Report of the Annual General Meeting 6 November 2015

The Annual General Meeting of Edmund Burke’s Club welcomed quite a few new attendees whom the President Gerard Wilson warmly welcomed before beginning the business of the meeting. A special welcome was given to Dominick Bondar, Vice-President of Sydney University Liberal Club, who had just become the Club’s newest member. The President then gave an account – and an assessment – of the Club’s activities over the previous year.

Our membership not only remained steady but increased slightly. For various reasons we lost some but gained others. Our meetings with the supper afterwards continued to be thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended. The presentations stimulated much discussion which carried over to the supper.

We had outstanding success with the two major events we organised. It was our first attempt to arrange a one-day conference on Edmund Burke. It began after Gerard Wilson had made contact with Professor Garrett Ward Sheldon of the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. Professor Sheldon agreed to attend the proposed conference and give the keynote talk. The conference held at La Trobe University was a great success. Professor Sheldon also gave a talk at the dinner held at the Savage Club. The dinner included several short readings on topics related to the thought of Edmund Burke.

The second function was a dinner at the Savage Club to commemorate the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta and the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. Again, there were a number of readings before and during the dinner. It was a most enjoyable evening of entertainment, intellectual stimulation and good fellowship. Edmund Burke’s Club will organize at least one such dinner during the coming year.

After the president’s survey of the year, Treasurer Patrick Doyle was called upon to give his financial report for the year.

In accordance with Chris Rath’s request, the President read out to the meeting Chris’s explanation of his changed circumstances.

The final item for business was the ratification of the new fees. The new membership fees are:

Entrance fee (once only) $25.00 Annual membership fee:   $50.00 Student membership yearly flat fee: $25.00 (no entrance fee)

All positions on the management committee were then declared vacant and a chairman chosen to oversee the election of the new office holders. The following were elected unopposed:

President: Gerard Wilson

Vice-President: Dominic Bondar

Secretary: Stephen Jury

Treasurer: Patrick Doyle

Ordinary members: Tim Garvey and Brendan Tam

Gerard Wilson then introduced the evening’s discussion topic: The political assassination of Prime Minister Tony Abbott. A vigorous discussion followed. The unanimous conclusion of the discussion was that (1) the taking down of Tony Abbott was a political and moral outrage entirely out of the spirit of the party Sir Robert Menzies founded and (2) Tony Abbott, by virtue of his strong principled character, has an indispensable role to play in Australian state and society. Gerard Wilson’s introductory talk will be posted shortly.