Branch 0119 of the British Sub Aqua Club
Updated March 2005
These Byelaws shall regulate the structure, administration and activities of a Branch of the British Sub Aqua Club to be known as the British Sub Aqua Club Branch 0119, Caithness Diving Club (hereinafter ‘the Branch’).
The aim and objects of the Branch shall be to provide for its members, facilities and opportunity for training, for diving in accordance with the standards of the British Sub Aqua Club, together with related social activities.
The Headquarters of the Branch shall be at Park Lane, Thurso or at such other location as may be decided by the Branch in the General Meeting; provided however, that the Branch’s Committee of management provided for in Byelaw 6 (‘the Committee’) may at any time designate an alternative venue, which shall be the interim Headquarters until the change of venue has been voted upon by the Branch.
The Committee shall maintain a clubhouse or appoint another meeting place for the convenience of members; provided however, that no change in clubhouse or meeting place shall be final unless and until it has been ratified by the Branch in a General Meeting.
(i). There shall be three classes of member :
(a) Full Diving Member who may be any person 18 years of age or over - or at the Committees discretion.
(b) Associate Member who may be of any age but shall not be entitled to take part either in snorkelling activities or in any activity involving his use of a breathing set.
(c) Honorary Member who may be any person invited by the Committee, in their absolute discretion, to become such a member.
(ii). An applicant for membership of the Branch shall apply to the Committee and upon acceptance of his application and payment of the appropriate Branch and National Headquarters subscriptions shall be a member of the class which he applied and is eligible. The Committee may delegate to such members of the Branch as it may see fit the responsibility for entertaining and accepting applications for membership.
(iii). A member shall retain his membership until he has resigned or is deemed to have resigned in accordance with this paragraph or Byelaw 17. If payment of his Branch or National Headquarters subscriptions, if any, in respect of any period is 90 days or more overdue, a member shall be deemed to have resigned.
(i). The Branch shall be managed by a Committee elected at each Annual General Meeting of the Branch which shall comprise of four officers, who shall serve ex-officio, and no less than 2 or more than 8 other members.
(ii). The four Branch Officers shall be the Chairperson, the Diving Officer, the Secretary and the Treasurer. The duties of the Officers shall be as set out in the following Byelaws.
(iii). The Committee shall hold and administer for the benefit of the membership all funds, equipment and property owned by the club.
7. THE CHAIRPERSON
The Chairperson shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Branch. He shall take the chair at all meetings of the Branch and of the Committee at which he is present, and subject to the provisions of these Rules, his decision on matters of procedure shall be final.
8. THE DIVING OFFICER
The Branch’s Diving Officer derives his authority in training and diving matters from the National Diving Officer of the British Sub Aqua Club. He shall have responsibility for training and diving activities of the Branch and for the safe conduct thereof. He shall ensure that the said activities are carried out in accordance with such practices and procedures as may be recommended from time to time by the National Diving Officer or pursuant of his authorisation. The Diving Officer may delegate training duties to a Training Officer, who shall be responsibly to him for the performance thereof. The Diving Officer’s decision in respect of his responsibilities shall be final in the Branch, subject only to such guidelines consistent with the Byelaw as may be established from time to time by the Committee.
9. THE SECRETARY
The Secretary shall maintain the Branch records and shall record the meetings of the Committee and General Meetings of the Branch and such other meetings as the Chairperson may request. He shall be primarily responsible for the Branch’s communication with third parties, and shall keep the Officers, the Committee and or the Branch, as may be appropriate, informed of matters coming to his attention which pertain to Branch activities.
10. THE TREASURER
The Treasurer shall be responsible for dealing with all monies received or paid on behalf of the Branch. He shall make any investment of the Branch funds approved by the Committee. He shall keep records and proper books of account of all the financial transactions conducted in the Branch’s name. He shall prepare for consideration by the Committee, a statement of income and expenditure and a balance sheet to the last day of February each year which shall be audited by the Branch auditors for submission to the Annual General Meeting.
He shall arrange for all Branch funds and securities to be kept on deposit with a bank or banks approved by the Committee and shall maintain a current account on which cheques or other orders may be signed by any two officers. With the approval of the Committee, the Treasurer may open one or more current accounts on which any other member of the Committee has joint signature authority.
11. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
(i). The Annual General Meeting of the Branch shall be held in March each year. Notice of the meeting and the agenda thereof shall be sent by post or otherwise transmitted to all paid-up members, 3 weeks before the meeting.
(ii). The notice shall request nominations for officers and the Committee.
(iii). To be valid, nominations must be :
(a) Seconded and
(b) Endorsed by he nominee to the effect that he is willing to accept the position if he is elected
(iv). The officers and other members of the Committee, including the Vice Chairperson, shall be elected at the meeting by ballot. If a nominee stands unopposed, he shall be deemed to have been so elected.
(v). The notice of the meeting shall also include the text of any motion proposed by the Committee. Any member may propose amendments to such motion and may make any further motion for consideration at the meeting but such amendments and further motions must be proposed and seconded in writing and delivered to the Secretary not less than fourteen (14) days before the meeting.
(vi). At least ten percent (10%) of the Branch’s membership entitled to vote at the meeting shall be required for a quorum.
(vii). The right to vote at the meeting shall be restricted to subscription paying members whose current subscriptions are fully paid.
12. SPECIAL GENERAL MEETINGS
(i). Any General Meeting of the Branch other than the Annual General Meeting shall be known as a Special General Meeting.
(ii). The Committee may call a Special General Meeting at any time upon giving not less than fourteen (14) days written notice thereof to all paid-up members. The notice shall state the reasons for the meeting and shall include the text of any proposals for consideration thereat. Amendments to such motions may be proposed at the meeting.
(iv). The Committee shall call a Special General Meeting upon receipt of a request to do so signed by no less than 3 paid-up members. Provided that the request states the reason therefore and contains the text of at least one motion proposed for consideration thereat. The provisions of the preceding paragraph shall apply with regard to convocation and conduct of the meeting.
(v). The provision of Byelaws 11 (vi) and (vii) shall apply to Special General Meetings.
(i). Subject to the provisions of Byelaw 11(iv) and 19(ii) and of the next succeeding paragraph, voting on any given motion at a General Meeting shall be by a show of hands or ballot, as the Chairperson may decide and motions shall be carried by the affirmative votes of a simple majority of voting members present.
(ii). Subject to Byelaw 20, a motion to alter these Byelaws shall only be carried by at least a two-thirds majority of affirmative votes cast by not less than 10% of he members of he Branch entitled to vote at General Meetings. Such motions may be voted upon in General Meeting or by postal ballot of all voting members.
(iii). Except as provided in Byelaws 19 and 20, the Committee may put any motion to the voting membership at any time by postal ballot.
Voting papers for such ballot shall be sent to all paid-up members not less than fourteen (14) days before the date on which the votes are to be counted. A motion put to postal ballot shall only be carried by a majority of affirmative votes cast be not less than 10% of the members of the Branch entitled to vote at a General Meeting.
(i). The Committee shall take office upon election and shall hold office until their successors have been elected.
(ii). The Committee shall have the power to fill any vacancy amongst the officers of the Branch or amongst the rest of the Committee’s membership which occurs during their term of office, and any person newly appointed to the Committee to fill such vacancy shall become a full voting member thereof.
(iii). The Committee shall determine any question as to the interpretation of these Byelaws and of any regulations made hereunder and may rule in connection with any situation not otherwise provided for herein. In the latter event, such ruling shall only remain in effect until the next General Meeting of the Branch. Its continued validity shall depend upon ratification of that meeting.
(iv). A simple majority of voting Committee members then serving shall form a quorum for a meeting; provided however, that no quorum can be formed without the presence of either the Chairperson, the Vice Chairperson or the Secretary.
(v). No resolution may be adopted by the Committee unless :
(a) It has the affirmative votes of a simple majority of those members present and entitled to vote and
(b) The number of such votes is at least equal to a simple majority of the number of the members required to open the meeting at which the resolution is proposed.
(vi). No member shall be entitled to vote on a matter in which his interest differs from that of the Branch as a whole, and he shall withdraw from any meeting during the period of discussion of such interest.
(vii). Any officer and the Vice Chairperson shall each have the power to require the Secretary to call a meeting of the Committee at any time.
15. MONTHLY MEETINGS
The Committee shall arrange for informal monthly meetings of the Branch to provide an opportunity for an exchange of opinions between the membership and the Committee. Notice of a meeting shall be posted with the previous month’s minutes not less than two weeks before the date thereof.
16. BRANCH ACTIVITIES
(i). At the discretion of the Diving Officer, Branch diving and open water training activities shall be open to members of other branches and to guests.
(ii). Subject to such regulations as may be established from time to time by the Committee, any Branch member and, with the prior approval of the official in charge of the session, any visitor from another branch or any guest may use the training pool for training or testing equipment, swimming with basic equipment and free swimming. No-one shall use any equipment other than basic equipment without the prior approval of the official in charge of the session.
(iii). If a member damages or loses Branch equipment the Committee may charge that member the cost of repairing or replacing the article. The Committee may similarly charge a member who damages or loses private property used in connection with Branch activities.
(i). Temporary suspension from participation :
(a) In order to ensure the safety and good name of the Branch and it’s members, the person in charge of Branch activity may suspend, at his discretion and for the duration of the activity, any member who misconducts himself. Any such suspension shall be reported as soon as possible to the Chairman or the Secretary and shall be discussed at the next meeting of the Committee.
(b) The Committee shall first discuss the incident without the presence of the member in question and then shall invite him to join the discussion and express his view of the matter.
(ii). Suspension and loss of membership :
(a) The Committee shall have the power by a two thirds majority of all serving voting members to suspend the membership of any member of the Branch. Suspension of the membership of any Officer or other Committee member shall be dealt with in accordance with the provision of the next succeeding sub-clause. A decision to suspend so taken shall be immediately communicated to the member concerned, and his membership shall thereupon be suspended.
A suspended member shall be entitled to demand a hearing at the next regular meeting of the Committee, during which the reason for his suspension shall be made fully known and ha shall be given the opportunity to answer fully the charges against him. Upon conclusion of the hearing, the member shall leave the meeting and the Committee shall vote again on the suspension. If the motion is not carried by the requisite two thirds majority, the suspension shall thereupon be lifted and the member shall be informed accordingly. If the motion is carried again by the said majority, the member shall be so informed and he shall thereupon be deemed to have resigned his membership in the Branch. The member affected shall have the right to appeal from the decision of the Committee to the next Branch general Meeting. In that regard, he shall, for the purposes of Rules 11(v) and 12(iii), have the rights of a fully paid-up member.
(b) Suspension of the membership of an Officer or other Committee member shall only be voted upon at a meeting, the agenda of which,
(a) Has been posted or distributed to all Committee members at least one week prior to the meeting and
(b) Explicitly refers to the motion of suspension.
If the person charged attends the meeting, he shall be entitled to hear and respond to the charges levied against him. When the Chairperson of the meeting is satisfied that the member has been adequately and fairly discussed, the person charged shall leave the meeting and a vote shall be taken. If the proposal to suspend is carried by the requisite two thirds majority, the person charged shall be deemed to have resigned his membership of the Branch. He shall have the right to appeal provided for in the preceding paragraph. If the person does not attend the meeting the provisions of the preceding paragraph shall apply.
(i). Persons joining or rejoining the Branch shall pay the appropriate national Headquarters subscription plus the Branch subscription.
(ii). Branch membership subscription shall be in such amount, shall be payable on such dates and shall be subject to such terms and conditions as may be determined from time to time by the Committee.
(i). The Branch may not be dissolved except pursuant to a vote taken at a General meeting; provided however, that dissolution may be put to a vote at an Annual General meeting only if it appears on the agenda provided for in Byelaw 11 (i).
(ii). A proposal to dissolve the Branch shall be subject to ballot and, in order to be carried, it must receive the affirmative votes of two thirds of the voting members of the Branch who are present at the meeting.
(iii). If dissolution of the Branch is voted in accordance with the preceding provisions of the Byelaw, the Committee shall proceed without delay to realise the property of the Branch and to discharge the Branch’s outstanding liabilities. Any net assets thereafter shall be distributed to recognised charitable organisation(s) having similar interests to the Branch and in such a fashion as the meeting shall have decided.
(i). These Byelaws may only be amended in a General Meeting in accordance with the affirmative votes of a majority of 66% of those voting members who are present at the meeting.
(ii). Not withstanding anything to the contrary contained in these Byelaws; no amendment may be made to this Byelaw (20) or to Byelaws 2, 18, 19, 21 unless prior to the meeting at which such amendment is proposed, an Officer or the Chief Executive of the British Sub Aqua Club shall have notified the Branch in writing of the ‘British Sub Aqua Club’ approval of the subject and text thereof.
21. BRITISH SUB AQUA CLUB RULES
These Byelaws, made in compliance with Rule 3 of the British Sub Aqua Club Rules, shall be subject to the provision and requirements of that Rule and shall only be valid to the extent that they are not in conflict with the said provisions and requirements or those of the Articles of Association of the British Sub Aqua Club.