Report of 2021 AGM weekend in Southampton

Post date: 11/10/2021

The minutes of the IBMT's 2021 Annual General Meeting are available here.

The IBMT’s 2021 Annual General Meeting took place on Saturday 9 October, as part of a weekend of commemorative, educational and social events.

Proceedings began with a welcome reception and buffet hosted at the offices of Unite the Union in Southampton on Friday evening. Members reconnected at what was the first in-person AGM event in two years.

On Saturday morning, a rededication was held at the memorial to the four International Brigaders from Southampton who fought and died in Spain: Raymond Arthur Cox, Harold Laws, David Haden Guest and Ivor Rae Hickman.

Jacqui Rayment, Sheriff of Southampton, rededicating the city’s International Brigade memorial.

IBMT Trustee Alan Lloyd introduced special guest Jacqui Rayment, Labour councillor and Sheriff of Southampton, who paid tribute to the volunteers from Southampton. Megan Dobney, IBMT Secretary, spoke about the ongoing importance of preserving the anti-fascist legacy of the International Brigades today. 

Southampton’s Red Stars Choir (above) led a recital of ‘Jarama Valley’ and members and local supporters laid wreaths before the memorial.

IBMT Trustee Alan Lloyd delivers talk on Hampshire volunteers.

The rededication was followed by a talk by Alan Lloyd, who presented his research on the 35 International Brigade volunteers from Hampshire.

Over 30 members attended the AGM, which began with a tribute to Manus O’Riordan, Trustee and Ireland Secretary of the IBMT, who died on 26 September 2021. A film honouring Manus and his contributions was screened for the first time to AGM attendees, which can now be viewed here.

The AGM also approved the Executive Committee’s report of activities for the 12 months to October 2021 as well as the financial report for the year, both of which can be found here.

IBMT President Marlene Sidaway presenting Pauline Fraser with gifts upon her retirement from the Executive Committee after 20 years.

Alan Lloyd and Dolores Long were re-elected to the IBMT’s Executive Committee (EC) and James Bentley from Hull was elected for the first time. Pauline Fraser, one of the IBMT’s founding Trustees, stepped down from the EC after serving for 20 years.

The AGM was followed with a talk by Carmen Kilner, of the Basque Children of ‘37 Association, about the arrival of the Habana and the reception and experience of the Basque children arriving in Southampton. 

IBMT members were then invited to a dinner at a local restaurant, where a fundraising quiz and the No Pasarán Raffle draw were held.

Manchester IBMT member Paul Ward presents his anti-fascist Republican flag tattoo.

The weekend concluded with a walking tour of Southampton, with key stops related to the Second World War as well as the site of the plaque commemorating the arrival of Basque refugee children aboard the
Habana (below).

The IBMT's 2021 AGM weekend was able to take place thanks to the generous support of Unite South East Regional Committee, Unite SE6239 Branch, Unite SE6236, RMT National Office and RMT Southampton Shipping Branch.

Posted on 11 October 2021.

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