The title of the organisation shall be “THE MIDLAND HAMSTER CLUB”, which may be abbreviated to “Midland HC”.
The objects of the Club shall be to encourage the keeping, breeding and exhibition of all species of hamster to a standard or standards defined by the Fancy’s governing body, the National Hamster Council (NHC) : to give particular encouragement to novice, breeders: to encourage and maintain the qualities of the NHC recognised colours and varieties : to help develop and establish new colours and varieties of all species of hamsters: and to foster and safeguard the interest of the club and its members.
The Club shall organise activities for the Hamster Fancy in the Midland Counties of England and the whole of Wales i.e. Clwyd, Derbyshire, Dyfed, Gloucestershire, Gwent, Gwynedd, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Leicestershire, Cheshire, Mid-Glamorgan, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Powys, Shropshire, South Glamorgan, Staffordshire, West Glamorgan, Warwickshire and the West Midlands. The exact area of responsibility to be as defined by the NHC, but shall only be changes by that council after discussions with and agreement from the Midland HC committee: such decisions must be endorsed by a General Meeting of the Midland H.C.
The Club shall be affiliated to the National Hamster Council (NHC) the governing body of the Hamster Fancy and the club shall adopt and abide by the NHC Rules, Standards and Constitution.
Membership of the Club shall be open to all persons.
There shall be 7 (seven) categories of membership:
- Junior (under l6 years of age on payment of their subscription)
- Junior Partnership (two people both under 16 years of age on payment of their subscription.)
(iv) Partnership (two people)
(v) School Affiliation
- Associate (must be a member of an NHC affiliated Club ).
- Family (must reside in same household)
Partnerships and Family memberships must register the names of all persons.
Every application for membership must be in that person’s own name.
The Club shall reserve the right to refuse or revoke membership, provided that such a decision is taken by a majority of the full (entire) Club’s Executive Committee and is in the best interests of the Fancy. The (prospective) Member shall have the right to attend a meeting where his/her/their membership eligibility is to be discussed and make such representations as he/she/they wish. Such persons must be notified – in writing – of such a meeting, no later than 28 (twenty eight) days prior to that meeting. Any person refused membership shall forfeit any monies that they have paid to the Midland H.C. for subscriptions.
Annual subscription rates shall be determined by the membership at the Club’s AGM or, in extreme emergencies, by a properly convened Extraordinary Meeting of the Club. All subscriptions shall be renewable annually from the month of application. Any person(s) who fails to renew their membership within 30 (thirty) days of it becoming due shall automatically forfeit all rights and privileges afforded to Midland H.C. members and shall return immediately all trophies, records, equipment or other club property in their possession.
(a) Officers of the Club
The Officers of the Club shall be:
A maximum of two Vice Presidents (active)
- Press and Publicity Officer
- Show Manager
- Trophy Manager
- Sales Manager
PLUS a Committee of not less than 4 (four) adult members, and not more than 9 (nine) adult and not more than 4 (four) junior members, aged 12-16 at time of election.
At the discretion of a General Meeting, a person may hold a maximum of 2 (two) Offices at any one time, with the exception of the offices of Secretary and Treasurer, both of which must be held by separate individuals residing in separate households.
Should it so wish, the Club, at an AGM, may elect an unlimited number of Honorary Vice Presidents as a token of respect for services rendered by a Member or Members. These Honorary Vice Presidents may, if they so wish, attend Midland H.C. Executive Committee meetings, but shall have no voting rights at such meetings.
All these Officers and Committee Members shall be elected by a simple majority vote at the Club’s AGM, and, with the exception of the Secretary and the Treasurer, serve for not more than 15 (fifteen) months before the next election, at which they may again be nominated and, if duly elected, serve in the relevant capacity. In the case of the Secretary and the Treasurer, these officers shall stand for re-election not more than 27 months after their election. Officers and Committee Members nay serve for as many terms as they and the membership wish, provided that they are elected in the proper (i.e. foregoing) manner. The committee may, if it so wishes, co-opt up to 4 (four) non-elected members to the said Committee. Such co-opted members will have one vote each at any and every committee meeting, and will serve until the next Midland H.C. AGM.
(b) The Executive Committee
(i) The Executive Committee shall consist of the Officers of the Club, plus the elected Committee (as described earlier).
(ii)The quorum for this Committee shall consist of a minimum of 4 (four) individual officers and 4 (four) Committee Members plus one other.
(iii)The business of the Club shall be conducted by the Executive Committee, and any and all decisions binding on the Club shall be decided by a simple majority vote of the Officers and Committee members. In the event of an equality of votes, the officiating Chairman shall have only the casting vote.
(iv)The Executive Committee may appoint any Sub-Committee as and when the need arises. The chairman of such a sub-committee shall be a member of the Executive Committee, but the other members need not be, providing that all members of the sub-committee are fully paid up members of the Midland H.C.
(v)Executive Committee meetings shall be held at least 2 (two) times per year , and members of the Executive committee shall be informed, in writing, of the dates of such meetings no later than 21 (twenty one) days prior to the meeting, by the Club Secretary or the Executive officer nominated by that Committee.
(vi)Executive Committee decisions shall be binding on every Member of the Midland H.C. and this Committee shall exercise all powers not specified or limited in this Constitution, but within the scope of the Objects clause.
- FINANCIAL CALENDAR
The Club shall operate a financial year from l September to 31 August.
The Secretary’s duties shall consist of:
(a) Enrolling new members to the Club, renewing existing subscriptions, collecting all such monies, and keeping a record of all business conducted by the Club.
(b) Keeping a record of the Minutes of all Club meetings.
(c) Informing other Officers of the Club and all members of the Executive Committee of matters affecting general business.
(d) Supplying the NHC Journal Editor with regular (monthly) news of interest to the membership, for inclusion in every issue of the NHC Journal.
(e) Supplying every full member of the Club with a copy of the current NHC Journal (a maximum of one per membership).
(f) Ensuring that each Club membership receives a copy of the NHC Handbook and the Midland Hamster Club Constitution on joining the Club, or as soon after as possible.
(g) Informing all Club members of any forthcoming general meetings (including the AGM) at least forty-two days prior to any such meeting, calling for any items to be placed on the agenda for that meeting and, in the case of the AGM, nominations for office where necessary. The Secretary shall despatch a copy of the Agenda to every membership not later than fourteen days prior to such a meeting.
- Ensuring that every membership of the Midland H.C. shall receive a copy of the minutes within 60 days of the meeting.. This copy of the minutes shall be in addition to any mention published in the NHC journal.
(i)The Secretary shall be one of the Club’s delegates to the NHC unless already serving as an officer.
The Treasurer’s duties shall consist of:
(5)(a) Having charge of all monies belonging to the Club, which shall be deposited with a bank or building society, except for the petty cash which the Secretary requires for Club duties. The bank or Building Society chosen shall, where possible, be one where the bank charges shall be kept to an absolute minimum.
(b) Producing copies of the Audited Accounts for the AGM and at the request of the Executive Committee. In the case of the AGM, the copies of the audited accounts must be dispatched to every club membership no later that 14 (fourteen) days prior to that meeting
All cheques drawn by the Treasurer on the Club’s account must be countersigned by another nominated member of the Midland HC Executive Committee and this person shall not reside in the same household as the Treasurer.
(c ) Giving brief financial statements to the Executive Committee, as and when required.
(d) If the Treasurer ceases to hold office, he/she shall produce a finacial statement to the Executive Committee (audited by the duly appointed auditor) at that time.
The members of the Club shall, at the Club’s AGM, appoint an Auditor, who shall not be a member of the Executive Committee of the Club. If possible, this Auditor shall be a qualified accountant.
- SHOW MANAGER
The Show Manager’s duties shall consist of:
(a) Arranging show venues, show secretaries, judges (including pet judges), book stewards and pen stewards for all of the Club’s shows.
(b) Furnishing all show secretaries and other show officials with all of the relevant prize cards and stationery for each show.
(c) Ensuring that there are sufficient stocks, at any time, of prize cards and other show stationery for at least six months or six shows, whichever is the greater, and arranging for such items to be printed as and when required, and at the most competitive rates opertaining at the time, whilst still maintaining an acceptable (i.e. high) quality product. Any and all changes to the design and/or quality of these items must be approved by the Executive Committee
- Issuing all show secretaries with a Media/PR form at least six weeks prior to their show.
- Ensuring that all the club’s hire pens are in good order, and being responsible for their care and upkeep (but not financially).
- Keeping a Register of recognised Club Judges, Trainee Judges and others who wish to train to become a Club Judge.
(g) Issuing an annual list of all major shows which the Club will organise or have a presence at during the forthcoming year. This list must be presented to the membership at the AGM and contain full details of the Show Officials for each show.
- TROPHY MANAGER
The Trophy Manager’s duties shall consist of:
(a) Arranging cups, trophies and rosettes for all of the Club’s shows.
(b) Keeping records of all members who win Club trophies and ensuring that these are returned clean and in good order on or before the date on which they are to be used again.
(c) Recovering any trophies belonging to the Club and in the possession of any person whose membership has lapsed.
- PRESS AND PUBLICITY OFFICER
The Publicity Officer’s duties shall consist of:
(a) Informing all interested parties, within the Midland H.C. area, of all matters directly involving the Midland H.C., its Membership and/or the keeping, breeding and exhibiting of all species of hamster.
(b) Providing any interested parties, on request, with any information directly involving the Midland H.C., its Membership and/or the keeping, breeding and exhibiting of all species of hamster.
- Providing all show secretaries with any assistance that they require in order to obtain the maximum publicity effect from and for their show.
- Issuing Press Releases to all of the media in the area of each show, in time for those media to utilise such information.
- Initiating pro-active PR, and reacting to any adverse publicity in an ordered and planned manner, where appropriate and in consultation with the Executive Committee.
- Providing any Officer, Committee, or Committee member of the Midland H.C. with any assistance that they require in order to obtain the maximum publicity effect from and for their efforts.
- Advising the Executive Committee of any likely PR implications of any event/action concerning the club and/or the keeping, breeding and exhibition of all species of hamsters in the Club’s area, and recommending a relevant course of action in order to minimise the adverse effects of that event/action.
- Issuing Press Releases as appropriate.
- Advising all Committees on the format, wording, design and timing of any printed matter which the Club may publish.
- SALES MANAGER
The Sales Manager’s duties shall consist of:
(a) Organising and supervising the sale of all hamsters and hamster requisites for and on behalf of the Club. None of these shall be sold at any Midland H.C. Show without the specific permission and full approval of the Show Manager.
(b) Maintaining the standard of stock offered for sale at all Midland H.C. shows.
- The Sales Manager shall have the right to refuse to allow the sale of stock if, in his/her opinion, the animals fall short of accepted Club standards and may limit the number of hamsters offered for sale.
- Passing to the Midland H.C. Treasurer all monies made from all sales of hamsters and hamster requisites at all Midland H.C. Shows.
- Keeping full and accurate records of such transactions, and make them available, as required, to the Executive Committee and/or Club Treasurer .
- NHC DELEGATES
The Midland Hamster Club shall provide the number of Delegates stipulated in the NHC onstitution to attend NHC Meetings and represent the views and interests of the Club membership, as expressed at the General Meeting held to discuss the agenda for the NHC Meeting. These Delegates shall vote in accordance with the wishes of the membership.
(8) One of the Delegates shall be the Club Secretary unless already serving as an officer and the other Delegate(s) shall be elected from the Executive Committee by the members by a simple majority vote at the Club’s AGM.
- GENERAL MEETINGS
These shall be called through the Club Secretary, either by the Executive Committee or at the written request of not less than eight adult members of the Club.
Written notice of such a general meeting shall be given to all members of the Club at least twenty one days prior to the meeting, and the meeting shall be held within 35 days of the date of the notice and within 56 days of the call for such a meeting.
- ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The Annual General Meeting of the Midland Hamster Club shall be held at a date and venue decided by a simple majority vote of the Executive Committee, at a properly convened meeting of that Committee, and must be held during the months of October or November. At the AGM all Officers of the club shall give reports of the years’ activities. And the Treasurer shall submit an audited financial balance sheet. The AGM shall elect the Club’s Officers, Committee Members and NHC Delegates for the ensuing year. The Secretary of the club shall ensure that every membership of the club shall receive a copy of the complete Minutes of the AGM, no later than 60 days after the meeting. Any amendments to an item on the Agenda must be published to allow 30 days from the date of publication for objections. 20 objections must be received signed individually to cancel any amendment.
Nominations for Officers, Committee Members and NHC Delegates must be received, in writing by the Club Secretary no later than twenty-one days prior to the AGM. All nominations must be made by a member of the Midland HC and must be seconded by another member of the Club. Nominations must be accompanied by a written statement from the nominee stating that he/she is willing to accept office if elected.
All Officers, Committee Members and NHC Delegates shall be elected by a simple majority vote at the AGM. In the event of an equality of votes, the officiating Chairman shall have the casting vote.
(9) Each full Adult member and each Junior member aged between 12 and l6 years of age shall have one vote each, EXCEPT for School, Partnerships and Family memberships which shall have a maximum of two votes per membership provided that that Membership contains 2 or more people , each of whom would normally qualify for an individual vote i.e. each of the two voters must be aged over 12 years. Associate members shall have no vote on matters relating to the NHC, its constitution and business.
- PROXY VOTES
Proxy voting shall be allowed, providing that all persons holding such proxies have the written permission of the relevant member(s) and that such proxies are made known to the Chairman before the meeting.
- POSTAL VOTES
Members may, if they so wish, register their vote by post with the Club Secretary, providing that all such votes arrive no later than two days prior to the relevant meeting.
Major shows shall be set at the Club’s AGM. Other shows and displays may be arranged by the Show Manager, in consultation with the Executive Committee, and full details of all such shows and displays must be published in the NHC Journal by the Club Secretary , in consultation with the Club’s Show Manager. Normally, such details must appear at least 6 weeks prior to any such show or display.
The Club shall ensure that all shows are run in accordance with the NHC Rules and Standards pertaining at that time, and that all displays and shows present the Club and the Hamster Fancy in a good light.
There shall be NO SMOKING within the area(s) occupied by hamsters at any of these shows, providing that the Club has such jurisdiction at the venue.
Dogs must be kept on leads and under control at all times and may be asked to leave by an officer if necessary.
Only those Judges who have successfully completed the whole procedure contained in the document “Procedure for the appointment of Midland Hamster Club Judges” shall officiate as Judges at a Club show, except for those persons appointed as NHC Recognised Judges, NHC Trainee Judges, or those people recognised and appointed as judges by any other Hamster Club, at the discretion of the Midland H.C. Show Manager.
- HAMSTER CIRCLES
(10) The Midland H.C. shall actively support and encourage the formation of hamster Circles within the Club’s geographical area. Such circles shall be a part of, and operate within, the Midland H.C. , adhering to the Midland H.C. Constitution. All circles shall be solely responsible for all of their financial affairs, and the Midland H.C. shall not have any financial liability for any action of these Circles.
Copyright resides with the Midland Hamster Club, but any or all of this document may be quoted and reproduced by any person, or used as a basis for the constitution of any other club or circle, providing that the Midland Hamster Club is credited and that a copy of the quote and/or finished article is sent to the Midland Secretary before publication.