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Lancaster LNU: Annual General Meetings (AGMs)

Looking back and looking forward
Most of Lancaster LNU’s AGMs were held at Lancaster Town Hall © Janet Nelson

Most of Lancaster LNU’s AGMs were held at Lancaster Town Hall
© Janet Nelson

Lancaster League of Nations Union AGMs were held in March or April every year, at least for the first 13 years, each one covered by the Lancaster Guardian. (1) Most were held at the Town Hall, but twice at the Friends’ Hall, (1924, 1925), and once at the Baptist Church (1931). Lord Richard Cavendish, President 1921-28, never attended. The AGM was usually chaired by the Chairman or Mayor until 1930 and the new President in 1931/2. The Secretary’s and Treasurer’s report and elections were covered each year. Mr and Mrs Dowbiggin’s secretarial reports varied in content. Until 1929 they concentrated mostly on Lancaster LNU issues but from then on the emphasis was on the League of Nations and international affairs. On occasion, Muriel could be abrasive, as in 1922 she threatened in the meeting a walk-out by the women members if the Lancaster LNU did not become more active, and in 1932 she clashed with the President (the Vicar of Lancaster) as to whether a local branch should criticise the Government’s attitude over disarmament.

On three occasions the branch invited a national speaker. In 1922, Frederick Whelen, recently having attended the League’s Geneva Conference, described the history of the League and ways in which America could be persuaded to join; in 1924 he concentrated on the inclusion of the Irish Free State and Ethiopia and the importance of delivering the text of the Covenant to schools. In 1929, Mr Alec Wilson spoke about the need to understand the American point of view. (1)

References/Further Reading:

(1) Lancaster Guardian, 19 Mar 1921, 22 Apr 1922, 22 Mar 1924, 21 Mar 1925, 3 Apr 1926, 9 Apr 1927, 21 Apr 1928, 23 Mar 1929, 21 Mar 1930, 2 Apr 1931 & 18 Mar 1932 (1923 not extracted).
(2) Alec Wilson, Member of the Irish Academy.