THE ENGLISH WESTERNERS' SOCIETY

Charter

Article 1: Organisation

1.1    The English Westerners’ Society (“EWS”) is a non-profit making, unincorporated mutual educational association of members.

1.2    The purpose of the EWS is to preserve and promote the historical, ethnological and cultural background and evolution of the American West.

1.3    The EWS issues publications and holds meetings and exists to promote and assist similar activities connected with the study of the American frontier.

Article 2: Management

2.1    The business of EWS shall be carried out by an Executive Committee (“Executive Committee”) elected at the Annual General Meeting (“AGM”).

2.2    The Executive Committee will comprise the elected officers as described in Article 12 plus such number of additional co-opted members as may volunteer and be selected at the AGM, or provisionally appointed as described in Article 13.

2.3    The Executive Committee shall meet when necessary and not less than once per year.

2.4    The quorum for an Executive Committee meeting shall be at least four of the elected officers. If the elected Chairman is not present at the meeting, those present shall elect a stand-in for that meeting from members present at the meeting.

2.5    Decisions shall be made by consensus. If there is no consensus, a vote shall be taken and the decision shall be by simple majority of Executive Committee. The Chairman may not vote, but in the event of a tie, the Chairman shall have a casting vote.

2.6    The Chairman may convene electronic meetings of the Executive Committee (by e-mail or any other suitable means of communication) to decide single issues.

a.    The Chairman must circulate a statement of the issue to be decided with an explanation from the Chairman or the relevant officer of the need for a decision.

b.    All Committee members must be invited to contribute views and vote.

c.   Decisions shall be made by consensus. If there is no consensus, a vote shall be taken and the decision shall be by simple majority of Executive Committee. The Chairman may not vote, but in the event of a tie, the Chairman shall have a casting vote.

Article 3: Powers

3.1     In order to carry out the purposes of the EWS, the Executive Committee shall have power to:

a.  Obtain, collect and receive money or funds by way of subscriptions, contributions, donations, grants and any other lawful method towards the aims of the EWS.

b.   Pay money or funds to discharge the duties of the EWS to its members and creditors.

c.   Retain any unspent spent funds at the end of each year to be deployed for the benefit of members as and when determined by the Executive Committee.

d.   Produce publications for distribution to EWS members as part of their membership subscription.

e.  Produce additional publications for distribution at reasonable cost to EWS members and non-members.

f.    Convene formal and informal meetings of EWS members and non-members.

g.   Co-operate with and support other organisations that share the aims of the EWS, for the benefit of EWS members.

h.   Do anything which is lawful and necessary to achieve the purposes of the EWS.

Article 4: Publications

4.1    The EWS shall issue to members, during each year, as much published material as circumstances allow, based upon established precedents. Priority shall be given to factual papers and review material.

4.2    The extent and value of any official publication shall not be reduced except with the concurrence of a simple majority in the Executive Committee, confirmed by a simple majority at an AGM.

4.3    The EWS may distribute additional copies of publications to members and non-members, or copies of additional or special publications to members and non-members, who wish to receive them at a price set by the treasurer, the editor and the author of the publication.

4.4    The price set for publications in 4.3 must be sufficient to cover the additional costs of the production of such publications, the costs of the postage and packing of such publications, the additional time and work invested by the members of the EWS in creating such publications and to incorporate a reasonable donation to the EWS. The price will not be excessive nor generate a profit for the EWS.

Article 5: Annual General Meetings

5.1    An AGM of the EWS shall usually be held in London, (unless there are exceptional circumstances that prevent this) on the first Saturday in October, or on the nearest previous or subsequent convenient Saturday.

5.2    All members (see Note 1) and their guests may attend, and the Secretary shall ensure that details are circulated to members well in advance of each meeting.

5.3    The following business will be transacted: reports by the office-holders ( the readings of which may be waived by the agreement of members present, as long as they are published or otherwise distributed to the members); election of office-holders; any other business authorised by the Charter.

5.4    The presiding office-holder shall have control of all matters connected with the nomination and election of office-holders.

5.5    The terms of all office-holders shall expire on midnight on the day of the AGM, and the election of new office-holders shall take place after all other business has been cleared.

5.6    All voting shall be by secret ballot, except where a candidate is unopposed; and when voting takes place, the count shall be checked by the Secretary, and by a member, before being announced.

5.7    Before voting takes place, the presiding office-holder shall give the members present an opportunity of making further nominations, or of objecting to the nomination of any candidate.

5.8    The case against any office-holder under suspension shall be presented by the Executive Committee, and a decision taken by secret ballot. A two-thirds majority (see Note 2) will always be necessary for the removal of an office-holder; and no office-holder may be removed from office, and expelled from the EWS, on the result of a single ballot.

5.9    Motions may be moved for the suspension or expulsion of any members of the EWS; but a two-thirds majority, in a secret ballot, will always be necessary for the success of such motions.

Article 6: Extraordinary General Meetings

6.1    An Extraordinary General Meeting shall only be called in critical or unusual circumstances.

6.2    Written notice shall be given to all members, by the Secretary, not less than two weeks before the date of the meeting.

6.3    The time and place will be dependent upon circumstances; but such a meeting may only be called by: the Chairman; by not less than three other office-holders; or by not less than ten full members sending a written resolution to the Secretary.

6.4    All official positions will be nullified, and the meeting shall elect its own Chairman and Secretary.

6.5    All decisions taken, except for the election of these officials, shall need a two-thirds majority, in a secret ballot.

6.6    There shall be no limit to the powers of such a meeting; except that any action, which is proposed or taken contrary to these Articles, shall be regarded as provisional until the next AGM.

6.7    Failing confirmation by a two-thirds majority, in a secret ballot, at the next AGM, any such action will be nullified.

Article 7: English Westerners’ Society Meetings

7.1    These shall be organised by an appropriate office-holder, and can include a dinner and talk.

7.2    As many of these meetings shall be organised, in different parts of the country, as circumstances allow.

7.3    All members and any reasonable number of guests may attend, subject to paying a fair share towards the cost of the meeting.

7.4    The Chairman shall be ultimately responsible for the organisation, conduct and financing of all such meetings.

7.5    Informal EWS meetings may be arranged by any members. However to constitute an EWS meeting at least one officeholder must be present.

Article 8: Honorary Officers

8.1    The following Honorary Officers will be or may be appointed.

a.    President. This post shall be filled on the unanimous recommendation of the Executive Committee, confirmed by two- thirds majority at an AGM; and shall be conferred for distinguished service to the Westerners or in the field of frontier history generally.

The appointment shall be made sine die; and shall be purely honorary, without duties or voting rights.

If the President is permanently resident in the British Isles and the Channel Islands, he shall be advised and consulted on all matters of policy and administration normally brought to the notice of the Executive Committee.

b.    Vice-Presidents. There shall not be more than four living Vice-Presidents at any time; otherwise, all the provisions of section (a) above shall apply.

Article 9: Honorary Members

9.1    Honorary membership may be conferred by the Executive Committee for distinguished services to the EWS or in the field of frontier history generally; but no new appointments shall be made at any time when the number of honorary members exceeds ten per cent of the total membership.

9.2    This grade shall normally be conferred sine die; and shall not carry voting rights or eligibility for office.

Article 10: Members

10.1    Eligibility for full Membership, Rights, Subscriptions, Suspension and Expulsion are set out below:

a.    Eligibility. This grade shall be open to any person, of any nationality, over sixteen years of age, (see Article 10.1 (c) for rules governing a 16 or 17 year-old member) who is permanently resident in British Isles and the Channel Islands; except that the Executive Committee may decline any application at its discretion. In the case of applications by persons under the age limit, terms will be negotiated individually by the Executive Committee.

b.  Membership Rights. On joining all Members shall receive an Information Folder, all official publications issued by the EWS during their period of membership; may attend all meetings; may vote on all issues, at meetings; shall be eligible for all offices, subject to the provisions of Articles 12 and 13; and may make use of all the services provided by the EWS.

c.    Sixteen and Seventeen Year Olds. Sixteen and Seventeen year olds may join the EWS, but with some additional safeguards:

i.   The subscription of a sixteen or seventeen year old must be paid by an adult on their behalf.

ii.  A sixteen or seventeen year old may attend Members’ meetings, but must be accompanied by an adult, either a member or non-member, who is  prepared to take responsibility for the safety of the younger person while at the meeting.

d.    Subscriptions.

i.   All subscriptions shall fall due on the 1st of September each year.

ii.  The Executive Committee may increase the Subscription rate at any point in a year, to take effect from the start of the next Membership year.

iii.   The rate may not be raised without the authority of a two-thirds majority in the Executive Committee.

iv.   Any planned increase must be notified to the Membership at least three months before the change takes effect and explained at the next AGM.

v.   No such adjustment may be backdated.

vi.  All members shall be given not less than two written notifications of the expiry of their subscriptions, and the second notification, if necessary, shall be sent not less than one month after the date of expiry.

vii. Under normal circumstances, no portion of a subscription shall be refunded to any persons who resign their membership, or who are expelled from the EWS.

e.  Members going abroad. Members who go abroad, and thus become eligible for Associate Membership only, shall not normally be transferred to this grade until the expiry of their current subscription.

f.     Suspension and Expulsion. A member may be suspended by at least a two-thirds majority of the Executive Committee for conduct liable to bring the EWS into disrepute, or for any similar reasons. A written report of the circumstances shall be distributed to all the members as soon as possible by the Secretary. At the subsequent AGM a majority of members present would be required for an expulsion of the member. Under no circumstances shall the Executive Committee have the power alone to expel a member.

Article 11: Associate Members

11.1    This grade shall be restricted to persons normally resident outside the British Isles and the Channel Islands and to any public bodies and institutions; otherwise, eligibility shall be the same as for full membership.

11.2    Associates shall receive all official publications and may attend meetings; but other benefits of full membership shall not normally be extended to them, and they shall never have voting rights.

11.3    The rate of subscription may not be changed except by a two-thirds majority vote in the Executive Committee, confirmed by a similar majority at an AGM.

11.4    Associates may not be removed from the membership rolls until their subscriptions shall have been overdue for not less than three calendar months; otherwise, the system for renewal notification shall be the same as for full members.

The provisions of Article 10.1 (d) shall also apply to this grade.

Article 12: Office-Holders

12.1    The following office-holders will or may be appointed:

a.   Chairman.

i.    This office shall be filled by election at an AGM, and shall be held for a term of two years; and, subject to re-nomination and re-election, for subsequent terms.

ii.    To be eligible, a candidate shall have served for not less than one full term as an office-holder, and shall not be under twenty-one years of age at the time of election. He need pay no subscription while in office.

iii.    The Chairman shall preside at all meetings of the EWS, or of the Executive Committee, at which the Chairman is present, except for Extraordinary General Meetings.

iv.    The Chairman may not vote on any issue, either at meetings (except for Extraordinary General Meetings) or in the Executive Committee, except to record a casting vote.

v.    The Chairman shall bear overall responsibility to the members for the organisation and conduct of social affairs; for the EWS’s public relations; and for coordinating the duties of other office-holders within the Executive Committee.

vi.    The Chairman shall also countersign all cheques issued by the EWS; except that if, through succession, the Treasurer shall at any time fill the Chairmanship, this duty shall devolve upon the Secretary.

vii.    With the concurrence of not less than two-thirds of the remaining office-holders, the Chairman may suspend from office any office-holder whose official conduct or activities have been shown to be wilfully contrary to the best interests of the EWS; but the case against any suspended office-holder must then be referred to the next AGM for decision.

viii.   The Chairman may not be suspended, but shall be subject to removal from office.

ix.    They need pay no subscription while in office.

b.   Vice-Chairmen.

i.    Two Vice-Chairmen shall be elected on the same basis as the Chairman; except that they shall serve for only one-year terms, and shall qualify for nomination by having been founder or full members for not less than one year at the time of election. The Vice-Chairmen shall assist in the handling of social affairs, public relations and co-ordination. They may vote on all issues in the Executive Committee; but not at meetings of the EWS (except for Extraordinary General Meetings).

ii.   At times when the senior office-holder by length of service, other than the Chairman, is not an elected Vice-Chairman, that office-holder shall be an additional, ex-officio Vice-Chairman. (See Note 3). Upon the resignation or permanent indisposition of the Chairman, the senior Vice-Chairman shall automatically succeed to this office, to complete the term.

iii.    They need pay no subscription while in office.

c.    Secretary and Treasurer.

i.    These offices shall be filled by election, and subsequently held, on the same basis, and subject to the same conditions, as for the elected Vice-Chairmen.

ii.    If either office becomes vacant through resignation or permanent indisposition, the remaining office-holder shall succeed to it automatically, to complete the term.

iii.    In unusual circumstances, an Associate Secretary, and/or Vice-Treasurer, may be appointed provisionally, or duly elected, on the recommendation of the Chairman.

iv.    The Treasurer shall:

i)        be responsible for the secure handling of EWS funds.

ii)      make payments of behalf of EWS.

iii)    receive payments, subscriptions, donation and grants to EWS.

iv)    maintain the accounts of the EWS.

v)      account to the Chairman for any electronic payments made on behalf of EWS.

vi)    report to the AGM.

v.   The Secretary shall be responsible for taking minutes of meetings, circulating papers as necessary, and validating the votes cast for the election of officers.

vi.    They need pay no subscription while in office.

d.    Editor and Associate Editors.

i.    These offices shall be filled by election, and subsequently held, on the same basis, and subject to the same conditions, as for the elected Vice-Chairmen.

ii.    If the editorship becomes vacant through resignation or permanent indisposition, the Associate Editor shall succeed automatically, to complete the term.

iii.   Subject to the Chairman’s approval, the Editor may make whatever arrangements seem appropriate in the event of the associate office becoming vacant.

iv.  Additional Associate Editors may be provisionally appointed, or duly elected, on the recommendation of the Chairman.

v.    They need pay no subscription while in office.

e.   Webmaster. This office shall normally be an appointment filled by a member of the Executive Committee; however in recognition that this is a specialist skill any member may fill the appointment as long as they have the necessary skills in developing and maintaining the EWS’s Web Site. That member would not hold other offices within the EWS unless elected to do so.

Article 13: Provisional Office-holders

13.1    Members may be appointed by the Executive Committee to serve in any executive capacity, for a period not exceeding 12 months, their continued role being confirmed at the next AGM.

13.2    There shall be no age limit, but a minimum qualification shall be membership of the EWS for not less than six months, on appointment.

13.3    Provisional office-holders shall serve on the Executive Committee, and may vote within it on all matters except those extending to the suspension of an office-holder.

13.4    The Executive Committee shall have discretion to waive the subscription of a provisional office-holder, while in office.

Article 14: Dissolution

14.1    The EWS may be dissolved by a resolution passed by a two-thirds majority of those members present and voting at an AGM or Extraordinary General Meeting.

14.2    Any EWS funds remaining after all creditors have been paid shall be distributed to the members or to support organisations with a similar function as EWS or such other group or organisation as may be decided at the AGM or General meeting.

Article 15: Members’ Details (Data Protection Act 2018)

15.1    The Society retains a record of members’ names, addresses, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses. These details are used to send publications, details of meetings, and other news to members.

15.2    These details will not be shared with any other organisation without the specific consent of members.

15.3    These records are deleted for individual members three months after they cease to be members.

15.4    No other details relating to members are retained by the Society.

Article 16: Interpretations

16.1    All disputed points in the interpretation of these Articles shall be decided by an AGM, or an Extraordinary General Meeting.

16.2    The Chairman shall have interim discretion.

Article 17: Amendments

17.1    Amendments to any parts of the foregoing Articles may be made with the concurrence of a two-thirds majority, in a secret ballot, at an AGM.

17.2    Proposed amendments must reach the Secretary, in writing, not less than six weeks before an AGM.

17.3    All founder and full members shall be notified, in writing, of any amendments which may have been tabled not less than four weeks before the AGM at which they are to be moved.

17.4    The full text of any amendments shall be distributed to all members as soon as possible after their adoption.

Notes.

  1. As used in these Articles, the term ‘member’ covers all grades of membership, except where specifically stated to the contrary.

  2. Understood throughout the Charter to mean that; “Two-thirds of the members present and eligible to vote must vote in favour of such a resolution.”

  3. For all purposes in these Articles, seniority shall be reckoned by aggregate length of service in any office; then by aggregate service as a group organiser; and then by continuous membership of the EWS. Provisional office, and office held prior to 1959, shall count; but honorary office shall not count. The seniority of present office-holders, as at 4 January 2018, is shown below:

1.   Francis B. Taunton

2.   Robert J. Wybrow

3.   Kevin Galvin

4.   Raymond Cox

5.   Gary Leonard

6.   Mike Bell

7.   Richard Eggington

 

Appendix

General

A Charter for the English Westerners’ Society (formerly, The English Corral of the Westerners) was drafted by a provisional committee during 1959; and adopted at the Third AGM, on 3 October 1959, to take, effect on the following day. Some amendments prepared during 1963 were adopted that year at the Seventh AGM. Apart from a few further amendments made from time to time, the Charter remained unchanged until 1992, when a methodical revision seemed advisable. During the revision, a few provisions, which had become obsolete, and the Appendices headed “Notes on the English Corral of the Westerners” and “Local Groups” were deleted.

Founder, Active and Corresponding Membership

1.    Founder Membership was conferred on ten people who received the first publication by the organisation (i.e. the Brand Book dated November 1954). These were Frederick W. Nolan (Liverpool) and Alan B. Gregory (Birmingham), the co-founders; and Joseph Balmer (Zurich, Switzerland), Kenneth J. Bates (Birmingham), Albert D. Burdett (Birmingham), Kay Sharp (Isle of Wight), Russell V. Steele (London), John Valentine (Leeds), R.J. Wilkinson (Ipswich), and Dennis Wood (Birmingham). The subscription for this grade was fixed permanently at the original rate; half-a-guinea (52p). Burdett and Steele are dead; all but three of the remaining Founder Members have left the organisation. The remaining members in the grade at the time of this revision (1992) were Messrs. Balmer and Gregory and M/s Sharp. Except for the provision for a permanent rate of subscription, the terms and conditions of Founder Membership are the same as those for Full Membership.

2.    Active Membership was instituted in October 1957, being conferred on those members who attended the first official meeting of the Corral. By inference, it was also extended to all other members who attended at least meeting. The strength of the active membership at the time of the Second AGM, in 1958, was 35, not including the three members who then held office. 

3.    Corresponding Membership was the only subscribing grade, other than founder membership, which existed from the Corral’s foundation until May 1956. From that month, all corresponding members automatically became associate members; and the former grade remained, at a reduced subscription, for those members who wished only to receive publications. During the following three years, corresponding membership dwindled, and at the time of the Third Annual. General Meeting, in 1959, it stood at only about 14 members.

4.    The grades of Active and Corresponding Membership were abolished on 4 October 1959, under Article III, 3(c) of the then Charter.

LAST UPDATED 21 JANUARY 2019

(To update Charter and reflect change in seniority of Office Holders at Note 3)

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