This Thursday the GSPCA celebrates its 141st year since being founded and last night the Society held its 131st Annual General Meeting.
With nearly 40 in attendance the night started with a welcome from at the then Acting President John Knight who welcomed all and gave a short insight to the highlights of the charity since the last AGM in November 2012 and also thanked the many individuals and groups that make a key difference to the Society, as well as thanking the Committee both past and present.
John introduced Steve Byrne the GSPCA Manager who spoke of some of the rescues such as the 4 seal pups and Fortune the dolphin as well as all the other work that goes on behind the scenes 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Steve also thanked all of the team from volunteers to staff, businesses to the Committee and of course the general public and supporters who without which we could not carry out the work we do every day.
John then introduced the GSPCA Treasurer Stephen Coe who spoke of the financial situation of the Society and the work that is carried out to ensure a healthy financial balance. Steve also gave thanks to a few key individuals.
This was followed by the Election of President and New Committee Members. Sadly Jayne La Cras had recently stood down from the post with Tom Le Pelley filling it for a short period and then passing it on to Acting President John Knight.
John Knight was elected to President and Andrew Birnie, Stephen Ford and Allister Clark who had been co-opted on during the previous year were all elected to full Committee members.
One of the main agenda items were to bring the rules of the Society up to date as they were last revised in 1996 and these were adopted and can be seen by clicking here.
For the first time the GSPCA then moved to acknowledge and recognise a number of people, businesses and groups that had made a real difference in animal welfare since the last AGM. Official certificates were presented. John also mentioned that in future the Society is looking to award individuals, businesses and organisations in a number of categories to those that make an outstanding contribution to animal welfare in the Bailiwick. The first of these will be awarded at the next AGM, and more details will follow closer to the event.
Tom Le Pelley then took the stage to hand out the certificates which started with a special thanks to Jayne Le Cras for her many years of dedicated service to animal welfare in Guernsey. Unfortunately Jayne could not be present but Tom gave a touching speech about her time with the GSPCA.
Tom then moved to the media acknowledgements that went to Island FM, BBC Guernsey, ITV Channel and The Guernsey Press and Star for their work in highlighting animal welfare stories as this plays a vital role in enabling the Society to educate and pass important messages to the public in Guernsey.
The Culture & Leisure Department received a certificate of thanks for their support in allowing the first Animal Welfare Seafront Sunday which has now become an annual event and without doubt one of the biggest days in the GSPCA calendar.
Situations Recruitment were thanked for supporting the GSPCA through Community Social Responsibility and through the power of social media.
Also, KPMG Channel Islands were thanked for their support through Community Social Responsibility and with many of our fund raising events
Corinne Connolly & Sidney’s Sponsored Events were commended for outstanding fund raising for the GSPCA.
A real star of the evening was Jackie La Marchant who was commended for her long service as a volunteer for the GSPCA. She has provided invaluable assistance at the Shelter several times a week since 1996.
Helen Sharman was commended and thanked as a staff member with a large heart, commitment and passion for her duties as an Animal Care Assistant.
The Bumblebee Boat Cruise Team were commended and thanked for their help rescuing the Grey Seal Pup from Jethou & all of their support.
The final commendation went to Geoff George for the rescue of Jethou Bumblebee the Grey Seal Pup and Tom thanked him for all of his hard work.
The AGM concluded at 8.30pm and many stopped to chat and the certificate holders to have pictures.
John Knight GSPCA President said ‘The GSPCA would like to thank everyone that attended our AGM last night, and gave their support to the charity.’
‘Despite the bad weather it was wonderful to see such a large turn out.’
‘Although some of the committee have retired from their post in the last year we are pleased to welcome Andrew Birnie, Stephen Ford and Allister Clark all of whom bring key skills that will help the GSPCA thrive as we move forward.’
‘This year we felt it important to recognise some of those important key individuals and businesses that make a real difference to animal welfare in Guernsey and especially Jayne Le Cras who has done so much for the Society over the years.’
Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager said ‘Looking around the room last night really lifts the spirits as there were so many people that make a real difference to animals lives every day here in Guernsey whether that be through the direct care or helping to raise funds.’
‘We are truly blessed to have such a great team of staff, volunteers and supporters and we strive each day to improve and develop what is done within the GSPCA and animal welfare in Guernsey.’
‘The list of people that support the GSPCA every year is phenomenal and we really appreciate each and every one of them.’
The minutes of the AGM are currently being prepared and will be available at the Shelter shortly.