Constitution

(As approved at the AGM September 30th 2021)

1)  Name

The name of the Society shall be the “Gloucestershire Family History Society”.

2)  Address

The recognised address of the Society shall be “GFHS, Heritage Hub, Clarence Row, Alvin Street,
Gloucester, GL1 3AH

3)  Objectives

a)  To promote and encourage the public study of British Family History, Genealogy, Heraldry and local history with particular reference to Gloucestershire.
b)  To promote the preservation, security and accessibility of archival material.

The Society, in furtherance of the above objects, shall have the following powers:

1.  To hold lectures and discussions and organise research visits;
2.  To hold and maintain a library of printed and other works;
3.  To preserve, transcribe and publish original source materials including documents and memorial inscriptions;
4.  To pursue collaborative actions with similar societies and with established supportive bodies such a churches, libraries, record offices, archives and educational institutions;
5.  To support the activities of the Family History Federation in its pursuit of these and similar objectives;
6.  To support the activities of the Gloucestershire Heritage Hub.

4)  Affiliation

The Society is a member of the Family History Federation and may also be affiliated to other organisations whose objectives are deemed compatible and mutually supportive.

5)  Area of Interest

The main area of interest shall be the historic (pre-1974) County of Gloucestershire, but not excluding the parishes under the Consistory of Bristol.

6)  Membership

a)  Membership of the Society shall be open to all persons showing genuine interest in the support of the Society objectives.

Classes of membership:

1.  UK – For those living within the U.K.
2.  Overseas – For those living outside the U.K.
3.  Honorary – May be conferred by the Executive Committee.

b)  Membership Annual Subscriptions shall be effective from the joining and/or renewal date. Subscription rates shall be determined by the Executive Committee.
c)  The Executive Committee may suspend from membership any member whose activities, in their opinion, are determined to be prejudicial to the Society; such members will have the right of appeal. Such appeal shall be to an Extraordinary General Meeting of members, called by the Executive Committee.

7)   Administration

a)  The Society shall be administered by an Executive Committee consisting of not more than 12 members and overseen by a panel of trustees. The Executive Committee will comprise:

1)  The Honorary Officers (Chair, Secretary and Treasurer);
2)  Up to nine other Executive Committee members;
3)  In addition, there may be one member representative from each branch;
4)  Heritage Hub Representative (Ex-officio).
b)  Executive Committee Meetings shall be a quorum consisting of one Honorary Officer Member and a minimum of six Executive Committee Members and/or Trustees.
c)  The Executive Committee may invite suitable persons to become President or Vice- President(s) for a period of three years. This period may be extended by periods of three years at the discretion of the Executive Committee.
d)  The Members of the Executive Committee shall be elected annually by the membership and their terms of office will commence with the declaration of the election results at the Annual General Meeting. Nominations should be submitted in writing not less than 14 days before the day on which the AGM is to take place OR may be made from the floor at the AGM.
e)  The electorate shall consist of all fully paid and honorary members of the Society and voting will be conducted at the AGM.
f)  The Executive Committee shall have the power to co-opt members to serve on the Committee providing that this does not cause the membership of the Committee to exceed 12 plus the branch representatives.
g)  Standing Orders. The Executive Committee shall produce, and periodically revise Standing Orders for the day-to-day running of the Society.
h)  All Volunteers working in the Family History Centre should be members of the Gloucestershire Family History Society or affiliated Societies.
i)  Written correspondence shall be conducted by post or e-mail. GFHS members, by providing the GFHS with their email address or similar, are taken to have agreed to receive communications through this means from the Executive Committee and others approved by them regarding the business of the Society.

8)  Branches

a)  The Executive Committee shall have the power to establish branches, for the furtherance of the Society’s objectives. Each branch so established shall comply with and be subject to the following regulations following regulations.

1.  The branch shall act in pursuance of the said objects and of the policy of the Society and shall be subject to such conditions as may from time to time be laid down by the Society Executive Committee.
2.  The branch shall be deemed to have adopted the “Standing Orders for Branches” as prescribed from time to time, by the Society’s Executive committee, unless it has adopted other rules with the prior approval of that Committee.
3.  All subscriptions to the Society shall be deemed to be the monies of the Society, although they may be collected through the Branch Officers.
4.  The Society shall provide funds to a branch appropriate to its size and activities. A branch may, with the prior agreement of the Society’s Executive Committee open a Bank Account which shall be run in accordance with the policy laid down by the Society. The monies in the Branch Bank Account shall remain at all times the monies of the Society as a whole. The Branch Accounts must be kept in such form as may from time to time be determined by the Society’s Executive Committee and shall be subject to annual independent examination.
5.  All printed material, microfilm and other assets, however acquired held by the branch shall be the assets of the Society.
6.  A branch may be suspended at any time by a resolution of the Society Executive Committee and upon suspension shall cease all operations and any assets under its day-to-day administration shall be frozen until a resolution has been approved at the next Annual General Meeting dissolving the branch or otherwise.

9)  Meetings

a)  An Annual General Meeting shall be held within six months of the end of the Financial Year, when the Honorary Officers shall  present their reports. Notice in writing of this Meeting shall be given to members at least 28 days prior to the event.
b)  An Extraordinary General Meeting may be convened at the request of the Executive Committee or at the request of twelve members with prior written notice furnished to the membership at least 28 days before the meeting.
c)  A quorum at such meetings shall consist of not less than 15 members. Decisions at the meeting shall be by a simple majority.
d)  Notice of any such meeting shall indicate its proposed date, time and location (if to be attended in person). If all participants
are unable to meet together, a means of communication with each other shall be arranged and advised.

10)  Constitution

a)  The Constitution may be altered only at an Annual General Meeting or at an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Society at which proper notice has been given. Notification of such Meeting shall be given to all fully paid-up members. The Constitution shall be amended only if three quarters of those attending and voting, vote for such an amendment. Voting shall be by show of hands.
b)  No alterations or amendments shall be made to the Constitution, which would cause the Society to cease to be a Charity at law.
c)  The Executive Committee should promptly send, to the Charity Commission, a copy of any amendment made.

11)  Finance

a)  The income and property of the Society, from whatever place or source derived, shall be applied solely towards the promotion and execution of the objectives of the Society, as defined at paragraph 3 above. No portion thereof shall be paid or transferred, directly or indirectly, in any manner, by way of profit to any member of the Executive Committee or Society. Nothing herein shall prevent repayment, in good faith, of reasonable and proper out-of-pocket expenses incurred on behalf of the Society.
b)  The Executive Committee or its treasurer on its behalf shall cause proper books of account to be kept with respect to all sums of money received and expended by the Society and the matters in respect of which receipts and expenditure take place.
c)  The Society’s Financial Year shall commence on April 1st and annual accounts shall be prepared. The Society’s accounts shall be independently examined by one or more examiners. The report of the examiner(s) will be presented to the members of the Society at the AGM.

12)  Dissolution

The Society may be dissolved by a resolution passed by not less than three quarters of those present with voting rights at either an Annual or Extraordinary General Meeting called for the purpose and for which 28 days prior notice has been given in writing. Such a resolution may give instructions for the disposal of any assets held by the Society after all debts and liabilities have been paid, the balance left to be transferred to some other charitable institution or institutions having objectives similar to those of the Society.

13)  Trustees

The Trustees will comprise the Honorary Officers of the Executive Committee and the entire Executive Committee will appoint no fewer than three additional Trustees (and not more than six trustees). The additional trustees may be appointed from outside the membership of the Society (although it would be expected that they would become members having been appointed). The Trustees shall provide
governance and hold any property (held by or leases thereof) in trust for the Society.

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