MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN
Voting closed on 31 December 2022 with result as follows:
- 160 BWISC members voted (out of 298)
- 157 voted in favour of the merger (over 50% of membership)
- 3 voted against
Therefore, BCPSG and BWISC will pursue the necessary arrangements to merge the societies.
As previously communicated, we have been discussing the potential merger of the BWISC and the US based British Caribbean Philatelic Study Group (BCPSG).
These two societies have almost identical collecting interests.
BCPSG members have approved the proposed merger.
We now wish to ballot BWISC members to gain agreement to the merger.
The BWISC Committee believe that such a merger is on the best interest of both Societies.
The combined membership would be over 400, a 25%+ increase on current BWISC numbers, which offsets the recent dwindling.
Whereas it has been difficult to fill the pages of two journals with articles, a combined journal should be stronger.
- The merged society would be named West Indies Philatelic Study Group(WIPSG). This combines name elements of both societies but drops the word "British", as the connotations are no longer helpful. The wipsg.org domain name has been secured.
- The WIPSG would be UK based as far as accounting and governance / law is concerned. Technically the way this would work is changing the name of the BWISC to be WIPSG. The BCPSG Society would be dissolved and BCPSG funds would be gifted to the WIPSG (about $15,000).
- The BWISC Committee will continue in format, but be expanded to specifically include two representatives from the Americas. These representatives will coordinate activity on the other side of the Atlantic.
- Existing BCPSG Life Members would have their dues for the WIPSG paid through 2032 (10 years)
- The auctions will be combined.
- The cost implications of the change have been assessed over the next ten years and are fine. It is anticipated that the membership subscription will not change as a result of the merger however, the recent, significant, cost of living increases may need to be reflected.