Friday, September 5, 2008

What's an AGM?

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George Beley's bookplate designed by Gordon R. Macpherson
The Royal Heraldry Society of Canada's Annual Conference and General Meeting has been a long-time Society tradition. This year it is holding its 42nd Conference, hosted by its Laurentian (Montreal) Branch in Montreal, scheduled to run from Friday, October 3 to Sunday, October 5. The Annual General Meeting (AGM) portion of the weekend is to be held on the Saturday morning, but the entire weekend is referred to as a conference, since it provides numerous unique opportunities for members and non-members to gather and discuss, argue, learn and promote the subject of heraldry, and to re-affirm long-time friendships and acquaintances.

Friday evening is highlighted with the Beley Lecture, so named as a tribute and a memorial to George Beley, the Society's second President, an enthusiastic heraldist and energetic supporter of the Society. This lecture is designed to be an interesting, anecdotal, and sometimes irreverent look at heraldry for the amusement and entertainment of the attenders. Examples include a look at heraldic "critters and monsters" by Society member, Dr. Darren George, delivered at the 39th AGM in Edmonton, and an informative lecture by Dr. Claire Boudreau, Chief Herald of Canada, on her vision for the Canadian Heraldic Authority, presented at the 41st AGM in Victoria.

The AGM weekend has something for everyone, including fascinating tours and excursions in the local area of the Conference. These have included a visit to the Parliament Buildings during the Ottawa AGM, one to the Alberta Legislature during the Conference hosted by Edmonton, and the winery tour organized during the 38th AGM hosted by the Toronto Branch in Hamilton.

The highlight of the Conference is the gala reception and dinner, scheduled for the Saturday evening. This black-tie banquet is an elaborate event, with the banners of Society members on display, miniatures worn by those in attendance, and an atmosphere with a combined sense of history, formality and casual conversation. Venues for previous formal dinners have included Government House in Victoria, the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton and the Rideau Club in Ottawa. Special guests are the norm, and have included Fergus Gillespie, Chief Herald of Ireland, Henry Paston-Bedingfeld, York Herald, and Elizabeth Roads, Lyon Clerk. This year's AGM will feature as a special guest Kevin MacLeod, Usher of the Black Rod, and one-time acting Canadian secretary to H.M. the Queen.

For more details and/or registration info, please contact:
Peter Hogan
President Laurentian Branch
10928 Henault
Montreal QC, H1G 5S2

Tel: (514) 321-7475.
email: agm@heraldryca

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