Downham Amateur

Dramatic Society

Entertaining West Norfolk since 1947


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The Jean Wernham Award Winner 2019 - Jane Baxter

At the AGM this year, we were proud to present the Jean Wernham Award for 2019 to Jane Baxter! Jane was nominated for her dedication and extraordinary commitment to the society over the past 12 months. She was specifically nominated for her role in educating herself and others around the tightening rules and regulations surrounding safeguarding and chaperoning. The nomination exerpt read out by our Chair, Ken Baxter, read:


'Jane has been nominated because of her extraordinary commitment to improving our safeguarding and chaperoning practices, and the way she ruthlessly ensured that we adhered to everything we needed to do throughout 'The Sound of Music' and 'Beauty and the Beast'. She went out of her way to educate herself and then pass this information onto everyone else. I think that with such an important thing, it is vital that we have had someone strong leading the way this year as the regulations have tightened. She is tenacious, organised and strict and is never scared to stand up and say what needed to be said, however, at the same time she is kind, big-hearted and loving and has been a shoulder to cry on when needed. For a lot of people she has kept their spirits up backstage, and also made sure that every child never missed an entrance (mostly!)'


The award was presented, ironically, by the society Chair (and Jane's husband) Ken Baxter. Well done Jane!


We also need to say congratulations to the other nominees for the award this year:


  • Kathy Philipot
  • Phil Melia
  • Natalie Mills



    Other AGM News


    The updated constitution proposed by the Policy Sub-Committee was approved unanimously, with a minor amendment proposed, in addition, during the meeting by Robert Hornett (the amendment is: 5. 'In addition, there will be between 2 and 4 General Committee members...') You can find a copy of the new constitution here.


    The new committee was elected and this is the outcome:

    • Chair - Ken Baxter (re-elected)
    • Vice-chair - Kathy Philipot (re-elected)
    • Secretary - Brian Reeve-Hayes (re-elected)
    • Tresurer - Phil Melia (re-elected)
    • Publicity Secretary - Jamie Robinson (replacing Carrie-ann Lister)
    • Membership and Social Secretary - Caroline Pocock (replacing Carrie-ann Lister)
    • General Committee - Robert Hornett, Kelly Baxter, Carrie-ann Lister, John Edwards


    Please do give a warm welcome to our 2 brand new committee members for this year when you see them: Caroline and John!


    Reports were delivered by the committee officers, which generally highlighted and challenging year from a lot of different perspectives, however we have managed to emerge relatively unscathed in a good position to move forward into the next year. Questions were asked about the unfortunte cancellation of the may production of 'Outside Edge' and lesson learnt from this were discussed. The Society Tresurer Phil also discussed the society's financial position; he stressed the need for us to be careful in the year ahead due to some large unforseen losses in the past year and urged everyone to contribute to the success of all fundraising events and productions, however, he did also highlight the healthy profits that were made by 'The Sound of Music', 'Beauty and the Beast' and the new disco night. Robert Hornett also gave an update on the redesigned website and the members area which will be up and running soon.


    Full minutes of the AGM will be published here soon.