In January we held our Annual General Meeting and voted in our new President for 2017. Incoming President, Ralph Newman takes over from Rebecca Knox. Rebecca Knox welcomed Mr Newman saying, “I’m delighted to be handing over to Ralph. I know he is going to be an enormous asset to the Society and is going to have a wonderful time. I have hugely enjoyed my time as President – I was made to feel so welcome and have learned so much”. Will Frost continues as Chairman and Jo Sage as Vice Chairman. James Vickery was appointed as a new Director on the Board.
The new President, Ralph Newman, is a farmer from Holywell, Dorchester. He and his wife Gill have been farming since 1965. The family farm at Chantmarle is now farmed by his son Dan and his grandson Bertie, although Ralph still has a keen interest, particularly in the dairy business. Ralph is very well known to the Society. He was actively involved in the mid 70s with the livestock committee and was Chairman of the Society in 1989. He said he was looking forward to being actively involved again and praised the way the Society had developed in the past few years. He was also very pleased to see that the three E’s (a term given to him to describe the aims of the Society back when he was Chairman) Education, Entertainment and Enjoyment were still very much in evidence.
To recognise people who have given exceptional service to the Society over the years the Society has introduced a Melplash Agricultural Society lapel pin. These were awarded by the President to: Philip Symes, Elizabeth Gale, Anne Vincent, Pat Fowler, Philip Baker, John Samways, Cliff Pitcher. Not present to collect were Pauline Walbridge, Diana Crumpler and Archie Cowley.