SS15. On other pages: part 1, part 2, part 3.
[Allan Campbell: see Journals, Newsletters, Media, Spell 4 Literacy NZ.]

simpl speling June 2001 part 4 members' supplement.

Editor: Allan Campbell.

Reports from the AGM.

Chair's round-up.

'Flurry of correspondence'.

Allan Campbell deserves thanks for the flurry of correspondence about spelling reform in The Press in Christchurch, NZ, which was started by Joe Bennett, a columnist opposed to reform. Allan wrote several letters himself and encouraged many other members to get involved.

In January 2000 Masha Bell made a submission to House of Commons Education Select Committee's Inquiry into Early Years. The committee published its report in January 2001 without mentioning our submission, but it enabled us to gain some publicity in the press and on radio, and some new members, Jack Bovill among them.

Allan Campbell made a similar submission to an Inquiry into Reading by a NZ parliamentary select committee which has yet to report. This too provided several opportunities for publicity, one of them on television when writer and SSS member Ze do Rock from Munich visited NZ.

I was disappointed that some serious strains were experienced on the committee during the past year and I hope that these are now resolved.

I thank all members who have continued to work hard on behalf of the Society, including Jean Hutchins for setting up and moderating the different lists and John Gledhill for his excellent work as membership secretary. I am keenly aware of the gap which Chris Upward's retirement from the committee will cause.

Informing new members.

Among Chris Upward's tasks has been sending documentation to new members. Members at the meeting declined to take it on because of shortage of storage space.

Instead it was agreed for the interim at least to try to compile a few pages of informatlon for new members which the membership secretary could keep on file for sending out. possibly as a small booklet titled Welcome to the SSS. Masha Bell suggested this might include topics like:

SSS aims and objectives, a list of committee members with profiles, the constitution, arrangements for meetings, what members can do to promote the cause, description of the different discussion groups, a brief history of efforts to reform English spelling, and of the SSS, a list of past and present famous people in favor of spelling reform and famous people with spelling problems.

Jean Hutchins suggested including different versions of The Star as spelt in published PVs. John Gledhill wanted information on subscriptions included.

Masha, with John, was asked to devise a welcome package. She seeks input from members who have just joined.

Sadness at news.

The meeting was sad to learn that due to deterioration of his helth Chris Upward was could no longer attend committee meetings and will have to curtail his SSS activities for the time being. The meeting was united in wishing him well, and chair Chris Jolly gave a long tribute to Chris's work (see front page). In recognition of his long, dedicated and scholarly service to the Society he is being asked if he would accept a position of vice president.

An immediate problem facing the Society is the future of the Journal. Edward Marchant is willing to carry on with proofreading it, also the newsletter, tho he is not on email.

A simpler introduction.

The meeting agreed that the current introductory leaflet was aimed mainly at the fairly well-educated and was not an easy read.

It was felt that in producing a new leaflet, it was essential to be clear about its target audience and how it would be distributed or otherwise used.

A survey of members at the meeting revealed they had all joined the Society because they were already aware of the problems of English spelling. The most common trigger for joining had been a newspaper article, followed by word-of-mouth recommendation.

A simpler Introduction to the SSS on the website, something more eye-catching for those who visit the site purely out of curiosity, was thought to be a good idea. A volunteer able and willing to produce this is sought. Can u help?

The meeting supported Jack Bovill's idea for a guide to simplified spelling in text messages, with these simplifications possibly being used in ordinary emails, letters, etc, but it would need to be published by a commercial publisher rather than the Society.


Committee: Chris Jolly (chair), Jean Hutchins (vice-chair), Masha Bell (minutes), Tony Burns, Leo Chapman, Paul Fletcher, John Gledhill, Guy Otten, Gerald Palmer, Gwenllian Thorstad.

Members: Jerry Dicker, Jane Mace, Edward Marchant.
Apologies: Allan Campbell, Robert Craig, Margaret Hirst, Marian Horner, Nicholas Kerr, Carol Saxby, Chris Upward.

Subscription unchanged.

The meeting left the annual subscription unchanged at £15 for next year. It ratified the decision of the committee to offer the option of life membership at 10 times the annual fee.

John Gledhill. the membership secretary, was given permission to negotiate corporate membership if the opportunity arose.

If there is an 'e' in the bottom right of your address label, it means that u will receive no further newsletters or Journals until the Society receives your subscription for Januarv-December 2001.

Reports to the meeting:

Membership secretary - John Gledhill.
We currently have 110 paid-up members, 4 vice presidents, 1 life member, and 29 potential renewals.

We send out 8 complimentary copies of the newsletter and 30 copies of the Journal, some of which are by subscription to libraries, editorial teams and similar.

Problems of spelling are the main concern of our members [62]. They are also interested in language in general [52]. Many have experience of teaching spelling in some form [95], be this in basic literacy [22]. English as a foreign language [22], remedial teaching [16] or adult literacy [16].

NZ representative, SS editor - Allan Campbell.
We still await the report of the NZ Parliamentary Select Committee into the teaching of reading. Whatever they say, we can hopeftilly get some publicity.

Since January Ian Hunter, Chrissy Parker and I have had an ongoing newspaper correspondence in the Christchurch Star, a twice-weekly, giveaway. This keeps the topic alive with a limited literate audience, tho it doesn't make it an issue.

I am sending a letter to SPELD, an NZ organization for dyslexics, drawing their attention to the recent study which showed Italian dyslexics have only half the reading problems of those in France and Britain. I am suggesting we have common ground in wanting English spelling improved, and can perhaps co-operate and support each other in some areas.

Personal Views editor - Paul Fletcher.
There are currently no new PVs in the pipeline. Pete Boardman has still not completed the overview of schemes published so far.

Strategy group - Jack Bovill.
Five members have volunteered to form such a group. Three are interested in publicizing the costs of English spelling and the benefits reform would bring. The group will therefore make this its main concern. It is likely to need further guidance from the committee.

The incoming committee was asked to draft a job description for a publicity officer.

Election of new committee.

The following eight members (in alfabetical order) were elected by postal ballot to serve on the committee for the coming year: Masha Bell, Jack Bovill, John Gledhill, Jean Hutchins, Chris Jolly, Nicholas Kerr, Guy Otten, Zé do Rock.

Paul Fletcher, Gwen Thorstad, and Elizabeth Kuizenga were co-opted for the committee. The following office-bearers were elected: Chair, Chris Jolly: vice-chair, Jean Hutchins; membership secretary, John Gledhill.

Masha Bell was reappointed as paid secretary and treasurer for a further year. She made it clear that she was unlikely to accept reappointment to either post on present terms again.

[The Report on finances has been omitted.]

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On other pages: part 1, part 2, part 3.