Constitution of the Gaelic Society of Inverness
The Society shall be called THE GAELIC SOCIETY OF INVERNESS.
To cultivate the language, poetry and music of the Scottish Highlands; to rescue from oblivion Celtic poetry, traditions, legends, books and manuscripts; to acquire books, manuscripts and other papers, in whatever language, bearing upon the literature, the history, the antiquities and the material interests of the Highlands and Highland people; to vindicate the rights and character of the Gaelic people; and generally to further the interests of the Scottish Gaelic people whether in Scotland or elsewhere.
Membership of the Society shall be open to all persons who take a lively interest in the objects of the Society. There shall be two classes of Member: Ordinary Members and Life Members. The Society may appoint from time to time a number, not to exceed seven, of Honorary Chieftains.
IV. The Council
- The management of the affairs of the Society shall be entrusted to a Council which shall consist of a Chief, three Chieftains, an Honorary Secretary, an Honorary Treasurer and five other Members of the Society. The Chief shall hold office for the calendar year and shall be appointed by the Council. Five Members of the Council shall constitute a quorum.
- The Council shall have power to appoint such Committees as it may from time to time decide and may determine the powers and terms of reference of such Committees.
- The Council shall have power to enact Bye-Laws to regulate and control the conduct of the Society’s affairs, including Bye-Laws providing for the admission of Members, termination of membership, rates of subscription, the election and retiral of Office Bearers, the conduct of Meetings both of the Society and of the Council, including Annual General Meetings and Extraordinary General Meetings of the Society, and for the giving of notice of all meetings and regulating the voting of such meetings; provided always that such Bye-Laws shall be subject to the provisions of this Constitution and the Council shall not have the power to alter the terms of the Constitution with such Bye-Laws and that no such Bye-Laws shall be enacted or altered or modified without the approval of at least six members of the Council.
V. Syllabus and Meetings
The Council shall be responsible for the preparation of a suitable Syllabus of papers and lectures in Gaelic or English to be delivered at meetings of the Society and for publishing such lectures and papers as they see fit. All papers and lectures shall be prepared and all discussions carried on with an honest, earnest and resolute desire for the truth and all proceedings shall be conducted in a pure and gentle spirit and in accordance with the Bye-Laws laid down by the Council. The Honorary Secretary, whom failing a person appointed at any meeting of the Council or the Society shall record the Minutes of the meeting and such Minutes shall be maintained by the Honorary Secretary.
VI. Annual General Meeting
The Society shall hold an Annual General Meeting on a date after 31st January in each calendar year and at a place to be fixed by the Council. At the Annual General Meeting the Council shall submit for the approval of Members a Report on the affairs of the Society and a certified Statement of Accounts for the financial year preceding, prepared by a chartered accountant; and there shall be elected the Office Bearers of the Society, together with a Bard, a Piper and a Librarian. For the purpose of the Annual General Meeting five Members shall constitute a quorum.
VII. Financial Matters
The Society’s financial year shall end on 31st January in each year and the Treasurer shall submit his or her Accounts to a Chartered Accountant nominated by the Council as soon as possible after that date.
The Council shall have full power to invest and otherwise deal with the Society’s funds in any manner they deem appropriate having regard to the objects of the Society.
All funds or other investments shall be banked, invested or otherwise held in the name of the Society, or of Trustees appointed by the Council. The Council shall make provision in the Bye-Laws for the procedures for drawing cheques or orders, withdrawing sums from the Bank, for the endorsement of cheques or orders and for the signature of any other document, deed or other writing for or on behalf of the Society. Without prejudice to the foregoing the Council shall have the power to authorise any bank or other recognised and reputable financial intermediary to manage the Society’s investments on a discretionary basis.
VIII. Alterations to the Constitution
The Constitution may only be altered or amended by a resolution carried by a majority of two-thirds of the Members of the Society either voting in person, or by proxy at the Annual General Meeting. The proposed alteration or amendment must be intimated to the Council in writing by notice signed by ten Members of the Society not less than eight weeks before the Annual General Meeting. Notice of the proposed alteration or amendment must be given to each Member not less than four weeks before the meeting. Absent Members may vote by proxy.
If the Council by a two-thirds majority decide at any time that on the ground of expense or for any other reason it is necessary or advisable to dissolve the Society it shall call an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Members of the Society who have the power to vote, of which Meeting not less than twenty-eight days notice shall be given to Members and advertised in a newspaper circulating in the Inverness district. If such a decision shall be confirmed by a two-thirds majority of those voting (whether in person or by proxy) at such a Meeting the Council shall have the power to dispose of any assets held by or in the name of the Society. Any assets remaining after satisfaction of the liabilities of the Society shall be disposed of only to further the educational objectives which the founders of the Society endorsed. For this purpose the educational objectives shall be in order of priority:
- to perfect the use of the Gaelic language in the Gaelic speaking districts of the Highlands through the teaching of Gaelic; and,
- to promote a wider awareness of Celtic culture, history and traditions both within the Highland area and further afield.