On Thursday 24th September, we held this year's AGM by Zoom Conferencing and we had plenty to talk about.
The minutes of the last AGM were quickly agreed, then our new Treasurer (Andrea) gave her report on income and expenditure.
It had been an interesting year. The first six months had passed off almost without a hitch and then the bombshell dropped - LOCKDOWN! Unlike some other societies, we did not end our season because of lockdown and were up and running by early April with a full programme of events, speakers and competitions. This is thanks to the hard work of members of the OPS Council. The problem was that we had no longer any weekly income, since usually our modest annual fee is supplemented by a small payment at the door from each member attending.
The Council decided we would meet by Zoom conferencing and not make a charge for that to our members. That created a challenge because quite a few of the speakers charged a fee to give their Zoom lectures and we also had the cost of the software to find. As a result, we decided unanimously on a small increase to the annual subscription to £30. That is detailed on the "how to join" page and on the members' pages, where members are now asked to pay their subs via the PayPal link. You can pay this way even if you don't have a PayPal account by using a credit or debit card.
In view of the recent Government announcement of a further period of Covid-19 restrictions for possibly six months, the next season will be equally challenging financially, but the programme has been designed with plenty of variety and at somewhat less cost...we have also had three new members join us during lockdown, so the society is running well and is a really friendly and cohesive social group.
Members were also reminded to use the Amazon link from the website (in the sidebar on most pages) for any purchases from Amazon - which gives the society a small commission payment without it costing members anything. The Amazon commission brought in a good amount this year.
The Secretary (Mike D) then gave a short report and was thanked for his years of service, as he was stepping down this year and then the President's report was read. After that, it was time to vote in the new President, Gavin Taylor, who conducted the rest of the meeting, including overseeing the voting in of a new President Elect, the secretaries and ordinary council members.
A small change to the constitution was made to define how Special Interest Groups will be formed and run. We are hoping to form some groups for such photographic interests as nature and portraiture, but are open to suggestions for other types of group. Some may require that we can meet up in person again...others might be run via Zoom.
After a short break, the Awards from the Annual Competitions were presented, along with a slide show of some of the successful images presented by Mike L. Trophies were held up to the camera, but unfortunately members will have to collect them in person over the next couple of weeks or they go back into storage! Pity we couldn't have a buffet too, but then this is the "new normal".
The long and the short is that Oldham Photographic Society is in a strong and healthy condition to start our next season. This begins with the latest folio images from the L&CPU on Oct 1st followed on the 8th by our texture challenge. Images for the latter can be uploaded to the portal from now until 7th October.