The Old Diocesan Issue5 Mar2020 - Page 85

history. And what did that mean
for the ODU, the value it provided
and the purpose it served?
The strategic planning process
kicked off last year with a broadbased consultation exercise. ODs
completed an online questionnaire,
which asked for input across
various elements of a plan for
the ODU that, if implemented,
would not just maintain but
indeed grow the levels of
interest and engagement
of ODs, wherever they were
in the world. Properly developed,
it would articulate a vision and
purpose that would inform the
goals the Union should meet,
and what needed to be done
to achieve those objectives.
After two rounds of consultation
and a workshop with a wide range
of stakeholders, the OD Union
Strategy 2020-2025 was adopted
by the committee in January.
That strategy is depicted in
the graphic opposite. It starts
with the Vision that “Bishops Is for
Life”. Through an accident of Cape
English, our school, the Diocesan
College, became known as Bishops.
SGM: 15 January
On Wednesday 15 January, a Special
General Meeting was held at the Mitre
to pass two resolutions, both requiring
at least 66% of the vote to effectively
alter the constitution of the Union.
It was a cordial affair lasting an hour
and a half, with 35 ODs in attendance
– rather different to the SGM in the
Mallett Centre last August.
Resolution 1, to amend the
constitution so that all members of
the Union are entitled to participate
in, speak at and vote at its general
meetings, regardless of whether their
membership fee payments are up
to date, was adopted with a vote
of 31 for and 4 against. Resolution 2,
Despite that, the old boys’ union
stuck resolutely and confusingly
with the Old Diocesan Union. In
another world, we would have
probably called ourselves the
Old Bishopsonians…
Thus, the ODU sees itself as an
integral component of the Bishops
community, and this also reflects
in the Purpose, which is “To connect
the worldwide community of ODs
to each other and to Bishops”.
The ODU exists to facilitate and
strengthen these connections.
In order to fulfil our purpose,
we have chosen four objectives
we need to meet (see graphic).
And to meet these objectives,
we need to embark on a series
of initiatives, to be delivered over
the period of the strategy; that
is, not immediately, and not all
at once. These aren’t everything,
but they are the most important.
The question of whether the
ODU should subscribe to a set
of values received a great deal
of attention through the online
questionnaire. It was decided that
the Bishops “aspirations” were not
always relevant to the ODU, so with
to amend the constitution so that all
members of the Union are entitled
to participate in, speak at and vote at
its general meetings, whether by way
of electronic communication, proxy
or postal voting, as opposed to being
present at the meeting, was adopted
with a vote of 31 for and 4 against.
SGM: 12 February
On Wednesday 12 February, a Special
General Meeting was held at the Mitre
to pass a single resolution: that the
constitution be amended so each of
the members of the committee could
be elected by the members at the
Annual General Meeting.
The resolutions that had been
passed on 15 January meant that
every OD around the world who
input from ODs, we identified our
own. The values reflect the more
human side of the ODU, shaping
an association whose members
respect and support one another
and, importantly, the reputation
of the Union and Bishops.
Accepting these as the values
of the ODU, it was also accepted
that it was impractical and
presumptuous to force them
on ODs, but that officers of
the Union could, and should,
subscribe to and live them.
It is hoped that, while the
strategy needs to be delivered
by the ODU for ODs, ODs realise
the ODU exists only for them –
and that this requires a reciprocal
level of commitment. The Mitre,
our physical home (in Cape Town),
can never replace the ethos and
brotherhood of what it is to be
an OD and a member of the ODU.
The key focus, then, is on the
strategy’s vision and purpose.
Nicky Bicket (1973F) is secretary
of the UK branch of the OD Union
and a strategy consultant.
wished to participate in the meeting
would be allowed to. For this to be
implemented, a live stream and an
online vote was used, making this
meeting the first of its kind. A proxy
form was also made available to the
members. The online vote was made
live for four days.
In the end, the combined vote was
239 for and 18 against, with 4 people
abstaining. One member used the
proxy vote system, while 18 used the
ballot system after a swift meeting;
the balance were online votes. The
constitutional amendment has been
approved, so it follows that at the
AGM members will be asked to
vote in support of the election of
the committee member nominees.
– Jeremy Ryall (2014F)

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