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Royal Naval Writers Association

Formed in 1887 - The Oldest Military Association

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The Rules of the Royal Naval Writers’ Association

The Constitution and Rules of the Royal Naval Writers’ Association  as agreed October 2023.

1. Name of the Association

The Association is to be known as the “Royal Naval Writers’ Association” abbreviated and commonly referred to as the “RNWA”.

2. Definition of the term 'Writer

The word “Writer” used in these rules shall be deemed to include all ratings of the Writer Subbranch and Officers promoted therefrom, whether serving or not.  It will also be deemed to include all Logisticians (Writer) and any future title that the Ministry of Defence decides is relevant for the subbranch, it will also include those that were Logisticians (Personnel).

3. Objectives of the Association
    1. a. To encourage members to unite their energies for the welfare of Writers generally.
      b. To promote friendly and social intercourse amongst Writers of the Royal Navy, Commonwealth Navies, and their respective Reserves.
      c. To afford opportunities for the discussion of interesting topics.
      d. To encourage exemplary conduct amongst Writers and infuse zealous application of their duties so that the Writer Branch shall thereby merit the approbation and respect of all.

4. Membership
    1. a. Writers entering the Association will be known as “Members” of the Association.

      b. After 50 (fifty) years paid up membership (not necessarily continuous) a member shall be eligible for election to Life Membership at a subsequent meeting of the Association and presentation of a celebratory certificate.

      c. All serving RN/RNR personnel and former members of the Royal Navy/Royal Naval Reserve Writers Branch as defined in (2) above shall be eligible for membership.

      d. A Writer shall be deemed to be elected as a Member of the Association after having been duly proposed and accepted at a meeting of the Association.

      e. A member ceasing membership shall be eligible for re-election.

      f. Where the committee considers that an individual warrants membership but is not a “Writer” as defined in paragraph 2 they may elect that individual to honorary membership with no membership subscriptions due.

      g. Where members contribute outstanding individual service for the benefit of the Association, subject to a majority vote by the committee, they may be awarded honorary Life Membership and cease paying subscriptions or continue to pay subscriptions towards Life Membership if they so desire.

5. Subscription
    1. An annual subscription, as decided by the Committee, is payable as follows:
      a. On joining when a sum equal to at least twice the annual subscription is to be forwarded with the enrolment form.
      b. Annually in advance of the renewal date due on the anniversary month of joining or election to the Association.
      c. Life Members and Honorary Life Members are not required to pay subscriptions.

      d. If subscriptions fall one (1) year in arrears Rule 6 will apply.

      e. Subscriptions, either by cheque or bank transfer, are to be paid to the Membership Secretary and should be accompanied by a Membership Card where practicable, together with a stamped self-addressed envelope for its return.

6. Removal of Membership

a. The name of any member who contravenes the Rules or objectives of the Association may be brought before a Committee Meeting for consideration as to whether they should be removed from membership. The effective date of removal is to be recorded in the minutes.
b. Any member who following reminders at
(i) renewal date
(ii) three (3) months thereafter and
(iii) Six (6) months thereafter when all correspondence will cease
and falls a year behind with their subscriptions will be lapsed at the January meeting following the one (1) year in arrears period and their name transferred to the lapsed section of the website members list.

7. Management and Dissolution

a. Management of the Association shall be vested in a Committee consisting of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Membership Secretary (or combined role) and Treasurer, and at least Four (4) Committee Members.
b. If a state of emergency arises which makes it impossible for the affairs of the Association to be conducted in the normal manner the administration of the Association shall be entrusted to the:

(i) President.
(ii) Vice President
(iii) Secretary
(iv) Treasurer

c. In the absence of the President, the Vice President will deputise and in times of any emergencies will be entrusted with the administration of the Association.

d. The Association may be dissolved by a resolution passed by two thirds majority of members (in person or by proxy) and voting at an extraordinary general meeting convened for the purpose of which Two (2) clear weeks’ notice shall have been given to Members. Such resolution shall give instructions for the disposal of any assets held by the Association after the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities and shall not be paid to or distributed among the members but shall be given or transferred to such other organisations or charities having similar objectives to the Association as Members may determine.

8. Headquarters

Portsmouth area is to be the Headquarters of the Association. A Branch or Corresponding Representative shall be instituted should the need arise.

9. Election of Officials
    1. Volunteers for the positions of President, Vice President, Secretary, Membership Secretary, Treasurer and 4 committee members (minimum) shall be called for in the August Newsletter to allow members who so wish to forward their names to be published on the website and recorded on the agenda for the Annual General Meeting.
10. General Meetings

a. Committee meetings shall take place at a time, periodicity and place as decided by the Committee currently online commencing 1930 on the third Thursday of alternate months commencing January.
b. Should it be necessary at any time to hold an extraordinary meeting, the Secretary will contact members with details.
c. Three (3) officials plus one (1) Committee member constitute a quorum.
d. Only officials and committee members can vote at committee meetings.

11. Minutes of the Meetings

a. A record of all Meetings shall be kept and placed in the appropriate section of the website.
b. Minutes shall be agreed by the President prior to issue and placement by the Secretary.

12. Order of Business at Meetings

The order of conducting business at meetings shall be as follows:
a. Deceased members
b. To read and accept the minutes of the previous meeting,
c. Matters arising from previous meeting.
e. Election of new members.
f. Financial Statement
g. Motions
h. Any other business.

13. Annual General Meeting
    1. a. The Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held prior to the Annual Reunion Dinner each year.
      b. Any motions are to be submitted to the Committee at least 14 days before the meeting.
      c. An agenda, like one used at an ordinary Committee meeting with the exception of any other business will be published at least 14 days before the AGM.
      4. All members have voting rights either in person or by proxy/post at the AGM.

14. Duties of the President/Vice President
    1. a. To be acquainted with the business of the Association and to ensure that such business is not contrary to the rules and objectives of the Association.
      b. To correspond with Members, individuals, firms, associations, public bodies etc on subjects considered by the membership of the Association to be in its (the Association’s) interests.
      c. To chair all meetings.
      d. In the event of equal voting the President shall have in addition, a casting vote.
      e. In the event of an unavoidable absence of the President, the Vice president shall assume all the duties of the President listed in clauses a to d above.

15. Duties of the Secretary
    1. a. To attend all meetings.
      b. To conduct the general correspondence of the association.
      c. To record the minutes of all meetings.
      d. To prepare Newsletters and Directories for distribution to all members of the association.
      e. To pay the Treasurer all monies received.
      f. To give a minimum of one month’s notice of intention to resign the office of Secretary.
      g. To organise the Annual Draw in accordance with paragraph 28 below.

16. Duties of the Membership Secretary
    1. a. Maintain a database of all serving and non-serving members of the Association.
      b. Provide the secretary with details of new joiners for acceptance in the Association.
      c. Despatch new members joining instructions.
      d. Compile the RN Writers’ Association Directory in accordance with Rule 25.
      e. To pay into the Association’s bank account all monies received.
      f. To inform the Treasurer of the composition and amount of each deposit.
      g. To inform members of subscription renewal dates, remind them after three (3) and six (6) months.
      h. In January each year place on the website the names and dates that membership renewals fall due in the next 12 months.
      i. Inform the committee at the January meeting of those members who have fallen one (1) year in arrears at the previous January so they can be lapsed, their names recorded in the minutes and the website updated.

17. Duties of the Treasurer
    1. a. To receive monies payable to the Association, duly accounting for all such receipts in accordance with accounting procedures laid down and liaise with the Membership Secretary regarding monies paid into the account by him/her.
      b. To pay all monies received into the authorised account of the Association retaining sufficient petty cash to make local sundry payments.
      c. To settle all authorised accounts and payments due from Association funds and account for same.
      d. To produce all accounting records of the Association for the annual examination or as required by the Committee.

18. Accounting Procedure

The Treasurer shall maintain the following using a manual or a recognised software package:
a. A complete record of all receipts and expenditure and to close this record on the last day of every month.
b. Present the accounts for examination to be carried out annually as soon as possible after the 31st of December.

19. Banking Accounts

The Bankers of the Association shall be decided by the Committee currently Lloyds online business account.

20. Authorisation to Sign on Banking Accounts
    1. a. All cheques and bank withdrawal orders drawn on accounts in the name of the Royal Naval Writers’ Association shall be prepared and signed by the
      Treasurer and countersigned by another official as decided in accordance with the Bank’s protocol. Two officials, in addition to the Treasurer are to be appointed for this function. The specimen signatures of these officials shall be lodged with the bank.
      b. Online payments/transfers are to be processed online using the bank’s online account functions.
      c. The Treasurer is to inform one of the officials mentioned in (a) above when payments/transfers require authorisation. That official should then log into the online account and check the payment/transfer and authorise or reject as necessary.
      d. In all cases the official countersigning cheques or authorising online payments must not be the recipient of the cheque or payment/transfer.
      e. On supersession of any of the named officials, the consequent changes in signatories/online authorisers shall be notified in accordance with the requirements of the bank concerned.

21. Salary of the Secretary & Membership Secretary

The salary, payable quarterly in arrears, of the Secretary and Membership Secretary shall be decided by the committee.

22. Donation on Death of Members

A donation of a sum, to be decided by the Committee, may be made as specified by the deceased family.

23. Payment of Expenses

Reasonable expenses incurred by Officials and members on official business of the Association will be paid from Association funds. An advance may be made for this purpose.

24.Alteration of Rules

The method of effecting alterations to the Rules of the Association shall be by proposal of an individual member and the procedure to be followed is set out as follows:
a. The member shall make a proposal in writing and forward it to the Secretary for discussion at the next meeting.
b. The meeting shall fully discuss the proposal on the agenda and a vote taken.
c. A summary of discussions and votes recorded for and against are to be totalled and recorded in the relevant minutes. The majority shall be the decision of the Committee and this approved change shall be forwarded for inclusion on the agenda of the next AGM. Should the amendment be ratified at the AGM the amendment shall be deemed to be effective from the date of approval by the AGM and recorded in the minutes.

25. Directory

a. The Directory shall be printed every 5 years containing the names of all members of the Association to include their full names, addresses, telephone number and forwarded to each member for their sole use.
b. Details are not to be shared with a third party in accordance with General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) unless an individual’s permission has been obtained.

26. Newsletter

A summary of items of interest shall be communicated in a newsletter issued quarterly in order that members unable to attend meetings or view the Association’s website may be kept acquainted with the proceedings of the Association. The Newsletter shall contain the financial statement.

27, Royal Naval Writers’ Association Trophy.

An award is to be made annually to the “Writer Branch Trainee of the Year” the purpose of which is to project a spirit of friendly rivalry and a sense of comradeship within the Writer Branch.
a. The Trophy was commissioned by the RNWA in 1987 and presented to the Royal Naval Supply School at HMS RALEIGH in May 1988. It is now held by the Defence College of Logistics, Policing and Administration (DCLPA) situated at Worthy Down, on permanent display except for presentation purposes The recipient of the award will be selected solely by the staff of the DCLPA and the Association notified accordingly.
b. The award is to cover all classes of Writer trainees, and all aspects of new entry phase 2 writer training.
c. A gift voucher, from the Association, the value of which will be decided by the Committee will be presented to the recipient of the trophy at the annual awards ceremony.
d. The Association shall invite the recipient of the award plus one other to attend the Annual Reunion Dinner as complimentary guest of the Association.
e. A representative of the Association is to present the Trophy and Gift Voucher at the Annual Awards Ceremony held in DCLPA.
f. There is no requirement for the recipient of the award to be a member of the Association.
g. Two years free membership of the Association will be offered to the recipient.
h. In the event the recipient of the award is unable to attend the awards ceremony in DCLPA but can attend the Annual Reunion Dinner then the Guest of Honour will be asked to present the Gift voucher at the dinner. If the recipient is unable to attend either the Award Ceremony or the Reunion Dinner, then alternative arrangement will be made for the presentation.

28. Annual Draw

An Annual Draw is to be conducted with proper provision for printing of tickets and registration under current Small Lotteries legislation. The aim is for both the maximum participation by and possible return for all members.
a. The Secretary shall be responsible for organising the Draw in conjunction with officials and Committee members.
b. The prizes are to be agreed by the Committee according to income and in accordance with current legislation.
c. The Draw is to be registered with the local council and returns made as required.
d. Tickets may be sold to non-members in accordance with current legislation.

29. Annual Reunion Dinner

a. The Association will hold an Annual Reunion dinner on the 2nd Friday in October.
b. The dinner should normally be held at the home of the RNWA namely Portsmouth, but the Committee may decide, after taking into consideration the importance of the anniversary, availability of a particular Guest of Honour, feedback from members, travel etc, to opt for a different venue.
c. The Writer of the Year plus partner/friend will be invited to attend as part of the Writer of the Year Award and together with Guest(s) of Honour will be hosted by the Association.
d. The Committee, or a subcommittee delegated to organise the dinner, will also be responsible for the selection of the menu, wines and endeavour to obtain the best possible deal for members.