MWA Constitution

Version 3 - March 2016

1. NAME

The Association shall be called the MINE WARFARE ASSOCIATION (MWA) and is hereinafter referred to as the `Association’.

2. OBJECTIVES
  • To organise a reunion for members once a year.
  • To support regional events.
  • To promote links and maintain comradeship between members and to keep the ‘Mine Warfare Spirit’ alive.
  • To develop identity based Association merchandise.
3. TYPES OF MEMBERSHIP AND REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS

Full Membership

  • Full Membership is open to serving and ex serving Officers and Senior ratings that have completed either a Mine Warfare Officers or Petty Officer Minewarfare Professional Qualifying Course, and Ex Serving Ratings that have completed a Mine Warfare Professional Qualifying Course.
  • Full Membership may also be awarded by the Committee to any RNR Officer or Senior Rate who qualifies for Associate Membership but has also completed a minimum period of 6 months' full time service with either a RN MW Battle Staff in a theatre of operations or in a Mine Warfare FTRS assignment. Each application will be considered by the committee on a case by case basis.

Associate Membership

Associated Membership is open to Serving and Ex Serving RNR Officers and ratings and to any other persons who has completed either the RN AMW Course, or the RNR MCM Staff Course.

Honorary Membership

Honorary membership is at the discretion of the committee awarded to Servicemen, RNR’s or Civilians who have not completed any of the above courses but whose services to the Association or to the Minewarfare branch deserve such recognition

Life Membership

Members who reach the age of 60, and having been an Association Member for a period of 5 uninterrupted years, may request Life Membership. Annual subscriptions are waived for members awarded Life Membership.

4. ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP SUBSCRIPTIONS

Annual Subscription

Members will be required to pay an annual subscription to remain in compliance. The amount is subject to review by the committee annually. A rise in the annual subscription greater than 10% must be approved by a vote at the Association AGM. (Current (2016) Subscription £12.00).

Cessation of Membership

A member shall cease to be a member if:

  • He/she informs the Committee in writing that he/she wishes to discontinue membership.
  • Fails to renew annual membership.


Financial Difficulty

A member who, for reasons beyond his/her control is unable to pay the full subscription may refer the matter to the Membership Secretary, who shall bring the matter to the attention of the Committee. The Committee will consider granting a temporary waiver after careful consideration of the facts surrounding the issue. Any such request will be treated with the utmost confidentiality.

5. MANAGEMENT OF THE ASSOCIATION

The administration of the Associations affairs shall be carried out by the elected Committee on behalf of the members.

To best manage the association a two tier committee will be formed. It shall consist of a Management Team consisting of:

  • Chairman
  • Vice Chairman
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • Members Secretary
  • Webmaster

The Management Committee will have the authority to make general committee decisions to speed up the process of actions as they arise and if appropriate. A quorum of 3 of the above will be required to endorse decisions, with results and any items requiring a wider discussion being forwarded to the full committee for full endorsement.

The full Committee shall consist of:

  • The Management Team
  • 5 Regional Representatives
  • Officer’s
  • Ships Representative

No business shall be transacted unless a quorum of five Committee members are present; any five members shall constitute a quorum provided the Chairperson, Vice Chairman or General Secretary is present.

All committee members will hold full voting rights with only 1 person 1 vote. The Chairman will be non-voting but will hold the casting vote if required. The Ships Representative will be a serving Minewarfare Senior Rate or Officer. The inaugural and subsequent committee members will hold office for a period of 1 year. Annual General Meetings will provide the opportunity to re-elect individuals or elect new members to positions on the Committee. 3 Version 3 Dated 12 March 2016

For reasons of continuity for the Committee a 3-year cycle for election of the Committee is used as follows:

  • Year 1 – Chairman, Membership Secretary and any Area Rep
  • Year 2 – Vice Chairman (but see para 9), The Treasurer and any Area Rep
  • Year 3 – The Secretary and any Area Rep
  • Year 4 – As for Year 1
  • Year 5 – As for Year 2
  • Year 6 – As for Year 3

Nominations for Committee members must be forwarded to the Secretary 3 months prior to the AGM. Each nomination must have a Proposer and Seconder. Nominees must attend the AGM and the nominee with the largest number of votes at the AGM will be duly elected.
Members may be co-opted to assist the Committee for specific tasks. Co-opted persons shall not have voting powers on the Committee.

6. ASSOCIATION FINANCE
The Committee shall operate banking accounts in the name of the Association with such banks as the Committee select and all monies received from any source shall be paid into such accounts. Cheques shall be signed by any two of three nominees one of which shall be the Treasurer (see para 10). An end of year Statement of Accounts shall be prepared by the auditor and presented to Association Members at the AGM. The Statement of Accounts shall reflect the financial accounts for the current year being audited (1 Jan to 31 Dec) and the previous year’s accounts.
7. CHARITY SUPPORT

The association will support a charity nominated by the members. Members may nominate a local charity to be supported at the venue of each reunion if so desired.

8. CHAIRMAN
  • The Chairman of the association will be an association member nominated and seconded by two separate members.
  • The nominee will be voted in by a majority of members at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). Nominations must be posted in the Members Forum on the MWA Website 3 months in advance of the expiry of the current incumbent period of office. The nominations will be managed by the Association Secretary who will ensure due process and fair play. Nominees must attend the AGM and the nominee with the largest number of votes at the AGM will be duly elected as Chairman.
  • The nominee must be a fully paid up member of the association in continuance of a minimum period of three years prior to nomination.
  • The period of office for the Chairman will be three years (see Item 5, para f) after which members may nominate and elect a new Chairman or re-elect the current Chairman. 4 Version 3 Dated 12 March 2016
  • If the Chairman’s post is vacant for any period of time the Vice Chairman will be authorised to fulfil the Chairman’s roll until the vacancy is resolved.
9. VICE CHAIRMAN
  • In recognition of the work involved in planning and co-coordinating the Minewarfare re-union over a number of years, and his continued efforts regarding the formation of the Association, the Vice Chairman position will be a permanent post held by Mr. Peter “Taff” Reader. 
  • This position will be vacated by Mr. Reader if; 
  1. He fails to remain in compliance. 
  2. He resigns from this position. 
  3. 80% of the association membership vote to remove him from this position.
10. SPECIFIC DUTIES OF THE SECRETARY

The Secretary shall:

  1. Act as the focal point for the Association. 
    • The Secretary shall record a true record (Minutes) of Committee Meetings, and of the Annual General Meetings also perform other duties as required the Committee. 
    • To maintain proper and accurate records of all correspondence and to initiate such actions that may arise. 
  2. To receive notices of motions and prepare the agenda in conjunction with the Chairperson for those meetings as described in the Constitution.
  3. To receive nominations within the stated timescales (see para 5.g) for positions on the Committee and to post those nominations with the proposer and seconder on the Association website .
  4. To ensure all necessary reports are made available to Association Members for the AGM. 
11. DUTIES OF THE TREASURER

The Treasurer shall:

  1. Be responsible for the funds of the Association and to receive all monies on behalf of the Association from membership subscriptions, sales of  items through the web site store or any other source (e.g. Sweepstoreman's 'gizzit' case). 
  2. To pay bills to creditors promptly from the Association bank accounts by cheque. Cheques are to be countersigned by two persons one of which shall be the Treasurer (see also para 7a) 
  3. Report the state of the Association finances at each Committee meeting 
  4. Produce a statement of accounts annually to the committee, and to the membership at the Annual General Meeting. 5 Version 3 Dated 12 March 2016 
  5. Arrange with the Bank authorised by the Committee to hold the Association funds, for cheques to be met only if signed by the Treasurer and Countersigned by the Chairman, Vice Chairman or Secretary.
12. MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY

The Membership Secretary shall: 

  1. Receive and report to the Committee the current numbers of members and any other related matter he considers should be brought to the Committees attention. 
  2. To receive subscriptions and joining fee for membership, and forwarding such funds to the Treasurer. 
  3. Maintain records of members with details of their Minewarfare qualifying course and service, and the recording of said records to assist with the effective functioning of the Association. 
  4. Inform the Committee of anyone who is experiencing difficulty in meeting all or part of the subscription or those members who may be in financial difficulty (see also para 4c). 
13. DUTIES OF THE PROJECT REPRESENTATIVE

The Project Representative shall:

  1. To represent the Association as required by the Chairman / Committee in scoping projects, ideas, or opportunities to further enhance the Association and its reputation. 
  2. To represent the Association on relevant committee's/sub committees of other projects as necessary, ensuring the best interests of the Association and the consensus of its members are truly represented and taken into account. 
  3. Identify and where appropriate, take up any opportunities to project the Association in a positive image to the wider community. 
14. ASSOCIATION PADRE

The Association Padre shall provide religious guidance and advice to members and their families. The Padre shall also provide advice on welfare and matters of wellbeing as appropriate and where requested by members or their families.

15. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

An Annual General Meeting of the Association shall be held if possible during the weekend of the Annual Reunion, or at another time requested by a majority of the membership.

The purpose of the AGM will be to:

  1. Present a financial report. 
  2. Elect Committee Members. 
  3. Propose changes to the rules of the Association. Any such proposal is to be forwarded in writing to the Secretary 1 month prior to the AGM. 
  4. Provide a venue for AOB. 
  • Members are encouraged to submit items for the agenda which must be with the Secretary 14 working days prior to the meeting. Members unable to attend the AGM are invited to tender their apologies in writing to the Secretary no less than 1 week prior to the AGM. Only written apologies will be recorded in the minutes. 6 Version 3 Dated 12 March 2016 
  • Minutes from the AGM will be produced by the Secretary and will be distributed to the Committee for comment/concurrence prior to being posted on the website. This process is not to take any more than 3 weeks from the date of the AGM. Any delay in posting the minutes on the website must be agreed by the Committee.
16. COMPLAINTS

Any complaints on any aspect of the management of Association affairs shall be made to the Secretary of the Committee in writing. The Secretary will then bring the matter to the attention of the Chairman and the Committee.

17. LOCAL DIVISIONS

Regional representatives are encouraged to form Local Divisions to promote comradeship between members of the Association. Activities undertaken by such Divisions will in the first place be financed from local resources.

18. MINE WARFARE WEBSITE
  1. The Website will be established under the control of the Webmaster. The website will be for members and utilised to promote Association and regional activities, provide links to other members to maintain comradeship. Any member of the Association will be free to approach the webmaster with material for inclusion on the website. 
  2. The MWA Facebook group is established to further improve communication between members and to provide a means of exchanging information, stories, photographs and other forms of media for the good of the association and its members. The MWA Website is the primary means for conducting or communicating association business or affairs and for the sale of MWA goods through the Sweepstore.
19. DISSOLUTION OF THE ASSOCIATION

In the event of it being resolved by the membership that the Association be wound up, any remaining funds after all debts have been paid shall be donated to a Naval charity decided upon by the membership at that time.

20. EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY

The Association shall aim to ensure that no-one associated with the Association is discriminated against on the grounds of age, impairment, colour, ethnic or national origin, nationality, race, religious belief or faith, social class, gender, sexuality, gender reassignment, marital status or political views or activity.

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