Chairman’s report for 2015, for the June 2016 AGM

Ladies and gentlemen,

As Chairman, I usually read a prepared statement, not so much because I am unwilling to speak freely on the subject but in order to make sure that the report placed on the website and/or in the Journal will agree for one hundred percent with the information supplied to attendees of the meeting today.

The Executive Committee has convened in London four times as usual, of which three meetings have taken place in the Farmers’ Club and one in the Civil Service Club preceding the 2015 Annual Dinner there.  Of course there is normally extensive E-mail traffic between the Committee members in between the meetings and normally the chairman prepares Chairman’s notes for each meeting in advance in order to speed up the proceedings of the meetings themselves. My report covers the  year of  2015 but there might be a slight carry-over on happenings in 2016, although these would technically be reserved for next year’s AGM.

Our financial situation is sound, although we accrued a small loss, as shown in the Annual Accounts. Jeremy Edwards, our Treasurer will give you the details under the next agenda item. The loss is in accordance with the budget prepared for 2015 and was accepted at the time to keep us from increasing the subscription rates. Our IMCoS Journal was given a more modern appearance;  Agenda item 5 will concern the Journal and please feel free to pose your questions to Ljiljana, our editor. She does fire excellent questions during  Committee meetings all the time and here is your chance to do likewise.

Out Vice Chairman , Valerie organised a local event as U.K. National Representative, this time a visit to Perth/Scotland, that- it seemed- could easily have become an International Event, had the Scottish vote gone the other way. The visit was much appreciated by all participants, including myself and has been duly reported in the Journal. The Royal Scottish Geographical Society made it a happening to remember and our Diana Webster was instrumental also in getting it all arranged, including a bout of unusual good weather up there.

Our standard June weekend was successful as ever with many thanks to the London Map Fair Organisers, who like today have made the AGM venue available in the RGS free of charge, which allows participants to storm right into the Map Fair the moment it  is declared open. Honourary Secretary David Dare has arranged for the 2015 Dinner and the Malcolm Young Lecture was held by Rose Mitchell. The Helen Wallis Award was presented to Professor Paul Harvey of  Durham, well deserved, as always when the Award Committee reaches  agreement in its deliberations on the candidates for the Winner. The free IMCoS stand at the Map fair was manned by Committee members and Rolph and Uschi Langlais from Dusseldorf. Ian and Jenny Harvey are deserving of our praise for bringing the stand materials and building the stand and taking it down afterwards, sounds easy, but  a lot of work! Peter Walker now runs the Financial and Membership administration and is doing an excellent job of it.

At the end of the year it was decided that we would have to arrange for a new and more modern website. The old purchase agreement, which included maintenance cost for three years had lapsed and a new Management at the provider  had re-directed the company’s aim at much larger institutions and increased the maintenance fee to numbers that we did not want to live with. The current website definition work is being executed by Ljiljana and Peter Walker and we expect the new website to be much more flashy and thus attractive and more suited to a smaller Society as IMCoS is in comparison to large institutions. The expense is less than at the time in view of improved website technology and a more flexible provider allows us to cut maintenance fees. The website is expected to go live this month which will give us ample time to make sure it works okay well ahead of the time subscription renewals are to be expected; the latter remarks belong mostly to the 2016 AGM report and you may have a déjà- vu experience next year for this item.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this concludes my Chairman’s report for 2016; I am available for questions but would like you to put specific questions relating to the following agenda items to the Officers concerned.

Hans Kok, IMCoS Chairman