Constitution of the OCA
1. TITLE AND ADDRESS
The title of
the organisation shall be the Old Coram Association, the address of which
is The Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, London WC1N 2QA.
In this Constitution:
‘The Association’ means the Old Coram Association (OCA)
‘The Committee’ means the General Committee of the Old Coram Association
‘The Chairman’ means the Chairman of the General Committee unless
‘The Fund Committee’ means the Committee of the Marjoribanks Bequest Fund
‘The Foundation’ means the Coram Family, Thomas Coram Foundation for
Children and/or the Foundling Hospital, by which name the former was known
‘AGM’ means the Annual General Meeting of the Old Coram
The objects of the Association shall be:
i) To enable Old Boys and Girls of the Foundation and their families to
keep in touch with each other and the Foundation.
ii) To promote mutual assistance among members of the Association.
iii) To further the interests of the Foundation.
iv) To arrange and give opportunities for meeting in social reunion.
v) To assist the periodical production of a Journal.
vi) To plan and encourage other activities for the benefit of the members
of the Association.
Founder Membership of the Association is limited to those who joined
on or before 1st January 1948.
ii) Annual Membership shall be open to all Old Boys and Old Girls
who were at any time in the care of the Foundation, their foster parents,
the President, Vice Presidents, Governors and members of staff, past and
present of the Foundation; husbands, wives and descendants of the above.
iii) Life Membership. Those eligible for Annual Membership may
become Life Members on a single payment of £50 (or such other sum as shall
from time to time be determined by the AGM).
iv) Honorary Membership may be conferred on any person (who need
not be eligible for Annual Membership) in recognition of the great service
they have rendered the Association or the Foundation. Honorary Members
shall be elected for life subject to their right to resign at any time
should they so wish. Appointments to Honorary Membership shall be approved
by the AGM on the recommendation of the Committee.
v) Associate Membership
At the discretion of the General Committee,
with right of appeal to the AGM, Associate Membership may be offered to
any person who can show that they :
a) are related to or
have a bona fide connection with an Annual or Life Member but do not
themselves meet the criteria for Annual
Membership set out in Clause 4.ii of the Constitution.
b) have been a client or user for a specified period of time of certain
Foundation/Coram Family projects approved by the General Committee.
c) have particular reasons for seeking Associate Membership which are
accepted as valid by the General Committee.
d) have rendered noteworthy service to the OCA, Foundation or Coram
Family not meriting the grant of Honorary Membership.
e) Associate Members shall pay an annual subscription as shall from time
to time be determined by the AGM and shall receive copies of the Coram
News. They may attend the AGM but do not have voting rights. They shall
be eligible to attend OCA functions and receive any subsidy as may be
determined by the General Committee. Eligibility for other financial
benefits shall be as determined from time to time by the AGM.
The Committee shall have the discretion to terminate the membership
of any Annual Member or Associate Member whose subscription is more than
two years in arrears.
vii) Applications for Annual or
Associate Membership should be made to the Honorary Secretary.
5. HONORARY OFFICERS
i). The Association may elect a President
and not more than six Vice Presidents, who shall be elected for life
subject to their right to resign at any time should they so wish. Such
elections shall take place at the AGM on the recommendation of the
ii) An Honorary Secretary, Honorary Treasurer and Honorary Editor of the
Coram News shall be elected annually at the AGM and shall hold office for
one year. They shall be eligible for re-election.
6. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
i) The AGM shall normally be held in June.
Failing this, a new date shall be fixed not later than 18 months following
the date of the previous AGM.
ii) The President shall be chairman of the meeting. In the absence of the
President, a Vice President or the Chairman of the General Committee shall
take the chair.
iii) 25 members present shall form a quorum.
iv) The election of officers or any motion put to the AGM
shall be decided by a simple majority on a show of hands unless a secret
ballot is demanded by the chairman of the meeting or by at least 10% of
members present. In the event of a secret ballot being necessary, the
chairman of the meeting shall appoint two members who are not candidates
for election to act as scrutineers.
v) The chairman of the meeting shall have
a second or casting vote in all elections and motions decided by vote.
vi) All members shall be given at least four clear weeks' notice in
writing of the AGM together with nomination papers for any appointments to
be filled and copies of the annual accounts.
vii) Non-members may be permitted to attend all or part of the AGM but
shall not participate in any way.
7. SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING
i). In the event of a matter of major
importance arising which requires a decision by the membership as a whole
before the next AGM, the Committee or not less than 25 members may apply
to the President, or in his or her absence, a Vice President, to convene a
Special General Meeting. The application shall be in writing, shall
specify the object of the meeting and shall be signed by the Chairman on
behalf of the Committee or by the 25 or more members concerned.
ii) The President or Vice President shall decide whether the matter is of
such urgency and importance that it cannot reasonably be deferred until
the next AGM. If he or she considers the application justified, they shall
then either convene a Special General Meeting giving members at least
three weeks' notice in writing or, alternatively, arrange for all members
to be fully informed in writing of the situation and given the opportunity
to record their views in a postal ballot.
iii) Should a Special General Meeting be convened, the conduct of the
meeting will be as for the AGM.
8. GENERAL COMMITTEE
i) The AGM is the final decision-making
body of the Association. However, responsibility for the day to day
running of the Association shall be delegated to the General Committee.
ii) The AGM shall agree the General Committee's delegated financial powers
for the ensuing year.
iii) The Committee shall consist of not
more than 6 Old Boys and 6 Old Girls together with not more than 6
representatives of the other classes of member defined in paragraph 4ii.
iv) The Honorary Secretary, Honorary Treasurer and Honorary Editor of the
Coram News shall be ex-officio members of the Committee and hold office
for one year, they shall have voting powers and be eligible for
re-election. Their places shall not count against the maximum numbers set
out in paragraph 8iii.
v) The Committee shall have the discretion to elect assistants to the
vi) Members of the Committee shall be elected at the AGM for a period of
three years. They shall be eligible for re-election.
vii) At the first meeting following the AGM, members of the committee
shall elect one of their number to be Chairman of the Committee for the
ensuing year. The retiring Chairman shall be eligible for re-election. In
the event of an equality of votes, which cannot be resolved by further
ballots, the appointment shall be decided by drawing lots.
viii) The Committee shall have the power to co-opt additional members up
to the maximum numbers permitted to fill existing vacancies in the
respective categories or any that arise during the year. Members appointed
in this way shall have voting powers and shall hold office until the next
AGM when they shall be eligible for election in the normal way for a full
three year term.
ix) The Committee shall have the power to invite any person or persons
whom they consider would be able to make a useful contribution to a matter
under discussion to be in attendance for all or part of a meeting. Such
persons shall not have voting powers and need not be eligible for
membership of the Association.
Meeting and Decisions
x) The Committee shall meet not less than
once every three months. The Officers of the Association shall meet as
xi) Five members present shall constitute a quorum for the Committee.
xii) Decisions shall be taken by consensus or a simple majority on a show
of hands unless the Chairman or any member demands a secret ballot. In any
matter decided by vote (with the exception of the election of a Chairman
under the provisions of paragraph 8vii) the Chairman shall have a second
or casting vote.
xiii) In the absence of the Chairman the chair shall be taken by a
committee member elected by those present. He or she shall have a second
or casting vote in accordance with paragraph 8xii.
xiv) The Committee shall have the power to
set up standing or short term sub-committees to consider particular
matters. Such sub-committees shall not be delegated decision-making powers
but shall submit recommendations to the Committee for approval. The Terms
of Reference and membership of sub-committees shall be laid down by the
Committee and recorded in the minutes.
i) Founder and Annual Members. A
subscription as shall from time to time be determined at the AGM shall
qualify for one year's membership, the year commencing on 1st April. Those
aged under 18 or over 60 years may be admitted as members at a reduced
subscription. In each case this will entitle the subscriber to a year's
issues of the Coram News. (Founder Members who have not paid the annual
subscription may continue to receive a copy of the Coram News and a notice
of events at the discretion of the Committee).
ii) Life Members and Honorary Members shall receive gratis copies
of the Coram News for life.
i) The capital and income of the
Association shall be applied solely towards the promotion of the
Association's objects as defined in paragraph 3.
ii) Reasonable office and out of pocket expenses incurred by Honorary
Officers and members of the Committee in the execution of the Association
business may be reimbursed by the Association. All claims shall be
delivered to the Honorary Treasurer and shall be supported by receipts.
iii) All transfers of money out of or between Association bank and
building society accounts, and all payments, whether by cheque, direct
debit, standing order or otherwise, shall require the signature of two
officers of the Association. Bank and building society mandates shall be
prepared to reflect this requirement. Any change in bank or building
society mandates shall require the approval of the Committee.
iv) The disposition of any other property of the Association shall
normally require the approval in advance of the Committee. In the event
that it is impracticable to obtain approval in advance, such dispositions
may be made on the joint authority of two officers of the Association,
subject to subsequent ratification by the Committee.
v) The Honorary Treasurer shall be responsible for maintaining the books
of account of the Association, together with appropriate supporting
documents, and shall make them available to the Committee and the Auditor
on request. All bank and building society statements shall be presented
for inspection at each meeting of the Committee when they shall be signed
and dated by the Chairman.
vi) An Auditor to perform an audit of the accounts and report thereon
shall, if possible, be elected at the AGM. Failing this, the
responsibility for appointing the Auditor shall then be delegated to the
Committee. The Auditor shall be a person whom the Committee considers to
have the requisite ability, practical experience and independence to carry
out a competent and objective examination of the accounts.
vii) The audited statement of accounts shall be presented to the Committee
for provisional approval. Copies shall then be circulated to all members
at least four clear weeks in advance of the AGM. The accounts shall be
presented to the AGM for adoption.
11. THE MARJORIBANKS BEQUEST FUND
(In memory of Miss Delia Ashworth MBE)
The capital and income of the
fund shall be applied by the General Committee of the Association through
the Marjoribanks Bequest Fund Committee for the benefit of any past
scholars of the Foundation (who are not required to be members of the
i) The membership of the Fund
Committee shall comprise the Chairman of the General Committee, who shall
be Chairman of the Fund Committee, and the Honorary Treasurer and Honorary
Secretary of the Association. The General Committee shall in addition
elect one member of the Fund Committee at its first meeting following the
AGM of the Association.
ii) The Fund Committee may also co-opt the Director and Secretary of the
Foundation and any other person or persons whose experience it considers
to be relevant to its work, provided that the number of co-opted members
does not exceed three at any one time. Co-opted members shall have voting
iii) The Fund Committee shall have the power to invite any person or
persons they consider would be able to make a useful contribution to a
matter under discussion to be in attendance for all or part of a meeting.
Such persons shall not have voting powers and need not be eligible for
membership of the Association.
Meetings and Decisions
iv) The Fund Committee shall
meet not less than three times during their year of office. In the event
of an urgent decision on the use of funds being necessary, the Chairman
and any two members of the Fund Committee shall be authorised to act on
behalf of the Fund Committee.
v) Three members present, of whom not more than one may be a co-opted
member, shall constitute a quorum.
vi) Decisions shall be by consensus or a simple majority on a show of
hands. In the event of a tied vote, the Chairman shall have a second or
The Honorary Treasurer shall be responsible to the Fund Committee for all
matters of finance. The Fund shall be maintained and audited in accordance
with the rules laid down for the Association's funds.
12. THE LORIMER/WARBY BEQUESTS
The Lorimer/Warby Bequests
shall form an integral part of the funds of the Association but shall be
accounted for in separate sub-accounts.
13. OTHER BEQUESTS AND DONATIONS
Other bequests and donations
which may be received from time to time shall be accounted for and
employed as part of the general funds of the Association unless otherwise
specified by the legator or donor or directed by the AGM.
14. CHANGES TO THE CONSTITUTION
Any proposals for changes to
the Constitution of the Association or the Marjoribanks Bequest Fund shall
be submitted to the Committee for examination prior to being submitted to
the AGM for approval and ratification.