1.1 The Retinue of his Grace the Duke of Buckingham shall be referred to as the group.
1.2 The group is a re-enactment group formed for the benefit and enjoyment of its members, who seek to portray military and social history accurately. The group has been formed from members wishing to pursue re-enactment as a hobby.
1.3 Both this document and the rule book follow the convention that everything is permitted except that which is forbidden, apart from in areas concerning disputes between members and the committee. In such disputes, the committee has only those powers that they are explicitly allowed.
1.4 The group is a non-profit-making organisation. Any operating profits shall be reinvested into the group.
2.1 The group shall elect a committee under section 4 that shall comprise the following members:
- an additional even number of committee members as defined by the rule book
One of the committee members shall also hold the position of captain.
2.2 It shall be the chair's job to organise and chair committee and general meetings. It shall be the treasurer's job to keep records of all financial matters, and present accounts at the annual general meeting. It shall be the secretary's job to minute committee and general meetings, to keep records of non-financial matters and to co-ordinate the society's correspondence. It shall be the captain's job to negotiate with other societies and organise the military side of events.
2.3 Where the constitution or rule book makes reference to a named post other than those under 2.2, such as safety officer, the committee may appoint either a committee member or a full member of the society to the post, with that member's agreement. In the event that no such appointment is made the rights and responsibilities of the post shall devolve onto the committee as a whole.
2.4 Where a named post is filled by a non-committee-member under 2.3, the post-holder should be invited to committee meetings where matters concerning the post are discussed, but shall have no voting rights.
2.5 The committee shall be responsible for the daily running of the society.
2.6 All members of the committee shall be invited to all committee meetings. Members should have at least one week's notice of a committee meeting. For a committee meeting to be quorate at least three quarters of the committee must be present. A majority of the votes cast at a quorate committee meeting are required for any motion to be passed.
2.7 The committee may not pass motions that would contradict the constitution or rule book, except where authorised to by a general meeting under 4.8.1.
2.8 With the exception of medical records and contact details of members who have requested privacy, the committee shall make all records available for inspection upon request of any member of the group; within a period of four weeks of the request being received.
3.1 Membership of the group is available on an individual, and concessionary basis. Membership fees shall be proposed by the committee and voted upon at the annual general meeting. Membership comprises one adult and any number of children under the age of 16.
3.1.1 In addition, at the discretion of the committee, guest membership shall be available for a small sum for the duration of one event. The committee should only allow a given individual to have guest membership for a small number of events before taking out a full membership. Guest members have no voting rights.
3.2 Membership, except guest membership, is on an annual basis, with the year ending on February 28. Members wishing to renew their membership shall be given two months grace or by the end of their first event, which ever is the lesser, in which to pay their renewal fee for membership; thereafter their membership will cease. The committee shall remind such members during March that their membership is lapsing.
3.3 The committee may accept any application for membership subject to the payment of the membership fees. New members of the group must undergo a probationary period of 3 months or until they have attended three events, whichever is the greater. Events attended as a guest shall count towards this total. Any probationary member who does not meet the standards of the group may have their membership withdrawn by the committee upon repayment of their membership fees. The member shall have the same rights to appeal as if their application were initially rejected under 3.4. A probationary member does not have any voting rights.
3.4 The committee may reject an application for membership. If the committee rejects an applicant then they must provide the applicant with the reason, and inform them of their rights to an appeal. Any rejected applicant will have the right to appeal to the full membership where:
- The applicant was a member in the preceding year
- The applicant was not a member in the preceding year but has submitted a request to appeal to the full membership supported by either 10 members or 20% of the existing membership, whichever is the lesser.
All appeals shall be held in accordance with 4.8.
3.5 Membership fees are non refundable except at the discretion of the committee.
3.6 If a member of the society breaches the rule book, the committee may warn the member about their conduct, ban them from events or activities at events, or expel the member from the society. Any member who has disciplinary action taken against them shall have the right to appeal to the full membership providing that the member submits such a request to the committee. The request must be supported by either 10 members or 20% of the existing membership, whichever is the lesser. This may include other members who are also appealing against disciplinary action (i.e. a group of members may support each others' request to appeal to the full membership). All appeals shall be held in accordance with 4.8.
4 Electoral Procedure, AGMs & EGMs
4.1 The general meeting is the governing body of the group.
4.2 There shall be an annual general meeting (AGM) held at least six weeks after the last event of one calendar year and before the first event of the next calendar year, or within 15 months of the last AGM, whichever is the lesser.
4.2.1 The chair of the outgoing committee shall chair the AGM.
4.2.2 Elections for all the committee posts shall be held by secret ballot at the AGM.
4.2.3 Notice of the AGM, nomination forms, and requests for motions for the meeting shall be sent out to all members at least 8 weeks in advance of the meeting. (The committee should arrange the date of the AGM at the same time as it arranges events in order to facilitate maximum attendance.)
4.2.4 In order to stand for election to the committee a member must submit a nomination form supported by1 other member. Members standing for election who wish that their candidature be pre-announced in order to attract postal votes should return their nomination forms at least four weeks before the AGM; such members may include a statement of no more than 200 words supporting their candidature.
4.2.5 Any member wishing to submit a motion to the general meeting should submit it to the committee at least four weeks before the AGM. Motions supported by two other members must be accepted by the committee. Other motions may be accepted at the discretion of the committee. Members are encouraged to provide an explanation of the reasons for the motion, for the sake of postal voters.
4.2.6 At least two weeks before the AGM, but after the four week deadline has passed, the committee shall send to all members a list of all nominations received, supporting statements, the provisional agenda including all accepted motions, a proxy form, and a postal ballot form. The committee may include a statement of its views on any or all of the submitted motions. The committee may not comment on any of the candidates.
4.2.7 Nominations for candidature shall not close until immediately before the election.
4.2.8 Members may submit emergency motions to the AGM by handing them to the chair at the meeting. the chair shall have discretion to accept such motions if there is a valid reason why they could not have been submitted before the four week deadline.
4.3 Votes at a general meeting shall be conducted on the basis of one member one vote, except under 4.6.
4.3.1 The minimum voting age shall generally be 16, but if in the committee's opinion there are children between the ages of 12 and 16 who are worthy of voting, then the committee shall propose to the meeting that those children be allowed to vote. This will be allowed if the motion succeeds.
4.3.2 Members who are unable to attend the AGM may vote by post, or appoint another member to act as their proxy at the meeting. Postal votes and completed proxy forms should be sent to the chair before the start of the meeting.
4.3.3 The chair shall not vote at a general meeting unless a vote would otherwise be tied, in which case the chair must vote to break the tie.
4.4 Any candidate may withdraw their application at any time.
4.5 In the election for the committee, each member shall have one vote for each post. Votes may be cast for any of the candidates or for "No other candidate". A member may cast no more than one vote for any one candidate or for "No other candidate". A member need not cast all of their votes. The candidates with the most votes shall be elected to the posts, except that any candidate receiving fewer votes than "No other candidate" received shall not be elected.
4.5.1 If not all the posts were filled in the previous stage then another election will be held at the same AGM only if there is an even number of members or one member on the committee. If so, new nominations will be taken in addition to all the original candidates who have not already been elected. All members voting in this second election must vote for the nominated candidates (i.e. it will no longer be possible to vote for "No other candidate"). Postal ballots casting more votes (for candidates remaining in the election) than posts under election shall be declared invalid.
4.6 With the exceptions of elections and motions covered by 4.6.1, 4.6.2, or 5.1, a motion shall be carried if voted upon by a majority of those casting their vote.
4.6.1 A motion of no confidence in one or more members of the committee shall require the support of more than 50% of all full members to succeed.
4.6.2 A motion to change the Constitution shall require the support of two thirds of all full members to succeed.
4.7 A motion shall only amend the constitution or rule book if the motion explicitly states that it does so.
4.7.1 A motion which does not amend the rule book, but which contradicts it shall override the rule book, but shall remain valid for a period of not more than one year. For example, if the rule book said that the group should attend no events set later than 1550, then a motion passed by a general meeting could allow attendance of events set in 1600 for up to a year from the passing of the motion, without amending the rule book.
4.8 An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) maybe called either by the committee, or by the request of 25% of the membership, or in accordance with 3.3, 3.4 or 3.6. If the meeting is called at the request of the membership then a list of motions should be submitted at the same time.
4.8.1 At least 4 weeks notice of an EGM must be given to all members. The committee shall endeavour to include an agenda for the meeting, and postal and proxy voting forms in a manner similar to 4.2. Any EGM called in accordance with 3.3, 3.4, or 3.6 shall include both postal voting and voting proxy forms for all appeals, together with a statement by the committee supporting their decision and at the option of the appellant, a rebutting statement.
4.8.2 Voting on appeals raised in accordance with 3.3, 3.4, or 3.6 shall allow members to either cast their vote in support of the committee or in support of the appellant.
4.8.3 At the start of each EGM the committee shall request members to submit further motions. All motions must be proposed by one member and supported by 2 other members.
4.9 Should any members of the committee leave their office before the end of their term, with at least three mouths of their term remaining, then the other committee members shall call an EGM at which intermediate elections shall be held to replace those members who have left. if less than three months of the term of office remain then the existing committee shall undertake the duties of the vacant position(s), unless an EGM is called for another reason, in which case the elections shall be held at the EGM.
4.9.1 The loss of more than a third of the committee members during the last three months of a term of office shall necessitate a general meeting and a full election.
5 Winding up the society
5.1 A motion to windup the society shall require the support of two thirds of the membership at a general meeting to pass.
5.2 If there are no nominations for any of the committee posts at an AGM then the society shall be wound up.
5.3 If, in the opinion of the committee, the society is bankrupt and has no realistic prospect of regaining solvency, then the committee shall bring a motion to wind up the society before a general meeting.
5.4 Upon the winding up of the society the members shall be informed.
5.4.1 Any members with equipment stored through the society shall have a month to reclaim it.
5.4.2 The society's equipment shall be auctioned at a meeting to which all the members have been invited. Any equipment not bought by a member at the auction shall be disposed of by the committee for the best readily obtainable price. Any excess funds left after paying all debts shall be distributed equally among the membership.