Report of the 2022 AGM weekend

Post date: 18/10/2022

Photo credits: Rob Macdonald and Rob Hargreaves.

The IBMT’s 2022 Annual General Meeting took place on Saturday 15 October, as part of a weekend of commemorative, educational and social events.

Welcome reception held at Unison North West offices.

Proceedings began with a welcome reception and buffet hosted at the offices of Unison North West in Manchester. Attendees enjoyed food, drink, welcome speeches and songs in tribute to the International Brigades.

Begoña del Castillo (right), International Secretary of the Spanish trade union confederation CCOO. She was introduced by Tracy Delaney (left), Unison North West International Chair.

Saturday morning began with a talk by Begoña del Castillo of the Spanish trade union confederation Comisiones Obreras (CCOO). She spoke about the Spanish Civil War in historical memory and its relationship with the current political and social situation in Spain. 

Mike Wild, Tony Fox and Michael Crowley.
IBMT member Kate Armstrong holding a tablet depicting a portrait of her great uncle, Manchester volunteer Alec Armstrong.

This was followed by a talk delivered by IBMT members and activists Mike Wild, Tony Fox and Michael Crowley. They spoke about the anti-fascist history of Manchester’s Cheetham Hill and the activities of the communities’ Young Communist League (YCL) in the 1930s. The talk covered the involvement of members of Cheetham Hill YCL from the Kinder mass trespass, through resistance to Oswald Mosley’s fascist blackshirts and onto the Spanish Civil War when many enlisted as International Brigaders.

Lord Mayor of Manchester Councillor Donna Ludford, opens the AGM.

The Annual General Meeting followed, which opened with a formal introduction by the Lord Mayor of Manchester Councillor Donna Ludford. MP for Rochdale Tony Lloyd, previously MP for Manchester Central and a strong supporter of the IBMT in the past, was also in attendance and spoke words in support of the International Brigades' memory and the IBMT's cause.

From left: Jim Jump (IBMT Chair), Stuart Walsh (IBMT activist), Donna Ludford (Lord Mayor of Manchester) and Sean McHale (Councillor and Lord Mayor's Consort) holding a replica of the International Brigade's Mayor Attlee Company flag.

Over 40 members were in attendance as the meeting approved the Executive Committee’s report of activities for the past 12 months as well as the financial report for the year and finally listened to a membership strategy report which then opened into a discussion about financing the future of the IBMT.

Elections: Mike Arnott, Megan Dobney, Jim Jump and David McKnight were re-elected to the IBMT’s Executive Committee (EC) and Luke O’Riordan was elected for the first time.

Edward Upward and band perform at post-AGM social.

The AGM was followed with a film about the return of the British Battalion prepared by Marshall Mateer, IBMT Film Coordinator. Members then enjoyed a pizza buffet dinner and a musical performance by Edward Upward and his band, who played modernised renditions of Spanish Civil War-themed songs. The evening concluded with a quiz and the draw of the IBMT's online raffle (winners and prizes listed here).

Attendees pore over International Brigade records at the People's History Museum.

The weekend concluded on Sunday 16 October with a guided tour and showcase of the archival objects and records on the International Brigade and Spanish Civil War archives held at Manchester’s People’s History Museum.

Posted on 18 October 2022.

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