Burns Howff Club Dumfries
Club Constitution revised 2011
The name of the Club shall be The Burns Howff Club.
- Objects of the Club
(a) To commemorate in suitable manner the birth of Robert Burns.
(b) To encourage the study of the life and works of Robert Burns.
(c) To foster an interest in literature, art and music.
(d) To promote good fellowship.
(a) Membership of the Club shall be open to suitable applicants who have
been duly proposed and seconded. The Executive Committee shall
consider such applications and deal with them as appropriate.
(b) All membership fees shall be due at the conclusion of the AGM each
year and no later than 30 June. Any member who has not paid in due
time shall be deemed to have resigned membership.
(c) The Hon Treasurer shall have the duty to bring any such resignations
to the notice of the Executive Committee. The Hon Secretary shall
furnish the Executive Committee with the names of replacements from
the waiting list at the first Executive Committee meeting after 30 June.
(d) Offers of membership in respect of vacancies arising during the year shall be at the discretion of the Executive Committee.
(e) Persons elected to membership shall pay a one-off joining fee in addition to their membership fee which will fall due when elected. The amount of the joining fee shall be determined or altered by the Executive Committee.
(f) Members deemed to have brought the Club into disrepute by word or deed may be called before a special meeting of the Executive Committee to offer an explanation. In the absence of such explanation or should such explanation be considered unsatisfactory, the member shall be required to resign, failing which, a motion may be tabled which on passage of a majority vote of those committee members present, will direct the Honorary Treasurer to delete the member’s name from the Roll of Membership
- Honorary Membership
The Executive Committee on behalf of the Club may from time to time confer
“Honorary Membership” on persons considered to be of sufficient merit to be
so honoured. Honorary members shall have no voting rights and will not be
eligible to be elected as an office bearer or committee member of the Club
unless they have previously been ordinary members.
(i) All meetings shall be presided over by the President, or in his
absence, a Vice-President. Should none of these Officer Bearers be
present after ten minutes of the announced time of any meeting the
members shall elect one of their number to act as Chairman.
(ii) Decisions in all meetings shall be by simple majority vote. The
Chairman shall have a deliberative vote and in addition shall have a
casting vote in the case of equality of votes on any issue. 6 members
shall be a quorum in the Executive Committee.
(iii) Annual General Meeting
The Annual General Meeting of the Club shall be held in the month of
May in each year where 15 members will form a quorum.
The principal business shall be:-
(a) To elect Office Bearers and an Executive Committee for the following
(b) To fix the annual subscription.
(c) To give guidance to the Executive Committee on major items of policy
for the Club.
(d) To appoint a suitably qualified accountant who is not a member of
the Club to act as an independent examiner of the Club accounts
for the following year.
(e) To approve the independently examined Club accounts copies of
which will be provided to the members with the notice of the meeting.
(f) Members shall be advised of the date of the AGM at least 28 days
before the date of the meeting. Any motions not submitted by the
Executive Committee for the AGM shall be submitted to the Honorary
Secretary 21 days before the date of the meeting signed by 12
members. Copies of any such motion shall be given to all members
within 14 days of the meeting. Matters to be raised as other
competent business shall be placed on the table prior to the meeting.
The Secretary shall also advise the meeting of any other notices
received which fail to meet the foregoing criteria.
(g) The Honorary Secretary may be requested to call an extraordinary
meeting of the club on a motion signed by 12 members. There is a
notice requirement of 21 days and copies of the motion must be sent
to all members as soon as possible but no later than 14 days before
(h) The Chairman shall decide on all matters of order, competency,
relevancy and procedure for which no express provision is made.
- Alterations to Constitution
(i) Any proposed alterations to the Constitution can only be made at the
AGM. Such proposals must be submitted to the Honorary Secretary
21 days prior to the meeting and signed by 12 members.
(ii) All members shall be informed of any proposal to alter the Constitution
14 days prior to the meeting.
(iii) Proposals shall take immediate effect from date of AGM if accepted by
a simple majority of members attending the AGM and entitled to vote.
- Executive Committee
The Executive Committee shall consist of the Office Bearers, the immediate Past President and 12 Members elected annually by simple majority vote. Nominations for the positions of the office bearers should be notified to the Honorary Secretary at least 21 days prior to the AGM. These should be accompanied by a declaration from the candidate and be signed by a proposer and seconder. In the event of an election the retiring committee may recommend a candidate. No member shall be elected to the Committee in their absence without having given prior permission in writing to the AGM. The Executive Committee shall arrange and deal with the affairs of the Club. Past Presidents and Trustees of the Club shall be entitled ex officio to attend the meetings of the Executive Committee without voting powers.
- Office Bearers
The Office Bearers of the Club shall be:-
(a) Honorary President (elected for life)
(b) President (elected for 1 year)
(c) Senior Vice President (elected for 1 year)
(d) Junior Vice President (elected for 1 year)
(e) Honorary Secretary (elected for 1 year)
(f) Honorary Treasurer (elected for 1 year)
(g) Honorary Librarian (elected for 1 year)
(h) Immediate Past President
3 Trustees – Each elected for 6 years but one to retire in rotation every 2 years. Trustees shall be eligible for re-election when they retire in rotation.
The Trustees shall have the duty to pre-approve further cash withdrawals from the bank account of the Club in the event that the credit balance falls below the sum of £1,000. They shall act in a general advisory capacity to the Executive Committee of the Club.
- Duties of the Executive Committee and Office Bearers
- (a) The Honorary Secretary shall furnish reports of Club activities to the
AGM. The Honorary Secretary shall have a duty to keep a true
record of the proceedings of meetings, to inform Members of the
dates, times and agendas of meetings, to deal with the
correspondence of the Club and to undertake such other duties as
may from time to time arise.
(b) The Honorary Secretary shall keep an up to date record of Club
- (c) The Honorary Treasurer shall furnish reports to the AGM and to
scheduled meetings of the Executive Committee as to the state of the
Club finances. The Honorary Treasurer shall have a duty to keep an
accurate accounting of the financial affairs of the Club and to present
annual accounts timeously for independent examination.
He shall pay accounts and draw cheques as authorised by the
The Honorary Treasurer shall notify the Trustees in the event of the
credit balance falling below £1,000.
Cheque signatories shall be President, Immediate Past President,
Honorary Treasurer and Honorary Secretary. Cheques shall be drawn
on two signatures.
- (d) The/ (d) The Honorary Librarian shall have a duty to keep a record of the
Club property. He shall be responsible for the care and safekeeping
of the books and other artefacts in the possession of the Club. He
shall ensure that all items borrowed from the library are returned
timeously and in good condition. He shall be responsible for arranging
opening times to enable Members to use the facilities.
(e) The Vice Presidents and Immediate Past President shall undertake
such duties in support of the President as shall arise from time to
- (f) The Past Presidents’ Fund shall be administered by the Immediate
Past President, and Past Presidents in consultation with the Honorary
Secretary and Honorary Treasurer.
- (g) No member of the Executive Committee shall benefit from the work of
the Club other than as any ordinary member of the Club might benefit,
allowance being made however for out of pocket expenses.
If the Executive Committee decides that the Club should be dissolved it
shall call a meeting of all the members, giving 21 days notice. If the
proposal to dissolve is confirmed by a two thirds majority of those present and
voting the Executive Committee shall after discharging any liabilities of the
Club pass any remaining assets to a local like-minded body.