The Treasurer was happy to announce that the working balance for the year 2010-2011 is £1159.91.
Income from sales and fees was £1527.00. Book sales were increased by £170.00 as a result of new publications. Bank interest increased by £12.00 to £83.47. We received £250.00 from Glasgow University towards the £1108 the society had to pay to secure the ownership of the cast of the Neil Munro medal.
Expenditure: Books were purchased for resale, secretary’s expenses, Munro Medal, 2 editions of ParaGraphs, sundries, signage at the Glenaray monument, piping competition, winter meeting, Islay visit, c onference expenses totalled £6806.39. (The piping competition and monument signage were funded from the Osborne bequest).

8. ARCHIVIST’S REPORT:
Unfortunately, the archive remains in boxes within Cherry Park on the Inveraray Castle estate and is not yet in a form where it could be made accessible to the public. There is a possibility that a room could be made available within the Inveraray Parish Church hall to house the collection. Papers have been archived by a Glasgow University student and are also in boxes.
James Beaton was thanked.

9. DISTRIBUTION OF THE OSBORNE BEQUEST:
1. £10,000 has been invested in fixed term bonds. When sufficient dividend has accrued an educational bursary will be awarded to a young person from mid-Argyll.
2. Thanks to the hard work of Archie Gray, a new bilingual information board has been erected to replace the original one which had sustained severe weather damage. If the old sign is capable of restoration Archie will try and erect it at the roadside entrance to the monument path. The cost was an extremely reasonable £135 for producing the board. Labour was not charged.
3. James Beaton was responsible for organising and advertising the piping competition which was held on our behalf by the College of Piping. Karen McCrindle, a graduate of RSAMD and currently employed by the Sultan of Oman to train the police pipe band, won both competitions with her March and Pibroch. The prizes totalled £1000 and administration by the Piping Centre, £250.
After the above there remains a sum of £8638.37.
The following proposals have been made for use of this sum;
i. An adult writing competition. Duncan Beaton will discuss this with Michael Munro who proposed it.
ii. Erection of a statue or bas relief to Neil Munro. It was felt that no more than £5000 shiould be allocated for this and the rest of the money should be raised from the public. A bas relief was favoured by the majority and the next step would be to obtain permissions and the approval of the townspeople as well as identifying a suitable wall.
The Rev Allan MacLean favoured a freestanding statue which he felt would be a tourist attraction
iii. The committee are currently pursuing the suggestion of the provision of attractive posters advertising the Society

10.ELECTION OF OFFICE BEARERS AND COMMITTEE
The committee was re-elected en bloc.

Date of Next Meeting: Saturday 12th May 2012

MINUTES OF THE 14TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE NEIL MUNRO SOCIETY HELD IN THE CAMPBELL ROOM OF THE ARGYLL HOTEL INVERARAY ON SATURDAY 8TH MAY 2010


1. CHAIRMAN’S REPORT
i.The Chairman intimated that time should be allocated for discussion on how best to allocate the Brian Osborne bequest.
ii. The following were thanked for their support to the Society:Dr Joffe and Mrs Mary Cameron for making it possible for the Society to visit Dunderave Castle. Mike Davis for his talk and for guiding us round Dunderave.
Speakers for the Day: Professor Douglas Gifford, Aonghus Padraig Caimbeul and Kenneth MacTaggart.
The Argyll Hotel and especially Drew, events manager for all their help.
iii. Members who have died since our last AGM: Rev. Ian Renton, Lord Charles (Kemp) Davidson, Mrs Adeline Clark, Mrs Jessie Coubrough. The Society extended their sympathy to the families of the deceased. iv. The chairman noted the resignation of Catriona MacLeod from the committee, which she had served for 10 years. He thanked her for her hard work on behalf of the society and wished her every happiness in her new home in Lewis. She is very much missed and it was hoped she will be able to attend future NMS events.
v. The following were congratulated by the society:
Margaret Macaulay on the success of her recently published book The Prisoner of Saint Kilda.John Hodgart, Douglas Gifford and Moira Burgess on receiving Honorary Fellowships of the Association for Scottish Literary Studies for their enormous contributions to Scottish literature.Kenny Hodgart on the publication in the ‘Scottish Review of Books’ of his excellent article on Neil Munro with the hope that it may be made available for publication in ParaGraphs.
vi. The chairman announced that copies of all Brian Osborne’s publications and files of his research material are now housed in Dumbarton Library.
vii. The chairman welcomed back Mrs Pat MacTaggart.
2.SEDERUNT:
The Chairman, Ronnie Renton and 42 other members as detailed on the sederunt sheet.
3. APOLOGIES: Lesley Bratton, Finella Wilson, James McMillan, Rev. Roddy McLeod, Mr and Mrs Bert Arnott, Fergus Britton, Hilary and Elspeth Foxworthy, Mr & Mrs Donald Munro.
4. The minutes of the 13th AGM were adopted without amendment: Proposed by the Very Reverend Allan MacLean, Seconded by Mr Harry McIver.
5. Matters Arising:
a. The membership of the society now stands at 121 subscriptions but as membership also includes family members the numbers are much higher than the above.
b. Last year’s AGM agreed to permit the extension of the committee from 10 to 12 members (including the four office bearers. The AGM also raised the number of possible co-opted members from 3 to 4.
The Committee for the session 2009-2010 was as follows:
Ronald Renton(Chairman),Margaret Renton (Secretary),Dorothy Paterson (Treasurer),James Beaton (Archivist), Lesley Bratton,Archie Gray,Michael Kidd,Christine MacKay,Catriona MacLeod (resigned),Ken MacTaggart, Robert Stewart,Finella Wilson.
Co-opted Members:Duncan Beaton,Rev. Roddy MacLeod, Jim McMillan, Archie White.
Honorary President the Reverend Brian Wilkinson was thanked for the very considerable amount of work he does on behalf of the committee. The committee was re-elected in total for 2010-2011. The committee met four times last year.
c. Subscriptions remain at: £13.00 (individual), £10.00 (Pensioner, Unwaged, Student), £16.00 (institutional members).
d. The chairman reported on last year’s Society events:
AGM and Spring Conference took place on Saturday 9th May, 2009. Approximately 55 members attended. The day began with two tours of the town of Inveraray – one architectural and one literary. In the afternoon Aonghas MacKechnie spoke on the “Building of Inveraray” and Carl MacDougall gave “A Novelist’s view of Neil Munro”. In the evening we enjoyed a dinner to mark the centenary of Neil Munro’s being made a “Freeman of the Royal Burgh”. Many of the Munro family were present on the day.
e. Autumn Meeting:
Our Autumn Meeting took place on the 19th September. It consisted of a highly successful visit to Duntrune Castle, lunch in the Kilmartin Hotel and an excellent tour of Dunadd under the guidance of archaeologist, Steve Boyle.
f. Once again the hospitable surroundings of the Glasgow Art Club were our venue for our Winter Meeting on 26th February. Rev. Allan MacLean gave us a highly informative and well illustrated talk on “Telford’s Highland Churches”. This was followed by extremely entertaining “Erchie” sketches performed by Ronnie Armstrong and Dave Harvey.
g. Paragraphs 27 was recently distributed and Finella Wilson was complimented on the high quality of the journal. She has also succeeded in cutting the cost of the journal by almost 50%.
h. Publications: We have met our target of putting all Neil Munro’s novels and short stories back into print and thank the publisher Kennedy and Boyd for producing the final one: Fancy Farm.This year society member, Bob Preston’s collection of Neil Munro’s poetry is currently being processed for publication by Kennedy and Boyd later this year.
i. The Neil Munro Quaich for Junior Piobaireachd continues to be sponsored by the society. The winner in 2009 was Steven Leask. A new quaich has now been purchased which will be passed on from year to year to winners.
j. The Neil Munro Writing Competition for Senior pupils in INveraray School was won by Kyle Renton. Our thanks to Rae MacGregor for presenting the prizes.
k. The Archive is in the process of being moved to Cherry Park in the grounds of Inveraray Castle.
l. The website is up to date and a reliable source of information about society activities and publications. The members were invited to retrieve copies of ‘Views and Reviews’ from the Mitchell Library archive for publication on the website. John McShane and M. Renton were thanked for their efforts.
m. The seventh Neil Munro Medallist (2009) is Melanie Buntin a former pupil of Lochgilphead High School.
Ten further medals have been cast as well as a dye and these have been given to Glasgow University who will now assume responsibility for the medal and its future production when the current 22 are used up.
n.i. The explanatory sign at the monument in Glenaray has been destroyed by weather and will have to be replaced.
ii. Promised panels to be attached to road signs at the entrance to Inveraray stating ‘Welcome to Inveraray, Birth Place of Neil Munro’ are still awaited.
o. The chairman thanked the membership and the committee for their unfailing support and hard work with special thanks to Dorothy Paterson.
6. TREASURER’S REPORT:
Dorothy Paterson spoke to her report: She thanked J. McMillan and the staff of RBS Inveraray for their support and Christine MacDougall for preparing the audited accounts. This year the accounts do not include unpresented cheques. After expenditure of £4883.45 the balance of the account (which includes the Brian Osborne legacy of £20,000) stood at £23,695.88 on 31st March 2010.
The Accounts were proposed by Murdoch Beaton and seconded by Dr James Macleod.
7. ARCHIVIST’S REPORT:
A ‘quiet year’ was reported because the books are in transit. Non-archival papers are currently being catalogued by a GU student as part of his Masters Degree from the School of Archivism. The material will be filed and boxed and we will receive it after the degree assessment and there will be no charge to us. Rae MacGregor gave a conservative estimate of six months for the opening of the archive.
8.OSBORNE BEQUEST: the following ideas for disposal of the bequest were proposed:
i. To invest £10,000 and fund a bursary for a Mid-Argyll pupil proceeding to higher education with the annual dividend.
ii. Replacement of the information board at the Glenaray monument. A rough estimate for an all-weather board is £1,500.00.
iii. A competition to produce either a piobaireachd, march (which could be played by the pipe band) or both in honour of Neil Munro. The cost including judging and prize would be in the region of £1,500.00. If this were to go ahead endorsement has already been received from the Piping Centre and Highland Games committee.
iv. With the remaining £6,250 balance (£500 would be retained for contingencies) we could investigate the possiblity of erecting a statue or bas relief to the memory of Neil Munro within the town. The community council of Inveraray would be approached for local opinion on this matter
v. An adult writing competition with emphasis on journalism. Investigation of the above proposals was authorised by the membership. Action: J.McMillan to assist with item i.
Item ii. A. Gray to investigate.
Item iii : J.Beaton and R. Stewart.
Item iv. Inveraray Community Council.
Item v. Mike Munro to advise.
9. ELECTION OF OFFICE BEARERS:
The following were elected en bloc to serve on the committee for session 2009-10:
Chairman: Ronald Renton
Secretary: Margaret Renton
Treasurer: Dorothy Paterson
Archivist: James Beaton
Committee: Lesley Bratton
Duncan Beaton Michael Kidd
Christine MacKay
Robert Stewart
Finella Wilson
Archie Gray
Ken MacTaggart
James McMillan Co-opted Members:
Archie White
Rev. Roddy MacLeod + 1 vacancy
10. FUTURE OUTINGS:
i. Islay visit on 18th – 20th June. 2 places still available.
ii. Autumn outing: Saturday 11th September 2010: A visit to see the sculptured stones and crosses at Keills and Kilmory Knapp.
11. AOCB: B. Wilkinson gave a vote of thanks to the Chairman.


________________________________________

MINUTES OF THE 13th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE NEIL MUNRO SOCIETY HELD IN THE CAMPBELL ROOM, ARGYLL HOTEL, INVERARAY ON SATURDAY, 9TH MAY 2009.

1. SEDERUNT:
The Chairman, Ronnie Renton and 38 other members as detailed on the sederunt sheet.

2. APOLOGIES:
Mr V. David Hammond, Hamish Thomson, Fergus Britton

3. MINUTES OF 12TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF 10TH MAY 2008:
The minutes were approved without amendment.
Proposed by James Beaton, seconded by Clare Gray.

4. MATTERS ARISING:
A student at Glasgow university is about to commence an M.Litt degree on ‘Neil Munro’.

5. CHAIRMAN’S REPORT:
a. Membership of the Society: The chairman reported that the membership of the society stands at 108 subscriptions. This is still very healthy but, as it is the subscriptions which finance ParaGraphs, it is important to retain a high membership and to that end members were encouraged to take and distribute Neil Munro Society publicity flyers.

b.Membership of the Committee:
As a result of the sudden death of Brian Osborne it was necessary for the committee to make some rapid adjustments in order that the work of the Society could continue. The post of secretary was divided up amongst Margaret Renton: secretarial duties, Dorothy Paterson: receiving fees for events and memberships and Archie Gray: minutes secretary. It was hoped that members would approve of these measures
The committee also took the step of appointing an additional co-opted member beyond that permitted by our constitution. The committee felt that they urgently needed to extend the committee to give more expertise and flexibility. The constitutional amendment tabled will accommodate this appointment and permit further expansion.
The Committee as it stands at present consists of:
Ronald Renton (Chairman),
Margaret Renton (Secretary),
Dorothy Paterson (Treasurer),
James Beaton (Archivist),
Lesley Bratton, Michael Kidd, Catriona MacLeod, Christine MacKay, Robert Stewart, Finella Wilson (Journal Editor).
Co-opted members: Archie Gray, Jim McMillan, Ken MacTaggart, Duncan Beaton.
Auditor: Christine MacDougall.
Rev. Brian Wilkinson is, of course, our Honorary President and he is very much a working President. We are very grateful for his regular attendance at meetings and his unfailing support.
The Committee met five times this session.

c. Subscription Levels:
These were raised at the 2008 AGM and are as follows: Ordinary members: £13, Student/OAP/Unwaged: £10, Institutional members: £16.

d. The chairman reported on last year’s Society events:
The annual conference 2008 included a visit to Kenmore and talk on Evan McColl, Allan McInnes’ lecture on Jacobitism in Argyll and the Neil Munro Lecture on ‘The Shoes of Fortune’ delivered by Ronnie Renton.
The Autumn meeting was a visit to Tarbert on the theme of John MacDougall Hay’s Gillespie with a tour by Archie Smith and lecture by Moira Burgess.
The Winter Meeting in the Glasgow Art Club featured talks by Iain Fraser on ‘The Place Names of Argyll’ and ‘The Language of Neil Munro’s Fiction’ by John Corbett.
In April the Society contributed to and participated in the Brian Osborne Memorial Evening organised by the Scottish Society of Authors, Scottish Publishers and ourselves.
The Neil Munro Writing competition for senior pupils in Inveraray School was won by Joe Gilmovich in 2008. This year the Munro Quaich will be presented to the winner on the school prize day.
The sponsorship of the Neil Munro Quaich for Junior Piobaireachd continues at the Inveraray Highland Games. The 2008 winner was Robert Forrest. Robert Stewart was thanked for organising this every year.
The Neil Munro Medal for the most distinguished student in Scottish Literary Studies at Glasgow University was awarded to Louise Hutchison who is our sixth medallist.

e. Publications: Finella Wilson was thanked for her excellent work in editing ParaGraphs.
This year George Blake’s editions of Neil Munro’s journalism, The Looker-On and The Brave Days, have been republished by Kennedy and Boyd.
Campbell of Duisk by Robert Craig has also been republished. This Argyllshire novel was the subject of Brian Osborne’s lecture to the Society in 2004 and his talk was adapted for an introduction to the book.
Kennedy and Boyd is currently republishing Fancy Farm, which is the final Munro title still to be brought back into print.

f. Publicity:
i.The Society publicity leaflet has been updated and members were encouraged to assist with its distribution.
ii. A portrait of Neil Munro now hangs in the George Hotel thanks to the sterling efforts of Lesley Bratton, Archie Gray and Robert Stewart.
iii. A commemorative plaque to Neil Munro’s receiving the Freedom of the Burgh of Inveraray 100 years ago will be unveiled at a civic reception tonight in the Argyll Hotel.
iv. The Jail Shop has undertaken to stock copies of all the works of Neil Munro which are in print.

FUTURE PROGRAMME: A visit to Duntrune Castle is proposed for Saturday 19th September

TREASURER’S REPORT:
Dorothy Paterson spoke to her report:
This year’s accounts showed a loss of £537.00. This was as a result of several one-off charges, (see items d,e & f of Chairman’s report). There remain problems with the income for subscriptions and the Annual Conference straddling the end and start of the financial years. This causes difficulty in knowing accurately how much money we have available.
The auditors are satisfied with the way in which the accounts are presented.
Suggestions as to how to save money are:
i. A one-off purchase of a trophy for the Piobaireachd competition instead of purchasing an annual prize.
ii. David Wilson suggested we should investigate possible cheaper publishers for ParaGraphs
The Accounts were proposed by Allan MacLean and seconded by Dr James Macleod.

ARCHIVIST’S REPORT:
The Archivist reported that the Head of Special Collections in Glasgow University Library has now decided that our archive does not meet with their requirements and it will be necessary for us to find alternative accommodation.

AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION:
As a result of the changes made to the committee in the past year and to spread the duties more widely it has become necessary to increase the membership and co-options.
The maximum number of committee members should be increased from 10 to 12 and the number of co-opted members raised from 3 to 4.
Revised Paragraph 4 of the Constitution should read:
“The governing body of the Society shall be a Committee consisting of a Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Archivist and up to eight other members. The Committee may co-opt up to four additional members.”
The amendment was proposed by Allan Maclean and seconded by Charles Freer

ELECTION OF OFFICE BEARERS:
The following were elected en bloc to serve on the committee for session: 2009-10
Chairman: Ronald Renton
Secretary: Margaret Renton
Treasurer: Dorothy Paterson
Archivist: James Beaton
Committee: Lesley Bratton
Michael Kidd
Catriona MacLeod
Christine MacKay
Robert Stewart
Finella Wilson
Archie Gray
Ken MacTaggart
Co-opted Members:
James McMillan
Duncan Beaton
+ 2 vacancies

AOCB:
The Chairman announced that Mr Malcolm Osborne had donated the sum of £20,000 to the Neil Munro Society from the estate of his son, Brian D. Osborne. The chairman expressed his gratitude on behalf of the Society.
The chairman declared the 13th AGM of the Neil Munro Society closed.


10th MAY 2008


THE NEIL MUNRO SOCIETY


Minutes of the 12th Annual General Meeting of The Neil Munro Society held in the Campbell Room, Argyll Hotel, Inverarary on 10th May 2008.

SEDERUNT

The Chairman, Ronald Renton and 41 other members as recorded on the sederunt sheet.

APOLOGIES

Ronald Armstrong, Susan Beaton, John & Mairi Hodgart, Rae MacGregor, Allan MacLean, Rennie McOwan, Hamish Thomson

SCHOOLS COMPETITION

The Honorary President, Rev B W Wilkinson took the chair and introduced this item. The competition had been judged by Lesley Bratton who spoke to the entries and announced that the winner was Joe Gilmovich.

WELCOME FROM CHAIRMAN

The Chairman welcomed the delegates, in particular those attending for the first time and thanked those who had made the day’s programme possible and in particular mentioned Ken MacTaggart who had done so much to facilitate the morning visit to Kenmore. The Society had had to find a new venue for the meeting and felt that the Campbell Room would be a suitable location. He intimated the death of Mrs Agnes Stirling of Dunoon and thanked Finella Wilson for taking on the editorship of Paragraphs.

MINUTES OF THE 11th AGM

Having been placed on the Society’s website www.neilmunro.co.uk and circulated at the meeting these were approved on the motion of Clare Gray seconded by Lesley Bratton.

MATTERS ARISING

There were no matters arising.

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

The Chairman reported that membership remained at a healthy level of 128 subscribing members and expressed a desire for suggestions and feedback from members. He expressed his thanks to the Committee and office-bearers for their work and noted the resignation of Moira Burgess from the Committee and as editor of ParaGraphs in the course of the year. We had been fortunate that Finella Wilson had been willing to take on the editorship. The Chairman outlined the past year’s programme of events including the cruise on Loch Katrine, the Winter Meeting and the April visit to historic sites in Argyll.

There existed a possibility of Glasgow University obtaining funding for a student to do a PhD on some aspect of Munro’s work – a project which would be enhanced by access to our archive.

On the publications front he reported that Exploring New Roads was now available in a paperback edition and that a Scotnotes volume on John Splendid and The New Road had been published. The Society in association with the ASLS had sent out copies of the Scotnotes volume and other teaching materials to 30 secondary schools along the route of The New Road. Plans were underway to secure the reprinting of Fancy Farm, which if successful would see all Munro’s fiction back in print. The University of the Highlands and Islands are running an MA course in the literature of the Highlands and Islands and a number of our publications have been donated to the UHI to encourage a focus on Munro.

Our other means of outreach continued, the Junior Piobaireachd Competition at Inveraray Games was again sponsored, the Munro Medal was again presented to the most distinguished graduand in Scottish Literature at Glasgow University, the website had been developed due to the hard work of John McShane and Margaret Renton and a programme has been started to put on line Munro’s literary journalism. A commemorative plaque has been mounted on The House with the Brass Man’s Hand, Munro’s holiday home for many years and the house featured in The Daft Days.

TREASURER’S REPORT

Dorothy Paterson spoke to the statement of income and expenditure which showed a credit balance of £3128.09 and mentioned some of the difficulties caused by income and expenditure for events bridging two financial years. The report was adopted on the motion of Peter Cairns, seconded by Archie White.

ARCHIVIST’S REPORT

James Beaton advised members that discussions would be held with Glasgow University regarding the transfer of the Archive to the University Library or Archives. There was advantage in moving the collection out of the Royal College and the proposal for a PhD project outlined by the Chairman made the University a very natural home.

SUBSCRIPTIONS

The Committee proposed an increase in subscriptions as follows: Ordinary Members: From £12.00 to £13.00 Students/OAP/Unwaged: From £7.00 to £10.00 Institutional Members: From £15.00 to £16.00 Having heard the Secretary outline the membership profile of the Society and the costs of servicing members, which exceeded the £7.00 concessionary subscription, the proposed increase was approved on the motion of James Beaton, seconded by Brian Wilkinson.

ELECTION OF OFFICE BEARERS AND COMMITTEE

The Honorary President Brian Wilkinson took the chair. The retiring officebearers were re-elected en bloc. The five retiring committee members were also re-elected en bloc and Catriona MacLeod, who had been a co-opted member of the Committee was elected to fill the vacancy on the Committee.

The Committee for 2008/2009 is

Chairman: Ronald W Renton

Secretary: Brian D Osborne

Treasurer: Dorothy Paterson

Archivist: James Beaton

Committee: Lesley Bratton, Michael Kidd, Christine Mackay, Catriona MacLeod, Robert Stewart, Finella Wilson.

Auditor: Christine MacDougall

(The Committee had in 2007/08 also co-opted Archie Gray and Jim McMillan and these co-options will continue into 2008/09)

FUTURE PROGRAMME

The Chairman outlined the Committee’s future plans including a Tarbert event on 27th September based on Gillespie, a planned Paris visit in Spring 2009 and commemoration of the centenary in 2009 of Munro being made a Freeman of Inveraray.

AOCB

There were no further matters raised and the Chairman declared the 12th AGM closed.




THE NEIL MUNRO SOCIETY


Minutes of the 11th Annual General Meeting of The Neil Munro Society held in the Community Hall, Inveraray, on 12th May 2007.


SEDERUNT
The Chairman, Ronald Renton, and 36 other members as recorded on the sederunt sheet.

APOLOGIES
Brian & Jan Wilkinson, Archie & Clare Gray, Rennie & Agnes McOwan, Ian MacDonald, Duncan Beaton, Louis Stott, Muren Schachter

SCHOOLS COMPETITION
The competition had been judged by Finella Wilson who spoke about the entries and presented the prize to the winner Cameron Bell

WELCOME FROM CHAIRMAN
The Chairman welcomed those present, thanked the members who had made today’s programme possible and the distinguished panel of speakers. He extended a special welcome to those attending for the first time. He intimated the death of Robert Rodgerson, an enthusiastic member of the society and expressed the good wishes of the society to Ian MacTaggart following his recent operation. He was also glad to advise members that Moira Burgess, the editor of ParaGraphs had completed her PhD on the works of Naomi Mitchison

MINUTES OF THE 10th AGM
Having been placed on the Society’s website www.neilmunro.co.uk and circulated at the meeting these were approved on the motion of A White seconded by P Cairns

MATTERS ARISING
A White asked if it would be possible for the minutes to be placed on the website soon after the AGM, the Chairman and Secretary undertook to arrange for this to be done.

CHAIRMAN’S REPORT
The Chairman thanked the Honorary Office Bearers for their help and support, in particular noting the very active part played by Brian Wilkinson, Honorary President. The Society’s membership now stood at the very healthy level of 132 – it was intended however to mount a recruitment campaign with the 2008 Subscription mailing. The Chairman reviewed the events of the year including the successful visit to South Uist and the unfortunate cancellation, due to lack of support, of the Autumn Cruise. The Spring visit to Abbotsford had been successful and the Society had enjoyed an excellent talk by Douglas Gifford. The continuing success of ParaGraphs was mentioned, and the editor was thanked for her efforts and members were encouraged to secure the continuation of the magazine by contributing material to it. The year had seen the reprinting of Shoes of Fortune continuing the Society’s plan to get all of Munro’s works back in print. The Society continued sponsor the Junior Piobaireachd Competition at Inveraray Highland Games. The Neil Munro Medal had again been presented to the most distinguish graduand in the Department of Scottish Literature at Glasgow University and was won in 2006 by Juliet Linden Bicket. Members had been able to make use in the morning of the new access path to the Neil Munro Monument in Glen Aray which had finally been constructed after many years of effort. The Chairman concluded his report with an expression of thanks to the office-bearers and committee members for their hard work and enthusiasm.

TREASURER’S REPORT
Dorothy Paterson spoke to the statement of income and expenditure which showed a credit balance of £2149.14 and outlined some of the main areas of income and expenditure. She noted the difficulties caused by income and expenditure for events bridging two financial years. Answering questions she offered to provide annotations on the accounts to clarify matters in future years. The report was adopted on the motion of Christine Mackay, seconded by Murdoch Beaton.

ARCHIVIST’S REPORT
James Beaton noted that it had been a quiet year for the archive but that due to changes in his role within the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons he felt that it was now an opportune time to consider moving the archive to the Mitchell Library where it would be very accessible and this would be investigated in the coming year.

ELECTION OF OFFICEBEARERS AND COMMITTEE
The Chairman, in the absence of the Honorary President, advised the meeting that all office-bearers and committee members stood down each year but were eligible for re-election and had indicated their willingness to serve again. Michael Kidd proposed the re-election of Ronald Renton as Chairman, this was approved nem con. Mr Renton, from the chair then proposed the re-election of the remaining office-bearers and committee en bloc – this was also approved nem con.

The Committee for 2007/08 is

Chairman: Ronald W Renton

Secretary: Brian D Osborne

Treasurer: Dorothy Paterson

Archivist: James Beaton

Committee: Lesley Bratton, Moira Burgess, Michael Kidd Christine Mackay, Robert Stewart, Finella Wilson

Auditor Christine MacDougall

(The Committee had in 2006/07 also co-opted Archie Gray, Catriona MacLeod & Jim McMillan.)

FUTURE PROGRAMME
The Chairman outlined the events planned, including a cruise on the SS Sir Walter Scott on Loch Katrine and a Winter Meeting looking at Munro’s journalism and invited suggestions for other events and topics.

ANY OTHER COMPETENT BUSINESS
James Beaton noted the large contribution that the Chairman Ronald Renton had made to the success of the Society since its inception and asked the meeting to rise and join him in a round of applause. Mr Renton responded in appropriate terms.

CLOSURE
There being no further business the Chairman closed the 11th Annual General Meeting.

site updated 26th January 2011