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The Watsonian Constitution

1. Status of this Constitution

The Watsonian Club (The Club) is a Company Limited by Guarantee.

The Constitution of the Watsonian Club was adopted by the Watsonian Council at its meeting on 15 May 2019. Nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to conflict with the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Company and where any conflict may nevertheless occur, the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Company shall prevail.

2. Aims and Objectives

The Club shall have the following objectives:

  1. To promote and maintain co-operation at home and abroad between former pupils and staff of George Watson’s College (“the School”), George Watson’s Ladies’ College, George Watson’s Boys’ College and John Watson’s School (“the former schools”), in all matters relating to the welfare and future success of the School;
  2. To strengthen friendships formed at the School and the former schools;
  3. To carry on a Benevolent Fund (“The Fund”) for the benefit of Watsonians and their dependants;
  4. To promote the George Watson’s Family Foundation and the George Watson’s College Endowment Trust;
  5. To promote, monitor and regulate its recognised Sections and Branches throughout the world and to encourage engagement and participation in sports and other activities.

3. The Watsonian Council

The activities of the Club shall be directed and regulated by the Watsonian Council. Under the Memorandums and Articles of the Company, all Members of the Council are Directors and those Directors who are not employees of the School are also Members of the Company.

The Council shall comprise:

  • The President
  • The Vice President
  • The Immediate Past President (where appointed for a final year as member of Council).
  • The Principal of George Watson’s College (as delegate of the Merchant Company of Edinburgh Education Board [“The Board”])
  • A second delegate of the Board (where the Board has appointed such a delegate)
  • The Director of Development of George Watson’s College
  • Up to Six Ordinary Members appointed by the Council for a term of three years, and who may be reappointed for a maximum of one further term.

The Principal may appoint two Sixth Year pupils to attend Council to represent current pupils but they shall not be Directors or Members of the Company.

4. General Responsibilities of the Council

The Council shall meet not less than three times a year and its responsibilities shall include:

  1. Overseeing the activities undertaken in the name of the Club and to make suggestions of ways in which the Club’s aims and objectives can be furthered;
  2. Appointing members of the Committee of the Fund as required and to receive reports of the activities of the Fund, including its annual accounts.
  3. Ensuring the funds of the Club are appropriately managed and deployed.
  4. Appointing a President, Vice President and Ordinary Members of Council.

The Council shall have such other powers and responsibilities as are provided in the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Company.

5. Benefits of Membership

Former pupils of the School and of the former schools, current staff and current parents of the School automatically enjoy the benefits of membership. In the case of former pupils, the benefits commence from the date of the end of the school session in the year in which they are or would have been in S6. Former staff of the School and the former schools may continue their membership when they leave the employment of the School if they wish to do so.

The Council may, in exceptional circumstances, determine that the benefits of membership shall not extend to individuals who would otherwise be eligible if, in the opinion of the Council, enjoyment of such benefits would be detrimental to the reputational or other interests of the Club or of the School or any of its pupils.

The Council may recommend for election to Honorary Membership of the Club any person who has rendered special service to the Club, the School or the former schools.

6. Responsibilities and Powers of the Council in respect of Sections and Branches

The Council shall:

  1. Promote, monitor and regulate the activities of the Club’s Branches and Sections in pursuing their objectives and those of the Club, in particular pay attention to the requirements that:
    • Sports Sections be registered with the appropriate Governing Body
    • Sections and Branches maintain high standards in respect of child protection and safeguarding, data protection and health and safety compliance.
    • Sections and Branches maintain high standards of governance and financial propriety, including maintaining appropriate levels of insurance for their assets and activities.
  2. Consider and approve, if thought fit, changes in constitutions of Sections and Branches
  3. Safeguard the reputation of the Club, the School and the Board, considering any complaints that may arise because of actions or behaviours of Section or Branch members.
  4. Monitor and regulate the use of the trademarks and other intellectual property relating to the Club and its activities which is registered in the name of the Board and owned by it.
  5. Approve, if thought fit, the creation of additional Branches and Sections.
  6. Take such actions as may be reasonably required to regulate the operation of Branches or Sections, including rescinding the right to use the name “Watsonian”, the Watsonian crest, badge, motto or any other intellectual property associated with the Club, the School or the Board.

7. Administration of the Club

The Club is administered on behalf of the Council by the School Development Office and a member of staff of the Development Office provides the Secretariat for the Council.

The School shall meet the reasonable costs of the administration of the Club.

The fund(s) of the Club shall be kept in such a manner as the Council may determine and be used for the benefit of the Club or School as deemed appropriate by the Council.

8. The Watsonian President and Vice President

The President and Vice President shall be elected by the Watsonian Council from the membership of the Club, always provided that no person employed by the School may be elected or serve as President or Vice President of the Club.

The term of office of the President and Vice President is two years. On demitting office as President, the Immediate Past President may be invited to remain as a member of the Watsonian Council for a maximum of one further year.

The responsibilities of the Watsonian President shall be:

  1. To chair meetings of the Watsonian Council and to exercise a casting vote as required
  2. To provide a point of reference/advice to the School on matters relating to Watsonians.
  3. To promote the Club and its objectives.
  4. To identify and develop ways of engaging with Watsonians for the Club and the School.
  5. To represent the Club at School occasions.
  6. To attend selected activities of Branches, Sections or other groups.
  7. To support fundraising for the George Watson’s Family Foundation and the George Watson’s Endowment Trust.
  8. To serve ex officio as a member of the Claims Sub-Committee of the Fund and as one of its Trustees.

The Vice President shall deputise for the President as necessary at the request of the President.

9. The Open Meeting

The President shall host an open meeting at the end of their two year term of office, for all members of the Club, at which they shall outline the key activities of the Club and School over the preceding two years.  At the end of this term of Presidency, the meeting will also provide the point of handover between the outgoing and incoming President, and the business of the meeting will include the presentation of the President’s chain, the Past President’s badge, and the Vice President’s medallion.

10. Amendments to the Constitution

Amendments to this Constitution may be made on the affirmative vote of two thirds of the members of Council present and voting at a properly constituted meeting where the proposal for the amendment has been notified to members of Council on the Agenda for the meeting. A copy of any amended Constitution shall be communicated to the Secretary of the Board.

15 May 2019