Minutes of the Committee Meeting of the Friends of Blairs held on 12 February at St Bridget's, Baillieston

Those who attended:

John Brown - Chair
Peter Creran
John Kanavan
Charles McLaughlin
David McCann
Mgr John McIntyre
Charles McLaughlin
John O'Donnell

Raymond Caruana - Minutes

Apologies: James Cassidy - Secretary

The Meeting opened with a prayer taken from the originals used at the College.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting:
A typing error was noted: "greed" to be changed to "agreed".  No other amendments were noted and the Minutes were proposed by Peter Creran and seconded by David McCann.

Matters Arising:
James Cassidy will continue to serve as Secretary although he will not be able to attend all meetings.
The Minutes will be taken by Raymond Caruana who will forward them to the Secretary and the Chair for subsequent issue.

The Membership Committee has not met.  The Chair of that Committee has had to step down for personal reasons but he would like to be kept informed of progress; he will receive copies of any Minutes issued.

The Christmas edition of the Newsletter has been prepared since November 2005 but has not been issued as information was awaited on the Appeal for the Cemetery. It would seem that there has been a breakdown in communication over this. It was agreed that Peter Creran and Charles McLaughlin will discuss the way forward outwith the Meeting. It was agreed, also, that John O'Donnell would forward to Peter Creran details of Members who had and had not paid their Annual Subscription .

Charles McLaughlin suggested that the Committee open a "Paypal" account for the collection of donations for the Appeal. He explained the benefits of this method of collection, in particular, how it would reduce the cost of bank charges and how it was regarded as being very secure. The Committee agreed that the Account should be opened but only for the Appeal and not for the collection of Membership Subscriptions.

Charles further read out a letter he had received from a Member who was concerned that the Association was drifting because "Things are not being done". The complaint centred on the issue of the Newsletter. It was agreed that the Chair would discuss this direct with the sender and, thereafter, Perter Creran would also speak with him.

David McCann suggested that an Editorial Committee should be set up to agree the Newsletter. The Committee agreed to the suggestion and that there should be delegated power to proceed. Members will be Peter Creran, Charles McLaughlin and David McCann. It was further agreed that the Chair would raise with the Member the issue of the Newsletter to Members abroad and that a data base of Members' names and addresses should be given to Peter Creran.

The History Group has not met because of difficulties arranging a suitable date for a meeting. David McCann reported that there was an interest in taking this forward and it is intended still to do so.

The Committee noted that Fr Bill Anderson had now retired and that the parish now fell within the Torry area. It was agreed to write to Fr Anderson.

Treasurer's Report:
Charles McLaughlin reported that as at the date of the Meeting there was 1,466 in the Current Account and 1,010 in the Appeal Account.

The number of paid Members has continued to decline; currently there are 56 with some 20 who had paid last year but not renewed their Membership.

It was agreed that the Newsletter should be sent to as many people as possible because of the Appeal. The Committee felt that there should be a communication(s) about the Membership, probably in October,  separate from the Cemetery Appeal. The Membership Committee should take this on. It was noted that some methods to reach new Members had already been tried, in particular the Friends Reunited site. It was agreed that Peter Creran and David McCann would look at this. It was agreed, also, to investigate contacting anyone who had entered the Friends of Blairs website. The Chair will contact Brian McGuire to see what can be done.

It was agreed that all the Cemetery Project Papers would be transferred to the Chair/ Peter Creran who would oversee the Project. Charles McLaughlin reported that he had ordered the re-turfing of the Graveyard and that chips would be put down. It was not known if this work had been done but it was confirmed that an Account had not as yet been received.

An additional quotation would be needed because of the extra work that would be required on the area where the Sisters are buried.

Commemoration of the Closure of the College:
As the College closed at Pentecost, June 1986, the 20th Anniversary was approaching and it was fitting for the Friends of Blairs to commemorate this event. It was agreed that a Programme needed to be discussed and agreed as soon as possible.

Several suggestions were made and discussed.

It was felt that this year the Liturgy should have prominence. Mgr McIntyre ( Parish Priest of St Bridget's and last Rector of the College) suggested that an approach should be made to the Hierarchy as he felt they would be pleased to come to any event, even if they were not former students of the College. An approach should be made to Bishop Moran, Bishop of Aberdeen, as picking up as Liturgy from a distance could be difficult. The Chair will write to Bishop Moran. It was suggested also that a former student who was an Organist at the College and was a Member of the Association may be prepared to help out.


Date of Next Meeting: Provisionally 23 April @ St Bridget's.
The Chair thanked everyone for having attended and Mgr McIntyre for his hospitality. Mgr McIntyre closed the Meeting with a short prayer.