|5 Feb 2021|
The OD Committee, at its meeting on 26 January 2021, considered in detail a proposal to change the date of the AGM to later in the year than 10 March 2021 (which is the current date set down for the AGM) and resolved to recommend to the Patron, the Vice-Presidents and me that it be postponed.
We have decided to postpone the AGM and I would like to give you an insight into that decision as follows:
1) Our current constitution in 8.3.3 is very clear on a decision concerning timing; “The Annual General Meeting shall be held at a date and a time as may be determined by the committee.” The discussion was, therefore, in bounds.
2) The perceived norm for the timing of the AGM is that it is the first of a trinity of events in March; namely the AGM on the Wednesday, the OD Dinner on the Thursday and Founders Day commemoration service and sports activities, boys and OD’s, on the Friday. Each of these events has significant people involvement.
3) Covid regulations have implications on all three of these activities. However, while it is still technically possible to hold the AGM on 10 March 2021 via Zoom, the committee did not consider that to be the answer as Zoom should be an addition to, rather than a replacement of, the existing live AGM format.
4) The AGM should be a live event for those who can attend including social activity on the (satisfactory!) ending of the meeting. For those living away from Rondebosch a link up would be provided (whenever the AGM takes place).
5) The ODC has plans for a new format and very active ‘Founders Week’ with inter alia a golf tournament, art auction, wine tasting, OD dinner and more, which are intended as fundraisers for a major initiative from this ODC named the “Invest in our Future Fund”. (Please refer to the ODU Newsletter dated 15 January 2021). There you will also read that Founders Week (which is to be renamed) has been postponed ‘until later in 2021’.
6) We are aware that the school has also postponed its part in the Founders Day activities until later in the year (possibly to the third term).
7) These decisions have influenced the ODC to make the recommendation to postpone the AGM to later in 2021 to coincide then with Founders Week.
8) The ODC collectively were concerned that postponing the AGM and thereby extending the tenure of this committee, as ODC elections only take place at the AGM, could be viewed negatively in some quarters. However, it is necessary to bear in mind, firstly, that it is the sub-committees that drive the work of the ODC and the work that has been started will continue beyond this or any subsequent ODC especially when we are mindful of the fact that a 5-year strategy has been adopted, and, secondly, what is written in the following paragraph.
9) The ODC is up to date with its responsibilities and charges. As required by the constitution the following will be online well before the original date set down for the AGM; audited financial statements and the chairman’s report and, in addition there will also be a revised draft constitution, a streamlined report on the Principles and Operations project driven by Brendan Jenman and brief sub-committee reports. Also, the nomination process will be completed and available for circulation and comment and these are all evidence of the application of this very active ODC.
I was present at the most recent ODC meeting and can confirm that much serious time was given to this discussion weighing up the many issues of relevance. The final recommendation was not taken lightly.
My support for the recommendation was recorded and it is also supported by the Vice Presidents and our Patron.
With warm regards.
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