ENGLISH WESTERNERS' SOCIETY
REPORT OF THE
60TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
HELD ON SATURDAY, 1ST OCTOBER 2016
AT DOGGETT'S COAT & BADGE
It was very wet when we arrived at Doggett’s for our meeting but the welcome was warm and our members were soon chatting merrily over steaming cups of coffee or tea! Our familiar meeting room was decked out with Colin’s displays and the books that would take centre stage during our action and the dining room was prepared for those of us wishing to dine and, indeed, for those who did not. It seemed as though a fun time was had by all and it proved once again that time sure does fly when you are having fun!
A note on the AGM: All members are entitled to attend the AGM free of charge, irrespective of whether or not they take lunch. (There is a buttery on the premises, which serves snacks and a three-course meal). We take lunch in our own room partly because in this way we avoid a room-hire charge, and also because this furnishes us with an opportunity to enjoy a meal together. But, please do remember, everyone is welcome to attend the meeting even if they do not take lunch!
THE CHAIRMAN’S REPORT OF THE DAY
Members and guests had started to congregate for morning coffee or tea in the Terrace Bar at Doggett’s before 10 o’clock on Saturday, 1st October and by 10.45 twenty-two members and five guests had gathered in the conference room for the business part of the meeting. We were pleased to welcome Maurice Chittenden and Peter Godwin to their first AGM. We also welcomed two members of the Custer Association of Great Britain. Having stood in silence in memory of our former members, Tom Wanless and Ian West, a composite report and Treasurer’s Report for the year ended 31 August 2016 were circulated to those present with various matters being discussed by members. The business part was concluded with the re-election of office holders, Peter Russell having stood down as assistant editor earlier in the year. We welcomed Mike Bell as an associate secretary, initially to assist Ray, who will increasingly take over my own duties. Some really good news: once again we learned that we had received the Heads-Up Award from Westerners International for our contribution to the study of Frontier History! This has been the third award in the past five years.
The morning session continued with talks by Mike Bell on criminal activity on the Wyoming/Montana border in the late 19th century, which has been overshadowed by the Johnson County War, followed by Mike Christian on U.S. policy towards the Indian one hundred years earlier, a subject never before covered by us.
A most enjoyable lunch was taken by twenty-two of us, then the customary photo-shoot on the balcony. Having been joined by our Polish member and two guests, at 2.15 the afternoon presentations started with Mary Christian regaling us with episodes of the experiences of the wives of Army Officers on the frontier. Society funds were boosted by our annual auction which raised £200 and following afternoon tea we listened to Brian Keefe’s reminiscences of Joe Medicine Crow whom he had known for many years. A thoroughly enjoyable day ended at 5 pm when members dispersed. FBT
The Brand Book: The Brand Book programme remains up to date and we continue to have material in the pipeline for the next year or so, although I always welcome new contributions. As mentioned in earlier reports, one of my main editorial difficulties has been to maintain a balance of subjects, whilst still trying to publish members’ papers within a reasonable timescale.
The last three Brand Books (volume 49, numbers 1, 2 & 3) were Reminiscences of Sam Graham, the brief memoirs of a Texas Ranger, edited and annotated by Chuck Parsons, followed by English by Birth, Scottish by Blood, the Story of John Stuart Stuart Forbes, alias Private John S. Hiley, 7th Cavalry Regt., U. S. Army by Peter Russell, with contributions from Leslie Hodgson, and, finally, Bat Masterson – Denver Sporting Man, the latest in Keith Robinson’s ‘Fist Fighting Out West’ series.
I have a number of papers lined up for the coming year, and the order of publication is likely to depend largely upon how soon each is ready for printing. I appreciate that some authors have waited quite a while for their work to be published and I wish to express my gratitude not only for their contributions, but also for their patience.
Special Publications: The final volume of the Diamond Jubilee Publication - what promises to be a ground-breaking paper on the Fetterman Fight by Francis Taunton - is still being worked upon, so I cannot offer a publication schedule for that at this time. This year has however seen the appearance of “Jesse James, Prince of Robbers!”, the collected writings on the Missouri bandit by Bob Wybrow.
Finally, I would like to thank Francis Taunton and Bob Wybrow for their continuing help and support with the production of the Brand Book. I also wish to thank Peter Russell for his invaluable work as a proof-reader over the last year. Finally, I am pleased to note that Michelle Pollard has maintained an exceptionally high standard with the Tally Sheet. GML
Tally Sheet: First can I thank all those who have made contributions to the Tally Sheet this past year. It cannot be stressed enough how much we rely on you, as members, to write in with material. Having said that, my recent plea has resulted in enough Book Reviews for this and the next Tally Sheet and a few of you have offered articles too, which is extremely encouraging. Thank you!
During the AGM meeting it was suggested that we print more letters from members and this was deemed a good idea by all and one has been included in this edition. MP
SOCIETY MEMBERSHIP: This remains stable with a current membership of 155 made up as follows: Honorary Officers – 0; Founder members – 1; Committee members – 8; Secretary to the Committee – 1; Full UK members – 104, Overseas associates – 41.
Executive Committee -20016/2017
Note: Although no longer serving on the committee, Mary Christian, with the help of her husband Mike, kindly continues to mail our publications to members as before for which the committee are extremely grateful.