THE venue for this year’s annual general meeting of the Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild was Portsmouth. On a glorious summer’s morning (July 1st) members and visiting friends rang their way along two routes towards the city converging on the Cathedral. About 120 were present at the business meeting held in the Cathedral House. This was opened with a welcome to all by the Master, Canon K. W. H. Felstead. The meeting then stood in silence for a few moments in tribute to nine members who had died since the last meeting.
The honorary treasurer, Mrs. M. Chapman, presented a very satisfactory report which showed that the General Fund was down £30 on the year. Since a Triennial Report had been paid for, this was a healthy state of affairs.
36 FIRST PEALS
Mr. D. T. Matkin, the peal recorder, was unfortunately absent due to the illness of his wife; however, copies of his usual comprehensive report were circulated. Seventy-eight peals were rung during 1966, ranging from Plain Bob Doubles to Bristol Surprise Royal. An encouraging sign for the future was the fact that 36 members rang their first peal.
Mr. A. V. Davis, in proposing the adoption of the report, subject to the withdrawal of a false peal of Basing S.M., said that he was full of admiration for the meticulous detail Mr. Matkin applies to his work.
The honorary secretary, Mr. D. J. Forder, presented a summary of the Guild’s activities and progress over the past year. This showed an appreciable increase in membership.
A report of the proceedings of the 1967 Central Council meeting was most amusingly presented by Mr. R. R. Savory; of most interest to members was the debate on the report of “The Ringing World” Committee.
The Master then expressed his appreciation, on behalf of the Guild, for the work which had been done by the officers during the past year; this was greeted by applause from the meeting.
Canon Felstead outlined the details, decided by the Executive Committee in March, for the change in the District boundaries. The Southampton District would continue until December 31st and a winding-up meeting held early in January. The officers of those Districts that provided most towers in the new Districts would continue to serve until the end of the triennial period.
The Guild having decided to hold another striking competition this year, Mr. D. C. Jackson proposed that certificates should be presented to the winning teams. It was agreed that the Competition Committee should put forward proposals at the next annual general meeting.
Canon Felstead said that in view of their outstanding service to the Guild the Executive had recommended the election to honorary life membership of Messrs. H. Balaam and C. Osler. On the proposition of Mr. J. Hill and seconded by Mr. L. Bailey this was carried unanimously.
Votes of thanks were then proposed to the Bishop of Portsmouth for agreeing to preach at the service and to dedicate the memorial, to the Provost for the use of the Cathedral bells and the Church House, to the Provost’s secretary, Miss Lloyd, for all her help in making the Cathedral and catering arrangements, to Mr. L. Duguid, the Portsmouth District secretary, for his efforts in making the local arrangements, and to all incumbents who had allowed the use of their bells during the day.
MASTER’S BADGE DEDICATED
The Guild service followed in the Cathedral, conducted by Canon Temple. The Bishop of Portsmouth, in his address, said that he welcomed the opportunity to express his thanks to the ringers of the two dioceses for their work in ringing the bells.
Following the address, the Master (Canon K. W. H. Felstead) presented the Master’s badge of office, the memorial to two past Masters, Frederick W. Rogers and George Pullinger, to the Bishop for dedication.
The badge was afterwards worn at tea by Canon Felstead and was much admired by the members. A fitting memorial to two outstanding servants of the Guild.
D. J. F.
[Photographs by T. Chapman, Bishopstoke.
The Ringing World No. 2937, August 4, 1967, page 550