Annual General Meeting
13 April 2019

The AGM 2019 took place at the Domaine de Presle, at Distré, Saumur, Saturday 13 April. There were 35 members present and apologies were received from a further 25 members.

The Chairman, Patricia Curd, welcomed all those present and thanked them for their continued support for the committee, the association and its aims. She spoke first of the international ESU events that had taken place during the past 12 months, including the International Council Meeting in London in May 2018, the centenary celebrations in Liverpool in September 2018, and the events surrounding the AGM of ESU US in New Orleans in November 2018. The importance of these meetings is that our branch now has links with several branches both in the UK, the USA and elsewhere in the world. An immediate consequence is that we will host a group of visitors from ESU London Region committee at the end of June this year.

This year, the International Council Meeting will take place in St. Petersburg between 25 and 29 September. Patricia will be one of the two delegates from France at the ICM.

Patricia welcomed the new ESU competition for outstanding teachers of oracy and reported that the branch had put forward a candidate, Isabelle Hawkridge, a teacher at the Collège Mona Ozouf in Savenay. Oana Bucescu, whose travels to Hangzhou, China, were funded by the ESU Loire Valley, has now returned from the "Belt and Road Youth English Speaking Competition". Oana will address the members regarding her experience in China at a meeting later this year.

At the National Public Speaking Competition in Angers, 23 March, Eve Bertelas was selected to represent France at the International Competition in London in May.

Patricia thanked all those who have contributed to the success of our events during the past year, in particular the committee members who work hard to ensure the smooth running of the association.

Our Secretary, Jackie Sheppard, reported that our membership stands at 79 currently and that the percentage of French members still stands at 40%, as per last year, as opposed to 26% in 2014. British members account for 52% and other nationalities 8%. It is hoped that the Forum des Associations in Saumur and the Agora in Angers this year will provide opportunities for recruiting younger members as in the past. Jackie gave a résumé of the events organised throughout the year together with attendance figures.

Roy Powell, the Treasurer, presented his report and displayed the balance sheets. On the recommendation of the Auditor, the members unanimously agreed the accounts.

Following the closure of the meeting members were able to enjoy an aperitif before sitting down to enjoy lunch together. The morning’s meeting had raised plenty of issues and ideas to discuss over an excellent meal in very pleasant surroundings. Our thanks to the chef at the Moulin des Saveurs, Domaine de Presle, for the culinary delights on offer. Our thanks too to all who gave their time preparing for the morning meeting and to all who contributed their ideas to the various discussions.