NORWEGIAN FOREST CAT CLUB CONSTITUTION
1. Name and Objectives
The Club shall be called the "Norwegian Forest Cat Club". The objects of the Club shall be:
To promote interest in the Norwegian Forest Cat and to provide a focal point and guidance for all people who share an interest in the breed.
To foster good practice in the breeding and exhibition of the Norwegian Forest Cat.
To propose a Standard of Points, registration policies and judges for Norwegian Forest Cats to the relevant Breed Advisory Committee, with whom the Club will liaise on a regular basis.
To encourage the protection and welfare of all cats.
The Club is a member the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) and shall abide by the Rules and representation set down by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) and as amended from time to time in a constitutional manner.
The GCCF shall have disciplinary powers according to its Constitution over the Club and the Members thereof.
The Club shall consist of an unlimited number of Ordinary Members. There shall also be Honorary Members, the number of whom will be decided from time to time by the Members in General Meetings.
Persons shall be eligible for election as Honorary Life Members if they are recommended by the Committee. Their election shall be ratified at the Annual General Meeting. Honorary Members shall be entitled to the same privileges as paying Members, except for the right to vote.
The classes of Membership shall be:
Ordinary Joint - two persons from the same household
Associate - for GCCF Judges
Life - discontinued in 1998
Ten year Membership (application may only be made after three years' continuous Membership).
Payment is due on joining the Club. Subscription renewals are due on 1st January.
Application for Membership shall be on the Club's application form and shall be submitted to the Membership Secretary with the appropriate fee.
Applicants must be approved by the Committee who may withhold approval at their discretion. The Committee shall not give reasons for refusal of Membership.
If, in the opinion of the Committee, the conduct of any Member has been prejudicial to the welfare, breeding or exhibiting of cats, or to the interests of the Club, the Committee may, after giving that Member an opportunity of being heard, suspend the Member for a given time, or expel the Member from the Club. Anyone convicted in the courts of cruelty to any animal shall be automatically suspended. Notice of any Meeting when the question of suspension is to be discussed must be given to the Member concerned, and the Member, if he or she so desires, may attend to state his or her case. Not less than seven days notice of such a Meeting must be given. Any Member suspended shall have the right to appeal to the Annual General Meeting of the Club and to attend to state his or her case, and if the appeal is allowed by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting, he or she shall be re-instated. Any Member (including Life and Honorary Member) suspended under Article 12 of the Constitution of the GCCF and wishing to rejoin after expiration of the suspension, must apply for re-election to the Club.
4. Club Year
The Club Year shall commence on 1st January in each year.
The entrance fee and annual subscription shall be as agreed by the Annual General Meeting annually.
Payment is due on joining the Club. Subscription renewals are due on 1st January.
Non-payment (after a written reminder) by the date of the Annual General Meeting shall invalidate the Membership which shall be deemed lapsed and the person shall be required to re-apply for Membership and pay the registration fee as well as the appropriate Membership fee, unless the registration fee is waived by the Committee.
No Member shall be entitled to vote at any Meeting or to enjoy any privilege of Membership whilst his or her subscription remains unpaid.
6. Officers and Committee
The affairs of the Club shall be managed by a Committee consisting of a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and nine other elected Members.
If any Member of the Committee shall be absent from three consecutive Meetings without reasonable cause, he/she shall be deemed to have resigned from the Committee.
The Chairman shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting of the Club, to serve until the following Annual General Meeting. Other Members elected to the Committee will serve for three years before retiring from the Committee. Co-opted Committee Members will retire from the Committee at the AGM following their co-option. All retiring Committee Members shall be eligible for re-election.
Nominations for Committee shall be invited from the Members who have paid their subscription for the current year. All nominations, except in the case of existing Committee Members who are agreeable to stand for re-election, shall be in writing and must be signed by the nominee, proposer and seconder, all of whom must be fully paid-up Members. All nominations should reach the Secretary four weeks prior to the Annual General Meeting. The Secretary, Treasurer and the Vice-Chairman shall be elected by the Committee Members at a Meeting following the Annual General Meeting. Candidates for these offices shall be proposed and seconded by the Committee Members.
The Honorary President and up to two Honorary Vice-Presidents shall be nominated by the Committee and elected annually at the Annual General Meeting. They may be invited to Committee Meetings, but they shall not have the right to vote. Up to two Patrons (who will be Honorary Members) may be nominated by the Committee, and will then be elected at the Annual General Meeting for life.
The Committee may co-opt any Member onto the Committee, with full voting rights, to fill a vacancy arising during the Club Year. Any co-opted Member may stand for re-election at the following Annual General Meeting, if they wish to continue serving on the Committee and providing there is a vacancy. The Committee may also co-opt a Member to temporarily fill an existing elected Committee Member's position, for the length of the temporary absence or until the next Annual General Meeting, whichever is sooner.
The Committee may appoint any sub-Committee to carry out any specific functions of the Club and persons serving on such sub-Committees need not be Members of the Committee or the Club.
The Committee is empowered to deal with any matters not specifically provided for in this Constitution.
The Club is entitled to representatives on the Norwegian Forest Cat Breed Advisory Committee together with deputy representatives (for deputising at BAC meetings where a representative or representatives is/are unable to attend). These representatives and deputies will be elected annually at the AGM.
7. Duties of Officers and Committee
The Officers shall act generally under the authority of the Committee and their duties shall include the following:
The Treasurer shall:
Hold all monies received on behalf of the Club in accounts opened on the authorisation of the Committee.
Defray on behalf of the Club all expenses properly and necessarily incurred by any Member of the Committee and so authorised by the Committee.
Render annually at the Annual General Meeting a ratified statement of income and expenditure and a balance sheet covering the Club's financial year to December 31st, and to make a copy available to all fully paid up Members.
Manage the Club's funds held in a bank or building society, as decided by the Committee. All cheques must be signed by two officers (Treasurer and/or Chairman and/or Secretary.)
The Secretary shall:
Conduct correspondence on behalf of the Club.
Keep minutes of the proceedings of all Meetings.
Sign GCCF prefix application forms for all Members.
The Committee shall:
Maintain a register of Members.
Send a reminder to Members whose subscriptions are outstanding.
Inform new Members of their acceptance to the Membership and supply them with a copy of the Constitution.
Arrange show support.
Maintain records of all Club trophies.
8. General and Committee Meetings
A General Meeting of the Club, to be called the Annual General Meeting, shall be held not later than the last day of May in each year. Members will be notified at least eight weeks prior to the Annual General Meeting. All items for the agenda should reach the Secretary six weeks prior to the Annual General Meeting.
The Committee shall have the authority to summon an Extraordinary General Meeting at any time and must do so within one month of the receipt by the Secretary of a requisition signed by not less than seven fully paid up Members, specifying exactly the business for which such a Meeting is required. At a Meeting summoned under this clause, no business other than the business on the Agenda shall be transacted. The cost of the Extraordinary General Meeting must be defrayed by those Members requesting that it take place.
The time and the place of every Annual General Meeting shall be fixed by the Committee and specified in the notice convening it.
In the absence of the Chairman or Vice-Chairman of the Club, a Chairman of the Meeting is to be elected by the Meeting, and should be either an Officer of the Committee, or a Member of the Committee. At all Meetings the Chairman of the Meeting shall have a casting vote only.
A quorum at any General Meeting shall consist of nine fully paid-up voting Members, including at least one Officer of the Club. If a quorum is not present, relevant parts of the minutes will be posted on the GCCF website. The Club will email those Members that have registered their email with the Club to inform them that the information is on the GCCF website. Members will be given 28 days to raise any objections. In the absence of any objections. In the absence of any objections, then the decisions made at the meeting shall be considered ratified.
Resolutions shall be passed by a simple majority either by show of hands or by a paper ballot, as directed by the Chairman. Postal ballots will not be allowed. Matters relating to the Constitution must be clearly stated on the AGM agenda sent to all Members, and for approval must obtain a two-thirds majority of those present and voting.
At least three Committee Meetings shall be held annually at dates and times to be decided by the Committee. A quorum at any Committee Meeting shall consist of six Committee Members (excluding the Chairman), at least one of whom must be an Officer of the Club. Matters resolved at inquorate Meetings must be ratified at a subsequent Meeting.
Minutes of General Meetings and Committee Meetings shall be recorded by a person appointed to that task, and shall be approved at subsequent Meetings and signed by the Chairman.
An independent person, who shall not be an Officer or a Committee Member of the Club, shall be appointed by the Membership at the Annual General Meeting to examine the accounts for the Club.
9. Delegates of the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy
So long as the Club has the right to representation to the GCCF, it shall be represented by a Delegate/s, or the nominated substitute Delegate, who shall be elected by Members at the Annual General Meeting and shall serve for one year (June to May commencing with the GCCF Electoral Meeting) and shall be eligible for re-election.
All ordinary Members shall be eligible to stand for election as Delegates and Substitute Delegates.
A Delegate, if not already a Committee Member, shall be invited to attend Committee Meetings, but shall not have the right to vote.
In the event of a vacancy for a Delegate occurring between Annual General Meetings the Committee may appoint a Delegate to serve until the following Annual General Meeting.
The Club shall have two types of trophy, both relating to UK GCCF shows unless otherwise stated: Annual Points Trophies and Show Trophies. These will be accepted from donors as and when they are offered, on the basis that ownership of the trophy passes to the Club with immediate effect, and any trophy may be re-assigned when the Committee decides it is appropriate.
11. Amalgamation or Winding-Up
A motion for the winding-up of the Club or for amalgamation with another Club must be included on the Agenda of a General Meeting. If those present and voting agree to wind up or amalgamate the Club by a two-thirds majority, the total Membership shall then be balloted by post, and the amalgamation or winding-up will take place if two thirds of those voting by post are in favour of the motion.
Final disposal of the Club's assets, other than assets received for cat welfare, shall be determined at this General Meeting, and be approved by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting.
Assets including monies received by the Club for cat welfare shall be donated to a dedicated fund or funds for domestic cat welfare, as agreed at this General Meeting and approved by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting.