FRIENDS Of BLAIRS
MINUTES OF AGM
4th JUNE 2005
1. . Apologies ---- Bishop P. Moran, Fr E. McGhee, J. Adams, S. Garland, J. O’Brien, B. McGuire, T. Ferrie, M. Deans, P. Doherty, P. Creron and I. Kennedy.
2. In the absence of our current Chair, Mr J. Brown was invited to take the chair by the Secretary. The chair welcomed those present and thanked them for attending. The chair, then, gave a brief but accurate report of the year gone. The chair spoke of a satisfactory attendance at our Requiem Mass held in 2004 in Edinburgh ,celebrated by the Cardinal. Mention was also made of the Social Evenings held in Glasgow through out 2004/5. Over 30 members were able to attend each of these evenings. The chair acknowledged that there was still much to be done to enhance our association and explained that with the setting up of a new Membership Section that this Group would have a major role in achieving an increase in members. The chair also thanked John Adams for his guidance from the chair since the association was formed and wished him every happiness for the future. This was wholeheartedly supported from the floor.
3. The Treasurer reported a balance of £800.00 in the Association’s Account.
4. Dave McCann gave the floor an update on the work of the History Group. Sadly, this Group has yet to meet, however work is progressing on the Talking Heads Video and asked for volunteers to meet him after the AGM to be filmed for this video. M Phillips research is under way and contact has been made with a view to gaining further access to documents relating to this person. The Group has also traced the films of Fr J. Kane and will begin soon to catalogue them. Communication has also been established with the Catholic Archives. Again a plea was made for members to join this group and give what help they can. The group will be making a contribution to events recognising the 20th Anniversary of the closure of the college. A suggestion was received from the floor to contact Mgr C. Burns in Rome. Mgr Burns would make a good point of contact. It was also pointed out that contact should be made through Archbishop Conti. This suggestion was accepted by the chair and the person making the suggestion, Mr G. Cunningham, was thanked by the chair. The efforts of the Group were acknowledged by the chair.
5. Mr D. Taylor, Museum manager, made his annual report to the floor. Numbers were down slightly last year but to counter this, school visits had increased greatly; from 120 to over 400. This brought a round of applause from the floor. Support for the Museum still came from the Menzies Trust. This allowed teachers to make up work sheets for those pupils visiting the Museum. The pupils now gained much more from their visits. Dave also told the group of the benefit from having all the photographs now on disc and asked for any member with time to help identify faces on these photos. The Data Protection Act was also explained to the floor in relation to these photographs. The chair thanked Dave for his work in the Museum and for his support to our Association.
6. The chair then invited open discussion on what should be done to acknowledge the 20th Anniversary of the closure of the College. There was much sadness, indeed anger when the College closed in 1986 and this feeling was very evident even now; 20 years on. Two main suggestions were received from the floor; a Mass and Exhibition. It was agreed that further consultation would be made through our Web Site and Newsletter. The Committee would then make the final decision.
7. A Presentation of 100 Books was then made to the Museum Manager by the Chair on behalf of the Association. The aforementioned books are memoirs of a former student of Blairs and will bring in much needed income to the Museum. The Museum Manager thanked the association for the gift and remarked on the content of the book as being just what visitors to the Museum ask questions about.
8. The Membership Secretary asked the floor to ensure their dues are paid on time and the benefit of paying via Direct Debit. He also told the floor that our current numbers are 50 but would be hoping that this number will increase once his Group are up and running.
9. The Treasurer then made a motion to have the Headstones in the Graveyard cleaned and re-lettered. He went on to propose that a Notice be put up at the gates to the Graveyard giving a brief insight into the History of the Graveyard. This motion was passed by the floor with the proviso that costing be done and all legalities pertaining to the proposal were completed prior to any work starting.
10. The chair then invited nominations from the floor for the Committee.The current Chairperson and Secretary were stepping down, having served for 3 years. With the time for Mass approaching the Chair invited those interested to give him their names after or before Mass. One nomination was received from the floor; Mr John Canavon.
11. The Chair then brought the 2005 AGM to a close by thanking those who attended and wished them all a safe journey home and hoped to see them at the various events that would take place during 2005/05. Canon W. Anderson said the closing prayer.