Our constitution



(Founded 1961 by A W Stacey as Rotary President's project for year in office.)

The name of the Society shall be "Ryde District Historical Society Inc." hereafter called "the Society".  


The objects of the Society shall be to:

a.     Promote and encourage the study of the history of the Ryde District.
b.     Publicise the facts of local history to all age groups of the community.
c.     Collect and preserve matter relating to the history of the area.
d.     Arrange means of identification of places of historic interest.
e.     Compile a continuing record of past and current significant structures and events in the district.
f.    Promote heritage values and the preservation of heritage items within the Ryde district.
g.    Promote social activities amongst the members consistent with the pursuit of interest in history.
h.    Co-operate with similar societies throughout Australia and to maintain affiliation with the Royal Australian Historical Society.
i.     Publish when practicable, an official organ known as The Ryde Recorder which shall meet the requirements of Australia Post, for transmission by post as a registered publication.  


a.     Ordinary membership - this shall be open to persons sixteen years of age and over on payment of the annual subscription which may be set on the basis of individual membership, or family membership, the latter including each member of a family unit residing at one address. Application for membership shall be subject to approval by the Executive Committee.
b.    Honorary life membership - this may be bestowed by the Society by resolution of an annual or special general meeting in recognition of outstanding service to the Society. 


The Public Officer of the Executive, shall keep an up to date register of the members of the Society, and upon this register shall include all matters relevant to each member's continued membership. The register of members shall be kept in the Society's rooms, and shall be open to inspection free of charge by any member at any reasonable time.  


The Liability of a member of the Society to contribute towards the payment of the debts and liabilities of the Society, or the costs charges and expenses of the winding up of the Society, is limited to the amount, if any, unpaid by the member, in respect of membership, as required by the rule relating to the Society. 


Any member accused of misconduct, consistent failure to pay the fees prescribed, or conduct contrary to the interests of the Society, shall be required to answer such charges before a sub-committee, consisting of President, Vice Presidents, and Secretary, provided that the member accused is given a full and proper opportunity to answer the charges made. Upon hearing the charges, the sub-committee may find the charges either proved or not, and may make such orders as it sees fit, including permanent or temporary suspension of the member's membership. A member may appeal against the decision of the sub-committee, and within a reasonable period after giving notice of an appeal, a meeting of the full executive committee shall consider the matter with or without new evidence, and may confirm, rescind, alter, or vary the sub-committee's decision. The full executive committee's decision shall be final.  


a.     The Annual General Meeting for the presentation of reports and balance sheet, the election of officers, and other business, shall be held during the month of February, and the financial year shall be from the first day of January to the thirty first day of December.
b.     Special General Meetings shall be called by resolution of the Executive, or by requisition of at least fourteen members in writing.
c.     General Meetings shall be held once every calendar month from February to November inclusive.
d.     The Secretary shall give at least fourteen days notice of Annual and Special General Meetings, either by individual notice to current members, or through the official organ of the Society.  


a.     The annual subscription payable by ordinary members, (single or family unit) shall be fixed at the September General Meeting each year.
b.     The subscription year shall coincide with the financial year as defined in clause 5a.
c.     Subscriptions shall be payable in advance, and ordinary members who fail to renew their subscriptions by the 31st of March each year shall be deemed to have ceased their membership.
d.     Nothing in the above sub-clause shall prevent the Society from fixing subscriptions for ordinary members at special rates for pensioners and/or full time students, nor including in the subscription an amount to cover the annual subscription to the official organ of the Society. 

a.     At each Annual General Meeting there shall be elected by resolution, up to two Patrons.
b.     The Executive Committee shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting and all positions shall be honorary.
c.     The Executive Committee of the Society shall be President, two Vice Presidents, Secretary, Treasurer, Archives Officer, Assistant Archives Officer, Research Officer, Public Officer, Tours Officer, Publicity Officer, Special Projects Officer, Chairman of the Family History Group, Secretary of the Family History Group and Editor of The Ryde Recorder, provided that the Annual General Meeting may decline to fill a position.
d.     No officer, excluding the Public Officer, shall serve for more than three consecutive years in any one position, unless no other nominations are received for that office. There must be a break of twelve months before a person becomes eligible for election to that office again.
e.     All contested elections of officers shall be by secret ballot. In the event of a tie, a new ballot shall be held.
f.     The Society shall vest the management of its affairs, after the Annual General Meeting, and between General Meetings, in the above Executive Committee.
g.     The Executive Committee shall have the power to co-opt additional eligible members to serve on the committee from time to time.
h.     An officer shall be deemed to have vacated his/her office if he/she

I.     dies or
II.    resigns from office by notice in writing to the Secretary, or
III.   resigns from membership of the Society, or IV.    has his/her affairs placed in the hands of the Master of Lunacy, or
V.     (in the case of the Treasurer) becomes bankrupt or makes a composition with his creditors, or
VI.    is absent for three consecutive General or Executive Meetings without leave of absence.  

When an officer has vacated his/her office, the Executive Committee may appoint any member to act in his/her place during the balance of the year for which he/she was elected, provided that the member so appointed, would have been eligible for election to that office, and provided also that the appointment be confirmed on motion for that purpose submitted at the next General Meeting or an alternative appointment subsequently made by the General Meeting.  

i.     The procedure at meetings of the executive committee shall be as provided in relevant sections of clause 9 unless otherwise decided at a general meeting.  

8.     QUORUM  

a.     A quorum for the General Meetings shall consist of not less than fourteen members.
b.     A quorum for Executive Meetings shall consist of not less than four members. 

9.     PROCEDURE   

The procedure at general meetings shall be as follows:  

a.     The meeting is declared open at the appointed time by the chairperson.
b.     Apologies are taken.
c.     Minutes of the previous meeting are read and confirmed, and matters arising are discussed.
d.     Correspondence in and out is tabled, discussed and accepted.
e.     Treasurer's report is tabled, discussed and accepted.
f.     Reports of all committees are tabled, discussed and accepted.
g.     General business is discussed.
h.     Other matters arising are discussed.
i.     Meeting closed and date of next meeting set. 

10.    VOTING  

a.     The meeting may, after discussion of a matter, seek a binding resolution on that point. If so, a proposer and a seconder are required, and only after the form of the motion has been discussed, may it be voted upon. The meeting will then vote on the motion and it may be passed by a simple majority. If votes are equal, the Chairperson shall have the casting vote.


Votes may be cast by proxy only at Annual General and Special General Meetings. Each member shall be entitled to appoint another member as proxy by notice given to the Secretary, no later than 24 hours before the time of the meeting, in respect of which the proxy is appointed. The notice appointing the proxy shall be in the form set out in appendix 1 to this constitution.  

11.    FINANCE 

a.     The assets and income of the Society shall be applied exclusively to the promotion of its objects and no portion shall be paid or distributed directly to the members of the Society except as bona fide remuneration for services rendered or expenses incurred on behalf of the Society.
b.     The Society shall operate bank accounts, opened and/or closed by authority of a General Meeting. Any two of the Executive Committee members including at least one of the President, Secretary or Treasurer may sign withdrawals, provided purchases accounts over $400.00 receive prior approval of a General Meeting. The Treasurer may sign not negotiable cheques, money orders etc. for deposit to the Society's accounts, and issue receipts on behalf of the Society. The treasurer shall present a financial statement, supported by bank pass sheets/books, at all general meetings.


Subject to the rules and objects of the Society, and further subject to any law, regulation or by-law, and pursuant to agreement by the committee, the Society has the power to raise funds and revenue from any source it sees fit.  

12.    INSURANCE  

The Society shall effect and maintain insurance with an approved insurer for public liability, voluntary worker's accident and such other occurrences as may be prescribed under the Associations Incorporation Act, and amendments and regulations.  


The Common Seal of the Society shall be kept in the custody of the Public Officer in the Society's rooms. The use of the Common Seal shall be by the authority of the Executive Committee, and shall be attested by the signatures of the Public Officer together with one other member of the Committee.  


a.     The business books, documents, and securities of the Society shall be kept in the custody of the secretary, and that person is responsible for the safekeeping of the above mentioned articles.  

15.    GENERAL. 

a.     Each member of the Society shall receive a copy of the Constitution.
b.     Acquisition, disposal, and loan of property can only be undertaken by resolution of the executive. 


The Society may be wound up or dissolved by a special resolution to be passed by a majority, which comprises not less than three quarters of the members, and a written notice of not less than twenty one days.  


If upon winding up or dissolution of the Society, there remains, after the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities, any property whatsoever, the same shall not be paid to, or distributed among the members of the Society, but shall be given or transferred to some other organisation having similar objects to this Society, and which has rules prohibiting the distribution of its income and property to its members; nor shall this Society’s financial assets be given or transferred to the local government body, in this case Ryde City Council.  


The objects and rules of the Society can only be amended by a special resolution to be passed in the following manner: 

a)     Written notice of not less than twenty-one days must be provided to all members.
b)     The special resolution must be passed at an Annual General Meeting or Special General Meeting.
c)     A quorum shall be present, as defined in Clause 8 above.
d)     At least three-quarters of those present must vote in favour of the resolution. 


I, .............................. of ...........................

hereby appoint ............................. as my proxy, to vote on my

behalf at the Special / Annual General Meeting on ................. date, or at any adjournment of that meeting. 

Signature of member........................... Date..............