Comings and Goings

It was to be a meeting of change as our lovely Richard Johnson (Rik), after much deliberation, had previously announced his decision to retire from his post as president. Not an easy decision for him as you can imagine, after many years of dedication to Phoenix. However, his current health problems stepped in and made the decision for him. Rik and Sheelagh are our founding fathers and those who know them, know how devoted to animals they are. Rik will still be on hand doing his bit, just try stopping him!

Rik is not the only conseil member to stand down. Treasurer, Alan Endres also stood down mid term. Our secretary, Virginie Kok-Gardvici, has decided, because of hectic work commitments, not to stand again this year.  Nik Dolman has returned to the UK and as much as she would like to stay on the conseil, it is a little bit too far to commute! However, Nik is still very much part of our online communications team, particularly for our dogs.

Some of you may know that Phoenix suffered the loss of a staunch supporter on November 5th last year, when Phil Leib passed away after many years of skilful foster caring. Phil had also been a serving member on the Phoenix conseil. We have lost him forever. Bless you, Phil.


 With all the changes above it seemed ‘comme il faut’ to go the whole hog and have a change of venue as well.  Actually, it was out of our hands as we were unable to hold it in the usual place and had no choice but to look for somewhere else. Rik cleverly worked his magic and arranged for us to hold our AGM à la mairie in Vergt.  We were allocated a spacious salon, so, thanks to Rik for this.

 More than 30 members attended.  One member drove all the way from Normandy to show his appreciation to Rik, thank you, Graham, it was lovely to see you.

Peter McAuslan opened the meeting by welcoming those presentand announcing apologies from those unable to attend.

Madeliene Bath, as President elect, introduced herself before giving the President’s Report for 2018, compiled by herself and the outgoing president.

Peter McAuslan, stepped in as acting treasurer, half way through the year when Alan Endres stood down.  Peter reported on Alan’s first part of the year, together with his accounts from when he took over.  This year, Peter brought us into the 21st century by presenting his accounts through a PowerPoint display.

Christine Endres took the floor and talked for a few minutes about membership business.

There was a break taken after this point where we ate delicious cake, biscuits and samosas and drank tea and coffee.  Most of all we mingled and chatted with friends. Whilst we were enjoying ourselves, the voting forms were being counted by two responsible persons.

Election of the Conseil

Six people put themselves forward to be considered for election to the Phoenix conseil. They were all voted in.

Madeleine Bath  – President

Peter McAuslan  – Treasurer

Christine Endres  – Secretary

Sheelagh Johnson

Jenny Brahma

Gillian Le Solleu

Christine Endres thanked the outgoing members for their hard work on behalf of Phoenix, and welcomed our new conseil members.

Then it was time for us to officially thank Rik. Madeliene presented him, on behalf of Phoenix, a beautiful engraved Dartington crystalglass clock. Unbeknown to him, the conseil had already decided to ask him to consider the role of Honorary President.  He accepted with his famous grin and a great applause ensued.

Rik and Sheelagh will always Mr and Mrs Phoenix to most of us. Change is inevitable and with it comes inspiration and energy. It is a healthy way forward. Long may we continue with the commitment and love shown by Rik and Sheelagh so that Phoenix continues to help all those unwanted animals and change their lives forever.

The meeting ended at 15:30.