Chairman’s report for 2014, for the June 2015 AGM

Ladies and gentlemen,

Our AGM has been called, according to paragraph 14 of our Constitution, as approved in June 2007. I am reading a prepared statement, as we want to avoid that the Chairman’s report would be different on the website from our report, as given in the AGM proper. The meeting is also held to inform the membership of the actions of the Executive Committee in the past year, in 2014, in this case. The general membership is so made aware of the Executive Committee’s actions, members may bring suggestions forward for improvement of the Society’s procedures and to signal anything from pure happiness to utter displeasure as the case maybe. The last sentence is a retake of the 2013 Annual Report, because I liked it so much and I am telling you that it is a re-take only because some smart member, of which we have many, might recall it.

My report covers the Society’s activities in 2014, and as you may see from the Agenda, the Treasurer and the International Representative ad Interim will later address their specific responsibilities.

Our financial position continues to be sound, although the excess of revenue over expenses has come down appreciably in 2014; that is according to our expectations as expressed during last year’s AGM. Under Agenda item 4, our Treasurer will present the financial outcome of 2014 in detail and answer queries from the audience. The operational accounts show a slight profit for 2014, although only marginally enough to counteract inflation, eating away at our nest egg. So in absolute numbers, break-even, a black zero, as befits a non-profit Society. The outlook for 2015, the current year, so far agrees with the budget. Questions on that may also go to the Honourable Treasurer when the agenda item comes on.

The Executive Committee has held its customary four meetings in London. We had a map evening in the spring of 2014, chaired again by Francis Herbert; in combination, we had a local/regional event in Norwich. It was ably organised by Valerie Newby and with cooperation of Raymond Frostick, one of our long-time members, who is living there and was previously Mayor of that city. We were also able to see some of his maps that he has donated to the Norfolk Record Office there; we were lucky to get the maps explained by the former owner on the spot. Our International Symposium in Seoul was very successful, for which we have to thank Prof. Kihyuk Kim and Prof. Yang and their Organising Committee, which also included our own Mr. TJ Kim, our national representative in South Korea. We are grateful indeed for all efforts that made the Symposium come about so nicely.

IMCoS was represented with a stand at the Paris Map Fair as usual. Our stand at the London Map Fair was operated by members of IMCoS and as always set-up and taken down by Jenny and Ian Harvey.

The IMCoS Journal is continuing strong, earning compliments from our membership and also from independent sources. The Journal remains the sole ‘hardware’ item that is connecting us to all our members in the UK and abroad and as such is a prime asset of the Society, augmented by e-mail and website information as applicable.

Another link between IMCoS and its members was formed by Sue Booty, who has performed beyond the call of duty; we were very sad when she announced that she wanted to step down after so many years of service. We need to thank her for work and her assistance to members that ran into problems with renewals or otherwise. Luckily, she did offer to help us out until March this year to cater for the renewals that occur around 1 January. As chairman, I am very pleased with the smooth transfer of Financial Administrators and trust that Peter Walker will be equally successful. Kit Batten takes care of the website and Jenny Harvey is providing a measure of back-up. The website seems to be overly dimensioned for a small Society and we are looking into that.

The Helen Wallis Award for 2014 was bestowed upon Ulla Ehrensvärd from Sweden; her reputation in the world of historic cartography was high indeed and it pains me to report that she has passed away only recently. We are glad indeed that we could show our appreciation last year.

Our Executive Committee is still a bit understaffed, currently lacking an International Representative. Finding a new President is also not an easy matter in view of the multiple aspects of the profile suggested by the AGM last year and in 2013. We have been considering our options for some time now but the desired presidential features are hard to find combined in a single person. We have given it careful consideration; I expect to be talking to a candidate shortly and do hope to receive a positive reply to our request. I will communicate the reply soonest, assuming that the answer be in the positive.

I trust to have brought you up-to-date in matters organisational and would herewith like to conclude the Chairman’s report for 2014. In case you have questions, please fire away and I will do my best to provide the answers.

Lisse, 27 May, 2015
Hans Kok, IMCoS Chairman