The 2009 CAFCA AGM was held at the Christchurch WEA on September 7. 27 members were present. Bill Rosenberg chaired up until the point when he finished his speech, then he was replaced by Jeremy Agar, who has succeeded him as Chairperson. Apologies were accepted from Tony Orman, Don Murray, Gilbert van Reenen, Perry Spiller, David Zwartz, Jocelyn Brooks, Brian Turner, Katherine Peet, Steffan Browning, Brian Easton and Ron Currie. The 2008 Minutes were read by the Secretary, Murray Horton, and accepted.
The 2008/09 accounts, which had been distributed with Watchdog 121, August 2009, were accepted unamously, without discussion (this was the first year that our accounts have been prepared by a paid commercial bookkeeper). The finances are in a very healthy situation. Murray Horton reported that, as of the day of the AGM, CAFCA’s total bank balance stood at $46,000+ (there are three term deposits of $10,000 each). He reported that there were 443 members, as of that date (down from the number at the 2008 AGM and down from the nearly 500 members that CAFCA had for several years). Bruce Finnerty is happy to continue as the voluntary reviewer of the accounts and the meeting thanked him for doing so.
Bob Leonard reported on the CAFCA/ABC Organiser Account, which pays Murray Horton – his gross annual income is currently $29,120 ($14 per hour). In the 2008/09 financial year (ending March 31), the Account spent $30,047.87 and income was $29,740.20 (a deficit of $307.67, a noticeably smaller deficit than for the 07/08 year). The Account currently has $14,396.72 on term deposit. As of the August 09 bank statement, that cheque account had $6,207.09 in it, which is a marked improvement. All year a special appeal has been sent to various groups and individuals, soliciting donations and new pledgers, with some success.
Donations accounted for 18% of the Account’s annual income (as opposed to 34% the previous year). Regular pledgers now comprise 82% of annual income (66% the previous year). Donations have dropped to $5,295 from $8,000 the previous year. There were 51 pledgers as of July 09 (up from 47 the previous year), including those who pledge annually, half yearly and quarterly. The meeting passed a vote of thanks for Bob Leonard, who has been in charge of the Organiser Account since the early 1990s.
Election of officers. Murray Horton was re-elected as Secretary/Organiser. The committee was re-elected unopposed - Bill Rosenberg, John Ring, Jeremy Agar, Lynda Boyd, Quentin Findlay, Colleen Hughes and Warren Brewer (who has joined the committee this year). Bill Rosenberg has resigned as Chairperson, having moved permanently to Wellington, and has been replaced by Jeremy Agar. Bill and Lynda Boyd (who has been going to university in Auckland for several years) are “distance” members of the committee.
Murray Horton did not present his annual Organiser’s Report to the AGM, on a one off basis, as that slot was filled by Bill Rosenberg’s farewell address, to mark the last time he will chair the AGM (after 20 odd years of doing so) and quite likely the last time he will be able to attend an AGM. Before Bill spoke, Murray paid tribute to his extraordinary record of 35 years service to CAFCA, since its foundation and thanked him for all his work. Murray said: “If I have been seen as the face of CAFCA, then Bill has been the brains of the outfit”. Murray led the members in a prolonged standing ovation for Bill.
Bill then delivered his speech “Forward And Leftward”, accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation (special thanks to Liz Gordon for lending us her data projector). That speech and PowerPoint slides are now on the CAFCA Website. There were plenty of questions and discussion at the end of the speech. At that point, Bill stepped down from the chair, to be replaced by Jeremy Agar.
There was no general business (unusually, but a lot of what would normally constitute general business was covered in the discussion arising from Bill’s speech). A unique feature of this year’s AGM was the presence of the Security Intelligence Service (SIS) file on CAFCA, which had been received in late 2008. It was available to be inspected by members on the night and proved to be extremely popular. This will be a one off.
The AGM concluded by screening “Out Of Sight, Out Of Mined”, an Oxfam Australia documentary on the shocking record of a Canadian mining TNC in the Philippines. Following that, an unadvertised DVD was screened, namely a short compilation of some of the documentaries made by Vanguard Films of Wellington, to mark its 30th anniversary. CAFCA, ABC and Murray have had a long working relationship with Vanguard.