WESPA Biennial General Meeting 2011

9 p.m. Friday 14th October 2011
Ballroom, Hilton Hotel, Warsaw

  1. As Elie Dangoor was unable to be present, Cheah SH assumed the Chair and called the meeting to order at 9 p.m.
  2. RESOLVED that the Audited Accounts and the Treasurer's report for the Financial Years 2009 and 2010 be adopted.
  3. RESOLVED that the Minutes of the 2009 Biennial General Meeting be adopted.
  4. At the request of the Acting Chair, the report of Chairman Elie Dangoor was read out to the meeting by Allan Simmons, and is reproduced below:

    The period since the last BGM in 2009 has been one of consolidation. We are grateful for the continued support of our member nations, which we don't take for granted. Currently, we have about US$8,900 in our bank account and Paypal account. We are open to suggestions as how best to use these funds. We made a contribution to Zyzzyva and perhaps could help fund other projects that improve our facilities.
    I am grateful to my committee for their support throughout the year, especially Cheah Siu Hean who as Secretary is responsible for member communications and Andrew Fisher, our Treasurer. Our long time auditor, Naween Fernando has stepped down, and we welcome Mpakaboari Jack in his stead. Many thanks to Naween for his services. Howard Warner, as Chair of Promotions has done a great job in getting our new website up and running, along with his committee and our new webmaster, Craig Beevers, who continues to do a sterling job on the website! I take this opportunity to thank our outgoing webmaster, Llewellin Jegels, for his long service. Unfortunately, Howard is stepping down from the WESPA Committee and Promotions, and we are looking for someone to fulfil that role, so please let us know if anyone is willing and able to help with Promotions.
    WESPA Rules v2 has been produced and is now in operation in most countries. I am very grateful to Chris May and the Rules Committee for their efforts in producing this. 1 January 2012 will see the introduction of the new WESPA wordlist, which although published in 2011, is generally referred to as CSW12, being the year of introduction. I am grateful to Darryl Francis and his Dictionary Committee for getting this completed successfully, on time.
    Karen Richards continues to do wonderful things in promoting Youth Scrabble with her coaching clinics and the annual World Youth Championships, being held again this year in Johor Bahru.
    Our biggest challenge is improving our rating system, and Edward Okulicz has worked hard with his Ratings Committee to come up with some recommendations which we hope will be implemented on 1st January 2012. To this end we have now merged the Ratings Committee with our Tournament Committee, to form the Tournament and Ratings Committee, which is being chaired by Chief Toke Aka, and is tasked to recommend the framework in which the new rating system will work. Another of Edward's achievements has been to get the Aardvark historical rating tool up and running on our website, so we can all check historical rating data.
    We welcome the growth of CSW play in North America, and look forward to the day when we all play to the same dictionary. I am grateful to Sam Kantimathi and Tony Leah for the support they have shown in this regard.
    We are sad that this year will see the last Causeway for the foreseeable future, run by outgoing WESPA Committee member, Michael Tang, but hope that it will be successful enough for him to reconsider his decision before long!
    Last but not least, WESPA is a voluntary organisation, and we will only be as good as the people who serve it. So please don't take our work for granted and come forward with your offers of help!

  5. RESOLVED that the Report of the Chairman for 2009-2011 be adopted.
  6. No Matters Arising from the previous meeting were raised.
  7. Chairman advised that at the close of nominations there had been only 8 nominations for the 11 places on the Committee and the nominees would therefore be elected unopposed.
  8. RESOLVED that Elie Dangoor, Cheah Siu Hean, Andrew Fisher, Toke Aka, Sam Kantimathi, Tony Leah, Karen Richards and Yeo Kien Hung were elected to the Committee unopposed.
  9. Outgoing committee member Howard Warner recommended that the newly elected Committee consider appointing Evan Cohen to a vacant Committee position as provided for in the Constitution.
  10. Cheah SH reported that handover of audit duties from Naween Fernando to Mpakaboari Jack had already taken place smoothly earlier in 2011.
  11. RESOLVED that Mpakaboari Jack be appointed honorary Auditor of WESPA for 2011 and 2012.
  12. There being no other business, Chairman opened the meeting to discussion from the floor.
  13. Allan Simmons, WESPA's founding chairman, noted that WESPA had since inception gained acceptance as the international Scrabble players' body.
  14. Patrick Gitonga Nderitu raised the issue of imported words in the word lists, and this was noted by the meeting. Cheah SH pointed out that these were issues more suitable for the Dictionary subcommittee, who would welcome feedback.
  15. Cheah SH advised the meeting that, thanks to the kindness of WSC players, members of the Polish federation, and Mattel staff, a WSC player who had found himself in Warsaw without funds due to a mishap had been supplied with sufficient funds for the duration of his stay. This reflected well on the generosity of the Scrabble community.
  16. Philip Nelkon noted Patrick G Nderitu's recommendation of Africa as being a potential venue for a future WSC. Philip reminded meeting that Mattel's aim in organising the WSC was sales promotion, and suggested that WESPA could promote or facilitate an international tournament in non-WSC years.
  17. As Howard Warner was stepping down from the Committee after setting up a Promotions subcommittee, which also oversaw the WESPA website, suggestions were invited for a successor and other members of the subcommittee. Names put forward at that point were Nick Ball (by Howard) and Cornelia Guest (by Henry Yeo).
  18. Cheah SH mentioned current discussions within the Tournaments & Ratings subcommittee on rating of domestic tournaments and the rating status of computer programs. John Chew expressed the opinion that WESPA might consider rating any tournament that applied and paid the ratings levy.
  19. Herve Bohbot remarked briefly on the international mind sports body and Andrew Fisher noted that the proposed International Mind Sports Association (IMSA) had not been enthusiastic over the inclusion of Scrabble.
  20. There being no further business, the Chair declared the meeting closed at 9.45 p.m.
Henry Yeo KH, Minutes

Approved by Cheah SH, Acting Chairman.

Howard Warner (NZL)
Evan Cohen (ISR)
Omri Rosencrantz (ISR)
David Delicata (MLT)
Joshua Otieno Manase (KEN)
Patrick Litunya (KEN)
Patrick Gitonga Nderitu (KEN)
Philip Nelkon (Mattel)
Cheah Siu Hean (SGP)
Yeo Kian Hung (MYS)
Andrew Fisher (AU)
Allan Simmons (SCO)
Karen Richards (AUS)
John Chew (CAN)
Ben Berger (GER)
Herve Bohbot (FRA)
Taral Guldahl Seierstad (NOR)