Chair’s/Secretary’s Report 2010/11
This has been a very interesting year for our Branch as we have sustained most of our Branch activities, re-organised the school debating competition and explored the opportunity for merging with Croydon Branch.
On 13th November Simon Holding, with the support of our Branch, presented his proposal (for a study into the shortcomings of present international development in 3rd world countries) to the London/South East Regional AGM. Unfortunately there was little support for continuing this work at this time. However the Branch was delighted to receive the Stevens Trophy (awarded annually to the best Branch in Region) in recognition of our organising the inter school debating competition. (the late John Chitty last won this trophy for the Branch in 2006)
On 25th January we held our inaugural New Year Branch Social where we heard a fascinating report from a recently returned Ecumenical Observer on the realities of the Israeli/Palestinian situation as it affected people’s livelihoods in their villages and towns along the Border (thanks again to Pastor Malcolm Newman for hosting)
On 16th April we were represented at the London/SE Region Spring Council in Canterbury, and later joined the discussions on the future of UNA UK at the London Strategic Planning Regional Road show. In June we had a member attending Annual Conference in Cardiff to discuss the Draft Strategic Plan for the future of UNA UK.
Also in June we had planned a Branch Film Night but unfortunately there was
insufficient support for some films of variable quality.
The new “knock out” formula for the inter school debating competition proved simpler though still liable to slippage. However a few more schools have dropped out and despite contacting the Heads involved there has been little response. We are very grateful to members who agree to help with judging the various debates.
Later than we would have wished, on June 30th, we held the final of the inter-school debating competition hosted by Croydon High School , with Stephen Harrow presenting the prizes to the Winners (Old Palace) and the Runners Up (Wallington Grammar School) and the best individual speaker (Josh Heath of Wallington).
Once again we are very grateful to Peter Ticher for hosting our Garden Party in his delightful garden on July 9th, though’ again a bit damp!
On 17th September we attended the Region’s Autumn meeting. We have held regular committee meetings. Overall Branch membership (not including Croydon members) has declined to 84. Regrettably we could not obtain enough support for a Quiz Night. .
We now have a Membership Secretary but still desperately need a Branch Secretary.
Perhaps merging Branches may facilitate better support for a wider range of activities.
Branch Chair 6 October 2011