FOAL ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2013
The AGM took place on June 20th at 6pm at Martin Luther King, 29 Bd Louis Blanc
1) The President's report
Foal Activities over the past year
We have had another busy year starting in December when Foal organised for a group of members to attend a play in English at the Domaine d‘O, « Tomorrow’s Parties »
Also in December we had a Christmas party for Foal members, the Claringbull’s kindly allowed us to hold it at their appartment in a lovely warm atmosphere, everyone brought food, the drinks were provided by the Foal Board.
In January we held our second Quiz, greatly enhanced with technology and a different format which allowed everyone to participate. I think we all appreciated this new format. Many thanks to Philippe Marchand, our Art director, and Katharine Claringbull. A lot of work goes into setting up the Quiz as I am sure you realise.
In February we had a wonderful play reading evening which was a smash hit. Lawrence McGuire and Kath Claringbull are consummate actors, Philippe Marchand and Caroline Di Miceli directed.
In April the Bookchat group organised another successful evening’s entertainment, Shards of Light, with readings, and singing provided by the Occoeur group. Another smash hit !
At the beginning of this month we organised a picnic and wine-tasting at the Jonathon James vineyard. The participants really enjoyed themselves and we might make this an annual event
The Bookchat meetings continue to be very popular. They are open to Foal members, but non-members can give it a try before joining the association. The summaries will soon be on the blog and Facebook page
The library itself
Although we are still in temporary premises, thanks to the Claringbulls we do have a home. I filed a dossier at the Town Hall last September asking for premises and, in order to put a foot in the Mairie, I applied to be a member of the Foreign Residents’ Advisory Committee. I have already made contact with several people.
We are able to order new books regularly. The books have now been catalogued by Kath Claringbull and Philippe Marchand, the list will soon be available on the website and on our Facebook page. Boundless thanks to them for having completed this arduous task.
When we do get permanent premises, we should be able to do a lot more, we could have a children’s section and widen our opening hours.
Summer library for tourists at Carnon
I made contact with the people in charge of the summer libraries at Carnon and Frontignan. I offered to donate 50 or 60 books, taken from the permanent Book Sale in exchange for Foal flyers to be distributed on site. I took two boxfuls of books to Pierres Vives in the hope that it will be a bit of publicity for Foal. Speaking of which, we did put an ad in one of the Diagonal programmes in the autumn and I think we should do a bit more advertising at « la rentrée ». I have left flyers at the Printemps des Comédiens, several of which I noticed the other evening have been taken.
Membership is now at about 45, we have lost some and gained some. We have some very generous benefactors. When we get permanent premises, we will be able to have a real membership drive, in our current situation our offer is too limited to do this. We do have a young new member, Sarah Costlow, who is working on ways to increase membership, she will improve our Facebook page and website. She has already designed a new flyer.
Two events in the works :
- I have been informed that the Domaine d’O is hosting a play directed by Peter Brook called « The Suit » at the end of September, the 28th and 29th, a Friday and Saturday. I have printed out a brief summary which I will hand out later and which I will send to all the members and supporters so that we can decide which date suits us best.
- In the autumn, I hope we will have a talk by Lynn Mitchell whom we met at the Comédie du Livre. She is a small publisher of new women writers and she now lives and works in the region.
I went on a special course 10 days ago to teach me how to improve my skills in filling out the application documents for a grant from the Mairie. I shall also apply to the Direction Régionale de l’Action Culturelle this year.
Finally, a surprise: I learnt today that we will receive 500 euros from the Mairie this year, less than last year, but I didn’t expect to get so much and it is still a useful sum.
Sunshine's accounting shows that we are in a healthy financial situation.
Other matters discussed were:
-the proposed new flyer ( designed by Sarah Costlow) which met with general approval, subject to perhaps one or two small alterations, and the addition of the Montpellier logo.
-the Foire aux Associations, to be held on September 8th, at which it had previously been agreed that we wouldn't have a stand; however, the Franco-American Centre has kindly offered to display our flyers .
-Philippe Marchand outlined his and Edwin Hill's proposal for a Film Buffs' circle. This would consist of viewing films from the vast collection at the Mediathèque in a special room on their premises and being able to discuss same. This would be basically a film club with a tinge of culture to it. At first it would consist of the Book Chat members but would later expand.
The meeting was followed by the partaking of wine and nibbles and a very pleasant time was had by all.