On Friday 26th September, just ahead of the WMS 13 Congress in Newcastle, we had the good news (via our legal advisers) that the Charity Commission had accepted our application for charitable status, subject to two amendments to our constitution to conform to the requirements of the Charity Commission.

These amendments seemed perfectly acceptable and posed no problem

The only problem was that our constitution requires that we give 4 weeks notice to our members for any change in our constitution for consideration at the annual assembly of members of WMS. This essentially meant we would have to wait a further year till the next assembly of our members!

As I was primarily interested in finding a solution rather than discussing the problems, we had a feverish to and fro discussion with our legal advisers, after the executive board of WMS approved the amendments at their meeting on Monday 29th September.

This essentially entailed discussing the amendments at the assembly of members on Wednesday 1st October, but not voting on it and not closing the assembly at the end, but taking a poll of the members present, and adjourning the assembly meeting until the next meeting of members, which we are calling at the Institute of Myology in Paris in 5 weeks time on Monday 10th November, which coincides with the meeting of the program committee for the next WMS congress in Geneva.

This will give us the opportunity to now notify all members via a personal email letter and provide the necessary 4 weeks notice of the meeting . It will also give members, who do not intend to attend the Paris meeting, and who wish to edxpress a dissenting view, a chance to respond to the proposed amendments direct to the WMS secretary by email by Monday 3rd November.

It is important that any members who do not receive the personal email letter with full details of the amendments and the agenda for the meeting, or who have changed their email address, please notify the secretary forthwith.

Our legal advisers have also suggested that we introduce an additional amendment into the constitution, to enable us to notify members of the Society of future WMS meetings by email or via the web, and this applies to all meetings of the membership and not only the annual assembly.

Full details will be included in the personal letter to our members.

At the Paris meeting on 10th November we shall formally conclude the agenda of the Newcastle assembly, and have a final vote on the amendments to the constitution, which will require a two-thirds majority of those members present. This essentially means that if three members attended that meeting and two were in favour, it would be legally binding. We shall also vote on other matters on the Agenda for the assembly in Newcastle such as the receipt of the treasurer’s report and the increase in the annual membership fee of WMS for new members from 2009. These require a simple majority.

Victor Dubowitz
London 6th October 2008

Published on 26 September 2008.

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