"I am 3/4ths Canadian, and one 4th New Englander - I had ancestors on both sides in the Revolutionary war." - Elizabeth Bishop

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia, 20 June 2015

Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia
Minutes of Annual General Meeting
20 June 2015, 1:30 p.m.
In the Village Café, Great Village, N.S.

President Laurie Gunn called the meeting to order and welcomed about twenty members and guests to the EBSNS AGM for 2015. She made note of the fact that there was an Open House at the Elizabeth Bishop House that afternoon, in case anyone wanted to visit.

Secretary Sandra Barry read the Minutes of the 2014 AGM, finding a minor factual error as she did so. As there were no other errors or omissions, Sandra moved the acceptance of the corrected 2014 Minutes. Second Patti Sharpe. All in favour. Accepted.

Treasurer Joy Graham presented the Financial Report for the term 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015. As of 31 March 2015, the bank balance in the EB account was $9,061.41. Joy made note of some of the expenditures and income. She noted, for example, that the EBSNS had received a donation from the estate of Donalda Nelson (one of the most faithful EBSNS members), as well as a donation from a member of Donalda’s family. Overall, activity had returned to a more regular or normal level, with all centenary and legacy projects completed. Joy moved the acceptance of the Financial Report. Second Meredith Layton. All in favour. Accepted.

Joy then distributed an information sheet, with an income and disbursements breakdown for the period from 1 April to 20 June, 2015, which indicated that the balance in the EB account was $11,052.17. Again, she noted a few of the particulars.

In the absence of Nominating Committee member Bruce Gray, board member John Barnstead presented the Nominating Committee Report. He noted with sadness that founding board member Angus Chisholm was stepping down from the board. John thanked him for his faithful service and said that we would be returning to Gus shortly.

The proposed slate of officers and board for 2015-2016 were:

Laurie Gunn – President
Patti Sharpe – Vice President
Sandra Barry – Secretary
Joy Graham – Treasurer

John Barnstead – Past President
Lois Bray
Bruce Gray
Meredith Layton
Pat Townsend
Judith van Duren
New board members proposed:
Cathy Mazur
Laura Sharpe, who will be our inaugural “youth” board member

As there were no nominations from the floor, John declared the slate of officers and board accepted.

Laurie Gunn presented her President’s Report (attached below), which summarized the society’s activities in the previous year and looked forward to The Elizabeth Bishop Festival on 8 August 2015.

Her final item was to extend a heartfelt thank you to Angus Chisholm on behalf of the EBSNS for his many years of service to and support of the EBSNS. She presented him with one of her lovely photo cards containing two complimentary tickets to the Suzie LeBlanc festival concert. She noted that we will miss Gus’s steady presence, wisdom and sense of humour at board meetings, but the EBSNS will keep hold of him for good because she asked for a motion to make Gus a Life Member of the EBSNS. Immediately moved by Patti Sharpe. And immediately seconded by Pat Townsend. All in favour. Accepted with a hearty round of applause.

Laurie moved to have her report approved. Second June Chisholm. All in favour. Accepted.

Meredith Layton rose and spoke about an important development in the village with regard to the pergola. She noted that the structure had sustained damage from the flood on 22 September 2014 and the grounds had been disturbed by the construction of the new bridge. The Great Village Historical Society and the Great Village Garden Club partnered to bring in gravel and restore the grounds immediately around the pergola. The gravel was donated by Masstown Concrete and delivered by Fred Priest. A work party from both organizations spent a number of hours working to return the pergola to its proper state. Lowland Gardens once again donated flowers for the planters. The panels were mounted for the summer season. Everyone agreed that the pergola looks great again. And it was decided that a letter of thanks would be sent to the Historical Society and Garden Club.

The final item of the meeting was the official unveiling of The Elizabeth Bishop Festival program. Laurie, Patti and Sandra described some of the activities that will happen in Great Village on 8 August 2015, a full day of events with over 30 artists and artisans. They discussed the nature of the partnership with the In the Village Café, which will be providing venue space and all the food.

Laurie asked Gus if he would move to adjourn the 2015 EBSNS AGM. Gus so moved and the meeting was adjourned.

The In the Village Café provided tea, coffee and their signature lemonade, along with a wide array of delicious sweets, of which all in attendance partook with gusto. After a fifteen minute break for all to get their treats, everyone settled in for the highlight of the afternoon.
 Photograph by Brenda Barry
Sandra introduced guest speaker Binnie Brennan, a long-time member of Symphony Nova Scotia and a writer whose novel Like Any Other Monday was recently published by Gaspereau Press. Sandra noted how during a casual conversation at a coffee shop, Binnie mentioned a growing interest in the silent film comedy star Buster Keaton. And from this moment a lively, on-going conversation about Keaton began between them. Sandra noted how wonderful it was to watch Binnie’s initial interest blossom into a full-blown passion, which took her on a fascinating journey of research and writing, culminating in her novel. Sandra thanked Binnie for bringing Buster Keaton and his uplifting art into her life, and alerted to those assembled that on Sunday, on Turner Classic Movies, Keaton’s great film “Steamboat Bill Jr.” was being broadcast.

Binnie Brennan presented a fascinating account of her journey, even noting Elizabeth Bishop’s connection to Keaton. Bishop was a Keaton fan and wrote but never finished an homage poem to the comedian, which Binnie read. Binnie described some of her research and the path that lead her to write about the final years of Keaton’s vaudeville days, before he embarked on his film career. Part of this path included several writing retreats at the Elizabeth Bishop House. She read passages from Like Any Other Monday and generously answered the many questions from a rapt audience. Everyone was energized by this engaging talk/reading. Sandra thanked Binnie for sharing some of her infectious enthusiasm and keen knowledge of one of the most important comedians of the twentieth century.

Slowly, the gathering dispersed and went out into the beautiful sunshine of the last day of spring 2015.


President’s report 2015 – Laurie Gunn

I can’t believe all the good things that were accomplished in the last year. We are truly celebrating the life and work of the poet Elizabeth Bishop through various activities and projects and I am pleased to be part of it.

Last July we set up an Elizabeth Bishop display in one corner of the sanctuary of St. James Church, for folks who are interested in learning more about EB and her connection to Great Village. We are hoping to make a more permanent display in the near future. The St. James Church Preservation Society has already approved an area of the sanctuary for our new permanent display in 2016.

On August 17th, 2014 the society organized an “In the Village Afternoon” to celebrate young people who had made a connection to Elizabeth Bishop in the last few years. We invited them to come and share what creative things they were involved in. It was a delightful afternoon with a good attendance from the public and the program was entertaining and the food provided by the “In the Village” Café was delicious.

In September in honour of the Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia’s 20th anniversary it was decided to put together a list of the most significant resources, that the society, as well as organizations and individuals in Nova Scotia, have created about or been inspired by Elizabeth Bishop. Sandra Barry and Patti Sharpe did an excellent job creating this useful tool, in the form of a brochure, for students, teachers, scholars and readers who wish to learn more about Elizabeth Bishop.

In October of 2014 we were invited to a meeting by the St. James Church Preservation Society of Great Village, to discuss ways to use the church for community based activities. At the meeting the EBSNS was asked if we might have a one day EB activity in the summer of 2015. Sandra Barry, Patti Sharpe and myself began meeting in December to plan the event and continued to meet and email through the winter and spring. We have an amazing day for August 8th with activities for everyone. The festival is a celebration of Nova Scotia’s rich artistic and cultural heritage which we will tell you about a little later in the program. I wish to thank Sandra Barry for doing an excellent job filling out and sending off the grant applications in hope of obtaining funds for our one day arts festival. We are continuing to look for volunteers as well as patrons of the festival. If you are interested please let Sandra, Patti or myself know. We are also pleased to have hired the services of Laura Sharpe who has created a Facebook account as well as Twitter account. We are enjoying her postings and she is helping to keep the Festival front and centre on the web.

This spring we ordered 10 new “In The Village” banners to replace some of the older banners that have faded because of the sun. Most of you may have noticed that the EBSNS has a new website. A big thank you to Becky Colwell who has looked after and paid for our website since it was created. It needed to be transferred to a new
server and updated as well. Becky employed the very talented Heidi Helm to create the website that we have today, at a reduced cost to the society. Becky has also contributed her own funds to help pay for the server costs for the next few years. Heidi has also created a tutorial so that the executive can update the website themselves. And last but not least, I wish to thank Gus Chisholm for all his years of service to the EBSNS. He was one of the founding members and is also a past president. We shall miss his wisdom and his sense of humour. I ask that someone make a motion to have Angus Chisholm
as a life member of the Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia.

No comments:

Post a Comment