In an historic change to the operating status of the Society, it has now incorporated as a public company limited by guarantee.

Here is some background.

From its foundation in 1933 to now, the Society was unincorporated and without a formal Constitution.  In fact, its most recent governance document was just four and half pages long and no longer met the basic requirements of running a Society, even one as relatively uncomplicated as ours, in today’s world.

The decision to incorporate as a public company limited by guarantee was taken by the Society’s governing body, the National Executive Committee. Bringing this to fruition and developing a constitution that suited the basically informal way the Society works involved successive National Presidents, Branch Presidents some other NEC members and was guided by the expert (pro bono) advice of Robert Reeve.

You can find a (downloadable/printable) PDF of the National and State Branch constitution in the FILES folder on our Cinema Pioneers FACEBOOK sites (and in time will be loaded onto this web page too). I recommend you take the time to read through them. If you know members without access to a computer, please suggest they visit a local library and request assistance or they ask a friend or relative to use their computer to show them.

Amongst the benefits resulting from the change is that the Society is now able to take out Association Insurance which removes the risk of individual liability from Directors and from all Society members.

The end of the financial year of the Society will become 30 June and there is a requirement for a members Annual General Meeting which must be held within five months of the end of the financial year.

For the time being at least, this meeting will be in Sydney on date in November which will allow for it to be coordinated with the Society’s founding Anniversary Dinner and a National Executive Committee meeting.

Notice of the date and place of the members Annual General Meeting will be sent to all members at least 21 days before it occurs, together with details about how members not able to be present at the meeting can participate.

Now to finish with a bit of history –

On Wednesday 29 November 1933 at 7pm, 68 men who had been 20 years or more in the motion picture business sat down at Tattersall’s Club in Castlereagh Street, Sydney for the first meeting and dinner of what was then called ‘The Old Timers Club’.

Eighty five years later, on Wednesday 14 November 2018, 175 men and women, now known as Cinema Pioneers and their guests sat down to dinner at the Swissotel, Market Street, Sydney.

The Old Timer’s Club with a membership of 68 is now The Society of Australian Cinema Pioneers with a membership throughout Australia of over 2,600 who meet regularly for social occasions.

The 68 Old Timers who attended the first dinner in November 1933 paid One Guinea each (21 shillings in the old money).

The 175 members and guests attending in November 2018 paid $65 each, a figure made possible by generous donations from industry companies and individuals.  However, based on Reserve Bank of Australia calculations, members and guests would have paid $104.57 if the annual average inflation rate of 4.8% since 1933 had been applied.

A word of warning, the $65 figure will probably have to rise somewhat next year.  It will still be great value.

The Website and Facebook pages

If you are reading this, or looking at one of Facebook pages, I hope you like the result.  The idea of course is to improve communication for all members of the Society wherever they live. Information about all the Society’s events will be readily accessible and members will be able to suggest, plan, organise and confirm local area meetings of their own if they wish.

As well, articles of interest including profiles of members can be easily published along with photographs and other documents.

A big vote of thanks goes to former Victorian President and Society Webmaster Kevin Adams and his colleague Matthew Nock who have put all this together.

Kevin has written an article about how to make best use of the new Website and Facebook page(s) and I urge you to read it.  Most importantly, please make use of these resources to keep yourself informed about Society activities generally and in your area and get in touch with former colleagues to arrange get togethers.  If you are a Facebook user, you can find the links to our National or State Branch groups here. (The general public may join our National Facebook group, however our State Branch groups are only open to actual members of the Society).

Important information about Membership Eligibility and Application Advice

If you are considering applying to become a Member of the Society please go to the Membership page of this website.

Click on Membership and you will find listed the BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP and WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR MEMBERSHIP which details the eligibility criteria that must be met in order to become one.  Underneath that, it is strongly advised that the BACKGROUND NOTES FOR MEMBERSHIP APPLICATIONS be read by you and your two Pioneer nominators.

Then click on the Membership heading and you will see a sub heading “Becoming a member”.  Clicking that takes you to a page where the Application form can be downloaded.

Wrapping up

The important information about the Society’s incorporation and the Constitution will be sent to all members via their email or postal addresses in the New Year.

Please remember that the Society is run on a voluntary basis and needs members in every State helping to organise events and serve on Branch committees.  Your help in this regard is not only welcome but necessary.

Finally, from me: please encourage any friends who could be members to become members. And, please check your correct email address is on the Society’s database.

Happy Pioneering,

Tim Read

National President.