Prepared by Peter Copsey - Secretary
1. This report covers the period from 1st April 2011 and is presented to the Annual General Meeting on 5th March 2012.
2. Membership. The Association has 46 members as at 5th March 2012, a decrease of eleven from last year.
3. Chauvigny Activities. At a joint twinning meeting in Billericay in May 2010, it had been agreed that twinning visits would take place subsequently every two years; the next event would be a visit to Chauvigny in 2012.
The Chauvignois are presently making plans for this visit which will take place between 4th and 9th May this year. 18 members have put their names down as wishing to visit. Travel by Eurostar and TGV is presently under consideration.
Events arranged by the Chauvigny sub-committee included a tea party at Janet Cosgrove's home and garden on 9th July 2011 and a barn dance at Canon Roche Halls on21 October 2011. Thanks go to Janet and David and Patricia Clark for these events.
On June 4th 2011, members Janet Cosgrove and Margaret Trasler were special guests at the Joint Annual Committee Meeting inTrino,Italy between Trino, Chauvigny and Geisenheim. The Mayor of Trino suggested stronger links between Trino and Billericay either official or unofficial.
The annual Walk of Friendship (La Marche) took place between 20th and 26th August in the valley of the Orbe in the Jura. Six members of the Association took part.
4. Fishers Activities. The student exchange with Fishers continues to be a regular event thanks to the generosity of the Twinning Association of Fishers and the efforts of Marion Wilson.
One teacher and four students from Fishers visited Billericay from 12th to 19th July. The itinerary was similar to the visit in 2010. Time was spent at the two Billericay Schools. A river trip from Paper Mill Lock was included followed by an English Afternoon Tea at the Reading Rooms. On 15th July, the day was spent in London taking in the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace and a river trip to the Tower of London. The hosts entertained our visitors with various excursions at the weekend. 18th July included an enjoyable evening at the Cock in Stock before our visitors left the next day.
The return visit took place between 27th September and 4th October. Two teachers, four students and Marion Wilson visited Fishers. The first day included a tour of the town taking in the Town Hall, Police department and the fire station followed by visits to Billericay Park and Conner Prairie. Days were spent at the two High Schools in Fishers where the visitors experienced the teaching methods and magnificent well-kept facilities. The weekend was spent at the Renaissance Faire, which celebrates the connections between Billericay and Fishers and is partly set in 16th century Billericay. On Monday 3rd October the party visitedIndianapolis taking in the Indy racetrack and other spectacles of the city. The day finished with a grand dinner attended by those with a present or past association with Billericay before the party returned theEngland on the next day.
5. Fund-raising. Considerable effort has been put in by various members in fund-raising for the Association; their contributions are gratefully acknowledged.
Table sales took place in Billericay High Street on 28th May and 15th October. Thanks go to Marion Wilson and Rod and Sue Rapley for the arrangements and manning.
John Baron's Fun Walk took place on 22nd May in which several members of the Association took part. Thanks go to all of our walkers and their sponsors.
The main money-raising event on the Chauvigny calendar was the annual Quiz Night. This took place at the Canon Roche Main Hall on 21st January. Ray Keilty was the quizmaster as usual and the event was very well attended with nearly 150 guests. Thanks go to Ray and David and Patricia Clark for the success of the evening.
6. Publicity. The Association has been mentioned in The Resident, the Town Crier, and the Gazette as a result of our activities.
The Association Newsletter Issues 15 and 16 were sent to all members in September 2011 and January 2012 respectively.
The Association's brochure (including application form) is available to the public from time to time in the Library.
An article about the Association is included in the latest Town Guide.
The web-site is regularly updated with thanks to Rod Rapley.
The Association supported theMayflowerHigh Schoolby sponsoring prizes for the annual Prize Giving Evenings. Marion Wilson represented the Association at the prize-giving and handed out the sponsored prizes for French.
A recruitment table was set up in Billericay Library on 8th October. There were a few enquiries but generally it was not very successful. Thanks go to Terry Gandy and David Clark for their efforts.
7. Other Matters. Relationships with Billericay Mayflower Twinning Association (BMTA) remain satisfactory with exchanges in information taking place regularly.
Peter Copsey 5th March 2012