This year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) took place in Paris from May 7th to May 9th. This event was hosted by the French JOIN member, Association des Œuvres de Saint-Jean. At the end, delegates of St John charities and the Orders of St John look back on a successful meeting.
At the meeting, the delegates received an overview of JOIN’s activities from June 2014 to May 2015 by JOIN Chairman Christian Velten-Jameson. The General Assembly discussed the developments in the different working groups (PR & Marketing, Youth, Volunteering, Clinical Group, International Cooperation) and upcoming initiatives such as a more detailed exchange on fundraising. JOIN General Manager Daniel McCormack reported on the working areas of the JOIN office over the past year, while emphasising the office’s focus on EU funding opportunities and networking activities in Brussels. Johannes Bucher (JOIN Board member and President of Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe Austria) presented JOIN accounts 2014 as well as JOIN budget for 2015 and 2016.
This year’s meeting placed a focus on cooperation on international projects. Firstly, several JOIN members presented their activities in the area:
Sir Paul Lambert (Secretary General of the Most Venerable Order of St John) presented the on-going St John International Mother and Baby programme in various African countries. Oliver Rodewald (Deputy Director of Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe Germany) spoke about Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe Germany’s humanitarian assistance work and their disaster response operations in the recent humanitarian emergency in Nepal in particular. Rainer von Echlin (Coordinator for international activities at Association des Œuvres de Saint-Jean) illustrated the development of the Saint-Jean Diabetes Clinic in Madagascar. Finally, Paul Williams (Head of Administration and Support Services at the St John Eye Hospital) gave an interesting insight into the work of the St John Eye Hospital in Jerusalem.
After the presentations, the delegates discussed already existing cooperation mechanisms, mainly in the area of fundraising, and agreed that these efforts should be reinforced and further developed. Particularly Dr. Robert Brandstetter’s intervention on the benefits of fundraising cooperation for international projects left a positive, lasting impression.
Finally, after what was perceived by all delegates to be a successful two-year term of the JOIN Board, the General Assembly thanked the JOIN Board and particularly Chairman Christian Velten-Jameson for all their efforts during the last two years. Ian Mackenzie from St John Ambulance England was elected the new Chairman of JOIN for the next two years, while Christian Velten-Jameson was appointed Vice-Chairman. The other two Board members elected were Wolfram Rohleder from Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe Germany and Eric von Troil from Johanniterhjälpen Finland. Johannes Bucher and also Dr. Arnold v. Rümker did not stand again for re-election.
The next AGM is planned to take place in Helsinki in May 2016.