The Constitution

Constitution of the Cape Town Family History Society

The name of the Society shall be “The Cape Town Family History Society”, hereafter referred to as “the Society.”

Aims of the Society
The aims of the Society are fourfold
To create an awareness of the study of family history among the people in the Cape Town area and those whose ancestors lived in this area.
To encourage the collection and preservation of family history resources.
To be a forum for the sharing of family histories through the use of invited speakers, outings to useful family history sites and through the sharing members themselves.
To assist in the transcribing of historical documents of genealogical interest to enable easier access to these documents for members, as well as the general public.

Membership shall be open to all who are interested in furthering the aims of the Society.
Members may be “local members” (members who live close enough to Cape Town to attend meetings) or “overseas members” (members too far to attend regular meeting but who are interested in furthering the aims of the Society and would like to be kept informed of the Society’s activities by post or email).

Executive Committee
The Executive Committee shall do the day-to-day running of the Society.
The Committee shall consist of a Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer.
Additional members may be co-opted by the Executive Committee to ensure the smooth running of the Society.
The Executive Committee will be elected at the Annual General Meeting held at the beginning of each year to serve until the next AGM.
A vacancy occurring on the Executive Committee may be filled either by the co-option of a member of the Society by the remainder of the committee, or through an election at an Extraordinary General Meeting.

The Annual General Meeting
The Annual General Meeting of the Society must be held before the end of March in each calendar year.
A quorum of at least one third of the members is required to be present at the AGM as well as at any Extraordinary or Special General Meeting.
A Special General Meeting may be called at the request of one third of the members of the Society.
At the Annual General Meeting the following is to occur:
The minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting and any Extraordinary or Special General Meetings since the previous Annual General Meeting are to be read/circulated and accepted.
The audited accounts for the previous year are to be presented and accepted by the meeting. The election of a new Executive Committee may not to take place until the Annual General Meeting has accepted the accounts.
A report on the activities of the Society during the previous year is to be presented by the chairperson.
The annual subscriptions for following year are to be accepted. The annual subscriptions are to be determined by the outgoing executive.
A Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer are to be elected (see below)
Any other business, of which notice of a least one month has been given, is to be discussed.
The election of chairperson, secretary and treasurer.
Nominations for these three positions are to be received at least one month before the Annual General Meeting.
The names of those nominated must be circulated to all members three weeks before the meeting.
Postal votes (via mail or email) from members who are unable to attend the meeting and whose subscriptions are up-to-date will be accepted up to twenty-four hours before the meeting.
A simple majority of postal votes and the votes of those present at the meeting will determine the successful candidates for the three executive positions.

The annual subscription will be levied on the members of the Society for the running of expenses of the Society.
The amount of this subscription will be determined by the outgoing Executive Committee and presented to the Annual General Meeting for approval
A differential subscription may be levied on local and overseas members.
The subscriptions to the Society may be used for:
Administration costs and postage.
With the approval of the Executive Committee, for the purchase of research material that shall be made available to all paid-up members.
Any profits of the Society may not be distributed to members but must used for the furthering of the aims of the Society.
The collection and safe storage of subscriptions is the responsibility of the Executive Committee.
They are to open a bank account in the name of the Society for this purpose.
This bank account shall require the signature of least two members of the executive.
Audited accounts are to be presented to the Annual General Meeting for approval. (See above)

Normal Meetings of the Society
a. The frequency of regular meetings of the Society shall take place at the discretion of the Executive Committee and members.
The format of these meetings should include the reading and acceptance of the minutes or a report of the previous meeting.
The meeting may consist of:
A presentation by an invited speaker or a member
An opportunity to share success, questions or problems in preparing family histories
Outings to places where resources for family histories can be obtained.
Any other presentation considered acceptable to the members.

Discipline of Members
The Executive Committee may suspend membership of individuals who bring the Society into disrepute. Such suspension must be presented at, and approved by, the Annual General Meeting.
Members who do not pay their subscription within the year of membership and who have received at least three reminders to pay the subscription are considered to have become lapsed members. Names of these individuals are to be included in the report of the chairman at the Annual General Meeting.

Society Records and Accounting
The Executive Committee shall keep proper records and books of account of the affairs of the society, including a register of members.
The Executive Committee shall cause the books of account to be audited annually by an auditor who may be a member of the society, but shall not be a member of the committee.
The Executive Committee shall operate a society banking account with such bank or banks as the committee may decide. All cheques drawn on account of the Society shall be signed by at least two persons in accordance with such signing procedures as the committee my from time to time determine.

1. The Society may be dissolved, or merged with another society with similar purposes and objectives, in each case only:-
1.1. on a resolution passed by not less than two thirds of members present at a duly constituted general meeting of members;
1.2. on an application to a South African court of law with jurisdiction, by any member on the grounds that the Society has become dormant or is unable to fulfil its purposes and objectives.
2. On merger, the assets of the Society shall accrue to the Society with which the merger is effected.
3. On dissolution, the assets of the Society shall be realised by a liquidator appointed by the general meeting or the court, as the case may be, and the proceeds shall be donated to such society having similar objects to this Society as the meeting or court may decide.

1. Subject to the provisions of any relevant statute, members of the Executive Committee and other office bearers shall be indemnified by the Society for all acts done by them in good faith on its behalf. It shall be the duty of the Society to pay all costs and expenses which any person incurs or becomes liable for as a result of any contract entered into, with the Executive’s approval, or any act done by him or her, in his or her said capacity, in the discharge, in good faith, of his or her duties on behalf of the Society.
2. Subject to the provisions of any relevant statute, no member of the Executive committee and or other office bearer of the Society shall be liable for the acts, neglects or defaults of any other member or office bearer, or for any loss, damage or expense suffered by the Society, which occurs in the execution of the duties of his or her office, unless it arises as a result of his or her dishonesty, or failure to exercise the degree of care, diligence and skill required by law.

[As amended at the AGM held on the 17th March 2007 by the addition of clause 11]