MINUTES OF HADDINGTON TWINNING ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING, HADDINGTON TOWN HOUSE, TUESDAY 30 OCTOBER2018 Present: Douglas Bober, June Cairns (Minutes), Gilles Charbonnier, Sophie Charbonnier, Bruce Clark (Vice Chairman), Irene Clark, Jean Fairbairn, François Hanzel, Irene Higgenbotham, John Higgenbotham, Hannah McBride, John McMillan, Elaine Mitchell-Wilson (Secretary), Maggie Phillips, Margaret Ramsey, John Revuelta, Jim Stretton, David Watt, Andrew Wilson (Treasurer), Wyn Williamson, Alison Young, Brian Young. John Home Robertson (Guest speaker) Bruce Clark, Vice Chairman, welcomed everyone to the meeting. 1 Apologies Amelia Boyd, Gordon Boyd, Jan Bundy, Beth Elliott, Joy McKaigue, Paul McKaigue. 2 Minutes of the AGM on 28 November 2017 Their adoption was proposed by Gilles Charbonnier and seconded by John Higgenbotham. 3 Chairman’s Report 3.1 Links with schools: Elaine reported on: •the annual Alice Burnett Twinning Scholarship, which, for 2018, had been awarded to Ailsa Wrinn. Ailsa was hosted by several families in Aubigny during July and undertook a variety of work placements throughout the period. Recently, she had attended a Committee meeting and given an informative presentation, reporting back positively on her visit. •the Aubigny scholarship winner, Marine Baron, who visited in August and was hosted by several families. Marine had been studying in France to achieve a licence as a tour guide (since achieved). Her East Lothian work placements attempted to complement and support her studies. The placements included helping at Fringe by the Sea, the John Gray Centre library and archives departments, and local museums around the county. •approaches being made to Kings Meadow Primary School to encourage its involvement with its counterpart school in Aubigny as part of the 1+2 language learning programme (ie 2 foreign languages to be taught, in addition to English, in Scottish primary schools). This followed the successful French e-learning initiative, led by Michael Purves, between P3, Yester Primary School and L’Ecole des Grand Jardins in Aubigny. •Knox Academy: Elaine invited Hannah McBride, Modern Languages teacher, to report on current French language initiatives at the school. Hannah explained how S3 pupils were introduced to a pen friend in Aubigny, and that the subsequent letter writing exchanges had been very successful, leading to further, more regular communication via social media. For S5/6 pupils, despite the significant bureaucracy involved at the UK end, she was pleased to confirm that, for the third consecutive year, there would be another 5 day trip to France for 10 pupils in December 2018. Pupils would stay with Aubigny families for the majority of the visit. She stressed how helpful the teaching staff and Aubigny Committee were in making the stays such a success and felt the visits had helped pupils improve their language skills enormously. 3.2 Joint Haddington Twinning and Blooming Haddington Partnership Project: Elaine reported on the joint project to create a French themed garden in Haddington, which included planting a new iris – the Aubigny Auld Alliance iris – cultivated by a French local grower. The project had involved meeting the grower in person, negotiating a discount, and identifying individuals willing to ‘sponsor’ the initial purchase of irises. Significant support had also been provided by the Provost. In addition to identifying an appropriate funding source for the purchase of more irises (for 2019), and the production and installation of plaques, the Provost had also arranged, as part of the Haddington 700 celebrations on 25 August, for a ceremonial planting ceremony to take place and had hosted a civic lunch. The guests attending included the Mayor of Aubigny, her deputy, and the French Consul. The afternoon had concluded with a pétanque event. Elaine confirmed that a list of sponsors from the 2018 planting phase would be available on the Twinning website soon and that it was intended to purchase and plant more of the irises in 2019, subject to availability by the grower. The irises would be planted both in Lady Kitty’s Garden and in the grounds of St Mary’s Church. It was also hoped that representatives from Blooming Haddington might be able to visit Aubigny in 2019.
3.3 Aubigny visit: June reported on Haddington Twinning’s very successful trip to Aubigny (11-16 July) to coincide with the Fêtes Franco-Écossaises. There had been 17 people on the trip, 13 of whom travelled together by plane and were met at Orly airport by two hosts. As well as attending the Fêtes itself, the visit had included many highlights, such as a reception hosted by the Mayor in the town hall, a trip to a winery, a visit to Château Valençay, and a celebratory dinner for guests and hosts at a local restaurant. All participants agreed that the visit had been a great success and that we had been very well looked after by our hosts. 3.4 Awareness raising/Fundraising: June reported on: •the successful French themed Quiz Night held on 9 March 2018 at the Town House, which had been a sell out and had generated just under £600 profit. •the pétanque event held during the Haddington Festival week •the stall at the Haddington Farmers’ Market on 27 October, selling Twinning Christmas cards, and publicising the November event. Thanks were expressed to Knox Academy pupils who had helped on the stall. •the Beaujolais Nouveau Film Night planned for 16 November 2018 – the day after the launch of this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau wine. Tickets (£7.00pp) were available from business outlets in the town. Both the Quiz Night and BN events had featured in the Haddington 700 programme. 4 Treasurer’s ReportAndrew presented the financial statement for the year ending 30 September 2018. Total income for the year was £2822.75; total expenditure was £2142.82. The current balance stood at £4296.36, a healthier position than last year. It was noted that much of the ELC grant went towards supporting the scholarship winner’s travel costs, school activities, public liability insurance, etc. The accounts would be posted on the Twinning website. 5 Independent Examiner’s Report Jim Stretton reported that he was satisfied with the evidence of receipts, payments and bank account transactions. Andrew thanked Jim for examining the accounts. 6 Election of Committee Members and Office Bearers Chairman: Gilles Charbonnier was elected as Chairman, having been proposed by Elaine and seconded by Bruce. Vice Chairman: Bruce Clark agreed to continue as Vice Chair having been proposed by Elaine and seconded by Andrew. Secretary: Elaine Mitchell-Wilson agreed to continue, having been proposed by Andrew and seconded by June. Treasurer: Andrew Wilson agreed to continue, having been proposed by Elaine and seconded by June. Minute Secretary: June Cairns stepped down as Minute Secretary and as Committee member. As there were no nominations to fill the post, it would remain vacant. Committee members: June Cairns and Frank Elliott stepped down; Sophie Charbonnier (youth representative), Margaret Ramsay, Douglas Bober, and Jan Bundy were proposed as Committee members by Andrew Wilson, seconded by Elaine Mitchell-Wilson. In addition to office bearers, and new appointees, Irene Clark, Beth Elliott, Irene Higgenbotham, John McMillan, and David Watt were willing to continue. 7 Any Other Business Elaine made the very sad announcement of the recent death of Madame Catherine Baranger, a stalwart of the Aubigny Twinning Committee and a great friend of Haddington Twinning. Condolences had been sent to her family. ************************************************************ Everyone was invited to tea, coffee and cake and to visit the stall selling Christmas cards before returning to hear from the guest speaker, John Home Robertson, about his ancestral links with Aubigny