The minutes of the Annual Meeting November 9, 2009 were distributed to all in attendance for review and were duly approved.
Chair, Janice Simmonds gave a report of activity over the last year. She indicated that it had been a quiet year compared to the previous year in which a joint submission with the City of Charlottetown on the future of the Farm had been made to the Federal government. Highlights of the past year were the sponsorship of two public presentations on the design and use of urban spaces. The first lecture in May was by Larry Beasley, a renowned urban architect from Vancouver, and the second took place in October and was given by Greg Smallenberg, a landscape architect with wide experience in urban and community design.
A meeting was held with the new research manager of the Farm, Dr. Maria Rodriguez, to exchange information and ideas.
Bert Christie, acting Secretary-Treasurer, presented the financial statements report and audit. He also distributed a sheet listing those organizations and businesses who contributed financial support to the Larry Beasley presentation. The financial statements report was approved as circulated on a motion by Bert Christie, seconded by Ken MacDonald, and duly carried.
Gertie Purdy delivered a report on memberships and indicated there were currently 345 members. She asked those present to either join or renew their memberships that evening.
Ken MacDonald and Lane McLaren presented the report of the Nominations Committee. Two openings are currently available on the Board as one member, Paul Hickey, has decided to resign and Lloyd MacLeod is now an honorary Chair. The Nominations Committee put forward a proposal to nominate Kim Devine and Sylvia Poirier to fill the two vacancies on the Board. Additional nominations from the floor were requested and as no nominations from the floor were received, a motion to nominate Kim Devine and Sylvia Poirier as new Board members and to re-nominate the current members Janice Simmonds, Lane MacLaren, Nora Jenkins, Bert Christie, Catherine Hennessey, Connie-MacKay Carr, Doug MacDonald, Ken MacDonald, Libby Martin, and Gertie Purdy was put forward and seconded by Doug MacDonald and duly carried.
Janice Simmonds introduced the guest speakers of the evening, Dr. Maria Rodriguez, Research Manager and Mr. Jamie Coffin, Regional Engineer, Atlantic from the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Research Centre Home Farm. Other AAFC staff also in attendance were Mr. Roddy Pratt, Research Operations Manager, and Gail Arsenault, A/Integrated Services Manager. A handout was distributed to the attendees that outlined the status of the Farm property, management of the property, information on surplus buildings slated for demolition, and special projects such as the Ducks Unlimited ponds and the sunflower fundraiser. Jamie Coffin talked about maintenance and structural changes to the Farm property and about ten buildings that are considered surplus and the reasons their demolition is required when funding becomes available. He stressed that the Farm property continues to be useful for specific research activities, that it will continue to be well maintained, and that there is no talk of the property being declared surplus in the foreseeable future.
Various points were raised and questions posed by attendees and the AAFC position clarified on several initiatives. Items discussed included: the need to maintain Ravenwood house as a heritage property, ways to raise funds to help with its maintenance and the role of the Friends; access to the property for public events and liability issues; permission to revive the Royal Forest with new ceremonial tree plantings, the requirement for an official proposal to Real Property office in Ottawa, and the Friends role to purchase the trees; the reinstatement of the “Crown “ flower bed; and appreciation for the enhancements that have been made to the property by AAFC, such as the duck ponds, and the desire for future partnerships on similar projects with the Friends and the broader community.
The Chair, Janice Simmonds thanked the AAFC guests for their presentation and for the very useful and open discussion that resulted. She also thanked people for coming to the meeting and for their support and help and then adjourned the meeting.