Society Rules

The Rules of the Society were last amended at the Annual General Meeting on 23rd March 2018, to take immediate effect. They are:

1. NAME
The Society shall be known as ‘The Old Maidstonian Society’.

2. OBJECTS
The objects of the Society are to provide an alumni association which shall endeavour:
a. To promote the interests of the School and support the Governors, Headmaster, staff and students as opportunities arise;
b. To maintain contact between former students, members of staff, Governors, and members of the Parent’s Association Committee, organise and promote activities on behalf of the Society, and circulate information on activities at the School.

3. MEMBERSHIP
a. Membership of the Society shall be confined to former:
• Students
• Members of the School staff
• Governors, and
• Members of the Parent’s Association Committee;
b. A Membership Register shall be maintained.
• The purpose of the Membership Register is solely to further the aims of the Society in accordance with its Rules;
• Every member in the Membership Register will have requested or consented, in writing, including by electronic means, that their name be included in the Membership Register;
• The Membership Register shall contain only the contact details of each member (address, telephone, e-mail), and the years they attended MGS;
• The contact details of an individual member may only be released to another member. No person who is not a member of the Society shall have access to any contact information contained in the Membership Register;
• A member may request that all or part of their contact details be withheld from being passed to another individual member, or may request to see the data the Society holds on them by contacting the Membership Secretary, or by e-mail at oms@oldmaidstonians.org.uk;
• A member’s details will be securely deleted from the Membership Register, should they leave the Society;
• The Membership Register will be published annually at the beginning of January. It will be forwarded to members by e-mail, or by post to those who do not have e-mail;
• The published Membership Register will not contain any contact details other than the last known hometown and county or country, where that information is available;
• The Committee will audit the location and security of the Membership Register to ensure compliance with all data protection legislation.

4. MANAGEMENT
a. The affairs of the Society shall be controlled by a committee elected from the Membership by the AGM.  Current committee members wishing to stand for re-election must indicate their desire to do so before the AGM, and will continue as committee members only if re-elected at the meeting.  This Committee shall comprise a Secretary, Treasurer, and as many other officers and members as are deemed appropriate by the Committee and endorsed by the AGM, and shall choose a Chairman and Vice-Chairman from among those so elected;
b. Committee members are expected to attend the majority of committee meetings.  If a member is unable to do so, then he or she would normally be expected to
withdraw, unless there are extenuating circumstances which the committee accepts as allowing continuation of membership;
c. The President shall hold office for one year. He or she will be confirmed as President-Elect by the AGM and will assume office at the end of the Annual Supper in the following year. The Committee may at its discretion make an additional nomination for a 2nd President-Elect, who would follow the President-Elect at the end of his or her term of office;
d. The permanent post of Honorary Vice-President will be bestowed occasionally on those who have served the Society or School in an outstanding manner;
e. The Headmaster, the President then in office, and the President-Elect shall be members of the Committee ex officio;
f. The Committee shall have powers of co-option;
g. All members of the Committee, whether elected, co-opted or sitting ex officio, shall have the right to vote. In the event of a tied vote, the Chairman shall have an extra, casting vote;
h. Four Committee members shall constitute a quorum;
i. The Committee may appoint sub-committees if required;
j. As required under the School’s terms of governance, the Society, through its Committee, shall appoint a member of the Society to serve on the School’s Board of Governors.

5. FINANCE
a. Membership of the Society shall be free to all those who are eligible to be members;
b. The Society’s financial year shall run from 1st January to 31st December, or such other period as shall be agreed at the AGM or at any EGM;
c. Separate accounts shall be maintained for the general running of the Society (The General Account), and for the Trust Fund (The Old Maidstonian Trust Fund – see section 11);
d. The Treasurer shall present full accounts and a balance sheet to the AGM, with a request for their adoption;
e. The accounts of the Society shall be subject to an annual independent examination by a person appointed for that purpose by the AGM. In the absence of a current independent examiner, for whatever reason, the Committee shall be authorised to make an interim appointment which shall remain valid until the next following AGM;
f. The independent examiner may not be a member of the Committee of the Society and should be a professionally qualified accountant.

6. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM)
a. This shall be held in each calendar year normally before the end of April on the same evening as the Annual Supper;
b. Notice of the date, time and place of the meeting, together with an agenda, shall be notified to all members, not less than 14 clear days in advance, together with any proposed alterations to the Rules of the Society and any other matters of moment;
c. The purpose of the Meeting shall be:
i. To receive reports from the Secretary, from the Treasurer and from any sub-committees;
ii. To adopt the accounts if thought proper;
iii. To confirm the management arrangements as detailed in sections 4 and 12b as necessary;
iv. To discuss any other business previously notified.
d. All Members shall be entitled to vote at the AGM, and a quorum shall be formed by ten members;
e. The President will normally chair the AGM, but if he or she is unable to do so, the chair shall be taken by the Chairman or another committee member chosen by the Committee.

7. EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETING (EGM)
a. An EGM may be called at any time, by the Committee or by 25 members, giving fourteen clear days’ notice to all members. Such notice shall specify the time, date and place of the meeting and the purpose for which it is being convened, with details of any proposed decisions to be taken;
b. All Members shall be entitled to vote at an EGM, and a quorum shall be formed by ten members.

8. ANNUAL SUPPER
A Supper shall be held each year, normally during March or April.

9. SPORTING & OTHER ACTIVITIES
The Society shall arrange such sporting or other activities as may seem appropriate from time to time.

10. COLOURS
The colours of the Society shall be navy blue (23 mm), white (4 mm), purple (3 mm) and old gold (8 mm), to be worn in descending band order. (The widths shown in brackets are those of the stripes on the tie.) Only members shall be entitled to wear the colours and badge as incorporated in any garments which may be provided by the Society.

11. THE OLD MAIDSTONIAN TRUST
a. The Old Maidstonian Trust, a registered charitable trust, is the Society’s charitable fund;
b. Funding shall be maintained and distributed in accordance with the ‘Trust Fund Guidance Notes’, which may from time to time be amended by the Trustees and approved by a General Meeting of the Society. The ‘Trust Fund Guidance Notes’ are attached in Appendix 1 of these Rules;
c. The affairs of the Trust shall be controlled by four Trustees each of whom will hold office for three years. Trustees shall be elected from the Membership by the AGM. The Trustees will elect a Chairman from amongst themselves. The Secretary of the Society will act as Secretary to the Trust. The Treasurer of the Society will act as Treasurer to the Trust;
d. The Committee shall consider requests for funding made directly by eligible applicants, or on the recommendation of the Headmaster, or for other projects which are of benefit to the school;
e. The historical details of all funds are attached in Appendix 2 of these Rules.

12. CHANGES TO THESE RULES
Any alterations to these Rules may be made only at the AGM or at an EGM, after notice has been given to members in accordance with Rules 6b and 7. The date for implementation of any alterations to these Rules shall be decided by the AGM or an EGM.

APPENDICES TO THE RULES
These Appendices are provided for information and do not form part of the Rules of the Society.

APPENDIX 1: TRUST FUND GUIDANCE NOTES

The Old Maidstonian Society has at its disposal funds which have been donated by old boys for the furtherment of the education of individual Maidstone Grammar School pupils and ex-pupils. The funds may also be used to assist the school in developing projects to the benefit of the pupils.

All Awards Funds were amalgamated into the Old Maidstonian Trust Fund in 2015 in order to reduce the complexity and the administration. In order to retain the names of the benefactors, £1 has been left in each of the Funds. A list of the original Awards Funds, as far as could be determined to be the case, is in Appendix 2.

The Trust Fund may fund pupils or ex-pupils to assist them in one of the following ways:
• A course of further education to enhance a particular aptitude;
• A project;
• An expedition;
• A seminar;
• Adventurous training;
• Sport related courses or events;
• Arts related courses;
• School trips;
• In cases of proven hardship.
The list is not exhaustive. Each request will be dealt with sympathetically and all applications will be dealt with solely on their merit. The amount to be awarded will be determined by the Trust Fund Trustees. Applicants must either currently be attending Maidstone Grammar School or be Old Maidstonians. Awards are entirely discretionary, and are intended for the personal development, and to benefit the broader outlook of, the recipient.

Applications from current pupils should be submitted to the Headmaster, who will then recommend to the Trustees to whom awards should be made. The Trustees will review all the applications, and their decision is final. Applications should be made on the OMS Awards Application Form, copies of which will be available from either the school office or by e-mail request to oms@oldmaidstonians.org.uk. Copies of all the applications will be available to the OMS Committee upon request.

A successful applicant will be requested to submit a report on their experiences to the Old Maidstonian Society, which will be published in the Society Newsletter, and they may be requested to attend the Annual Supper to give a short, verbal account of their experience for the benefit of the membership.

Funding may also be provided from the Trust Fund at the discretion of the Trustees, and approved by the OMS Committee, for projects at the school which will be of benefit to the pupils.

APPENDIX 2: HISTORICAL DETAILS OF AWARDS

In general, the Society could decide what sums were used from which fund, and for what purpose. There were no stipulations, except for the T P Gutteridge Award.

1 Old Maidstonian Award
• This award was to be made on the recommendation of the Headmaster to a present or former pupil to enable him or her to continue his or her studies at the School, or to take up a place or continue at a recognised institution for higher or further education. The value of the award was to be determined by the committee;
• The original source of the award fund was the original scheme of life membership subscriptions dating from the 1920’s and 1930’s;
• Original sum: £300;
• Effectively combined with the Phillips and General Awards.

2 G B Phillips Award
• The income from the investment was to be used to augment the value of the Old Maidstonian Award and/or be used on behalf of pupils at the School or Old Maidstonians receiving higher or further education to undertake projects considered by the committee worthy of support;
• In 1976, the committee stated that the award should be made to those in financial need, and that it would be sympathetic to OMs embarking on ‘courses supplementary to their main courses’;
• Geoffrey (‘Beta’) Phillips was a long-serving history master at MGS, for over 40 years until his eventual retirement from part-time teaching in 1958. For much of that period he was Second Master (Deputy Head). Geoffrey was President of the OMS from 1958 to 1960, and he died in 1973;
• Original bequest (1973): £500;
• The bequest did not restrict the capital sum from being distributed.

3 T P Gutteridge Award
• The income from the investment was to be awarded to assist sixth form science students to pursue courses or activities designed to broaden their cultural horizons;
• In 1983, the Society newsletter noted that the award was intended to ‘assist travel projects’, and this was supported by a list of beneficiaries, all of whom had made ‘expeditions’ to other countries:  Canada, Greenland, Greece (archaeology) and Australia (a study tour);
• Tom Gutteridge was a long-serving physics master at the school over a similar period of time to Geoffrey Phillips, retiring in 1963. He was President of the OMS in 1974;
• Original gift (1974): £250;
• The gift did not restrict the capital sum from being distributed;
• The interest (if no award was made) was added to the capital, but could be included in a later award amount.

4 Dicker Trust (a trust fund)
• Awards were to be available to both present pupils of the School and to Old Maidstonians for educational projects or such materials deemed necessary for the recipients’ continuing education;
◦ David Dicker was a boy at the school, leaving in the early 1960’s, whereupon he joined the RAF and was killed in an aircraft accident. Some years later, in 1993, his parents decide to honour his name by setting up a trust fund to be administered by the OMS;
◦ Original gift from the Dicker family (1993): £6,000, with £2,000 going to the Dicker Trust and £4,000 to the Special Distribution Fund. The Trust Fund was combined with the now defunct Special Distribution Fund;
◦ There was no restriction regarding how the capital sum was to be distributed.

5 J F Payne Bequest
◦ The terms of the fund required administration by the OMS which ‘[was to] form part of the Society’s Award Fund and be distributed for the benefit of both current and former pupils of Maidstone Grammar School’. The award was to be made on the recommendation of the Headmaster or by direct application to the committee. Funds awarded were to be for educational projects or such materials deemed necessary for the recipient’s continuing education;
◦ There was to be no restriction on the amount of any one award, no limit to the number of awards made to an individual or group, and no limitation on the amount distributed or awards made in any one year;
◦ The award could be for a part or the full sum required by the applicant;
◦ An award could be made solely from the bequest or jointly with monies from another of the Society’s schemes;
◦ J F (John) Payne, an OM who left the school before WW2, was President of the Society in 1955, died in 1998, and made a bequest to the Society in his will;
◦ Original bequest (1998): £500;
◦ The gift did not restrict the capital sum from being distributed.

APPENDIX 3 – PRIZES

1 E F Clifford Prize
• This funds the Ted Clifford Award for History and is awarded annually to a student for ‘excellence in history’, by way of an inscribed silver gilt Victorian tankard. The tankard is on a base which was purchased by the Society, and the name of the recipient is engraved on this. The Society retains the tankard, which is displayed at the Annual Supper when the award is made to the winner;
• E F (Ted) Clifford was a boy at the school in the 1930’s and was President of the Old Maidstonian Society in 1951. He was a member of the Committee for many years, and when he died in 2006 his family chose to recognise his long service to the Society, and the strong family connection with the school, by means of this gift;
• Ted’s grandfather, father and uncle had also been Presidents of the Society (in 1895, 1926 and 1931 respectively), and his son, Paul Clifford, in 2010;
• Original value: £250;
• When it was recognised that this sum was insufficient, Paul Clifford gifted another £1,500, bringing the award to £1,750.

2 Alec Stewart Memorial Tankard
• The Society awards a prize annually to the member of the Senior School contributing most during the school year either on the field of play or in the administration of sporting activities. The candidate is nominated by the Senior Sports Master, and approved by the Headmaster;
• Alec Stewart was a boy at the school in the 1930s, and he joined the school staff as Head of PE after war service. He died in service in 1972. The award was set up in his name by the Society, to perpetuate his memory;
• Originally, the term of the award was set for not less than 20 years; in 1992, the committee decided that this should continue indefinitely;
• Original year of presentation: 1973;
• A prize is provided out of Society funds (the General account, not the Trust Fund) each year. The Society also pays for the recipients’ place at the Annual Supper.

3 Christopher Turner Award for French
• A tankard was presented to the school in 2014 to be given to the student who was deemed by the school to have excelled in French each year;
• A prize of £200, donated by Christopher Turner, is given to the recipient;
• The prize is presented at the School Speech Day.