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Newsletter - October 2009


Annual General Meeting

Our 26th Annual General Meeting was held immediately before the lecture by Charles Hajdamach on 20th October. Minutes of our 2008 AGM were approved by the meeting and signed by the Chairman. There were no matters arising. David Wines presented the Chairman’s report for the year ended 30th April 2009 and was pleased to inform the meeting that Norwich DFAS was in good shape with membership approaching 320, and the Society’s finances healthy in what had been a difficult year worldwide in that respect. He thanked the Committee for their work on behalf of Norwich DFAS, and, in particular, our retiring Treasurer, Richard Bennett, who is shortly moving from Norfolk.

Richard Bennett, in presenting the accounts, informed the meeting that a small loss on the costs of meetings was offset by a surplus on our other activities, resulting in a modest annual surplus overall.

Existing Committee members were re-elected for 2009/10 with the amendments that Judith Virgo was confirmed as Vice-Chairman, Liz Pierce as Programme Secretary and Pat Stuart as acting Treasurer. Carole Williams was sadly obliged to retire from the Committee for personal reasons and the Chairman thanked her for her contributions in the past year.

A correction in the Society’s Governing Document (Constitution) was approved with respect to wording in Section 6, General Meetings, paragraph (c), item (iii), the word ‘inequality’ was changed to read ‘equality’.

There were no matters raised under Any Other Business.

Lecture 20th October

Charles Hajdamach talked on ‘Glass with Royal Connections’, a journey from Egyptian and Roman times up to the 20th century, through objects created in glass for, or especially prized by, various ruling personages. Particularly interesting were the different colourings and finishes given to the glass in varying designs. Surprisingly high prices, some in tens of thousands of pounds, had been obtained at auction for individual drinking glasses. It is hoped that the unexpected change of precise lecture subject did not unduly disappoint members.

A lecture assessment has been sent to our online members; it is very useful to have audience reactions to our lectures to help in filling in the form sent to NADFAS House.

Special Interest Day Held on 10th October

David Wines reported on a successful ‘Jewellery’ Special Interest Day held at the Park Farm Hotel. Our lecturer, John Benjamin, proved himself highly knowledgeable in true Antiques Roadshow manner – where he is a regular member of the team – his talk ranging from the jewellery of Elizabeth I to that of Elizabeth Taylor. He also spent an hour and a half identifying and valuing more than 70 items brought by members. There were a few revelations, some surprising and some disappointing.

Visit to Istanbul

This exciting trip organised by Patricia Bywaters starts on 5th November and we wish those members travelling an excellent time. Pictures ­– excluding Turkish bath scenes – and a report are promised for a future Newsletter.

Christmas Party 15th December

Envelopes with details of our Christmas event were made available for collection at the October meeting. Those not collected will be posted and, with luck, delivered shortly. Apart from the Christmas buffet and drinks, there is also the attraction of a talk with music by Jeanne Dolmetsch (of the renowned school of music founded by her father) on ‘Christmas Music 13th to 20th Centuries’. It is hoped as many members as possible will come to the event which is one of the social highlights of our year.

Our Norwich DFAS ‘Commercial’

We were pleased to have our small presentation on who we are and what we do showing on both the foyer plasma screen and auditorium screen at our last meeting. The intention is to provide information, especially to newcomers and visitors, whilst waiting for the lecture to begin. Depending on cost, it may be possible in future to show some of our news items and photographs of recent events. 

Next Meeting – 17th November

Rosemary Ransome Wallis, amongst her many qualifications, is curator of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths and an advisor to the Silver Trust for Downing Street. Her talk on ‘Contemporary Silver’ should be well worth our time.


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