Minewarfare and Clearance Diving
CONSTITUTION (Valid from 13 July 1993, revised November 2022)
ARTICLE 1. TITLE AND AIM
101. The organisation shall be named: "The Minewarfare and Clearance Diving Officers' Association" hereafter referred to as "the Association".
102. Its aim is to perpetuate the "Esprit de Corps" and comradeship amongst Minewarfare and Clearance Diving Officers in the Royal Navy by the regular exchange of information and meetings on both a social and formal basis to their mutual benefit.
ARTICLE 2. MEMBERSHIP
201. The Association shall comprise:
a. Full Members.
b. Associate Members.
c. Honorary Members.
d. Life Members.
e. Affiliate Members.
202. Full Members. Eligibility for full membership is automatic for all serving and retired Minewarfare and Clearance Diving Officers (MCDOs), Minewarfare Officers (MWOs), Clearance Diving Officers (CDOs) and Officers who were qualified in Deep Diving (QDDs) and Foreign Navy Officers who have similar qualifications and who have served with the Royal Navy. Students qualifying on appropriate courses shall be waived the current year’s subscription, and be dined in at the expense of the Association at the next programmed Annual Dinner, provided they pledge to join the Association the following year.
203. Associate Members. Associate membership, limited to twenty‑five percent of the full membership, is open to those persons who have made a marked contribution to the Minewarfare and Clearance Diving community and the welfare of its members. Candidates must be nominated by a Full Member and receive the formal unanimous endorsement of the Committee. Associate Members will not be entitled to vote or nominate or second other persons for membership.
204. Honorary Members. Honorary membership may be bestowed on individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the aims of the Association or to the activities of the MCD and MW Officer community. Honorary members shall pay no fees and shall be entitled to all privileges of membership except voting rights. Normally, not more than one honorary member will be elected annually. Honorary members will be elected by the Full Membership following proposal by the Committee.
205. Life Members. Free life membership is granted to those members who have attained the age of 75 or who have been Clearance Diving or Minewarfare Officers for 50 years. Life members have the same membership rights as Full Members.
206. Affiliate Members. Affiliate membership is open to WO(MW)s, WO(D)s and members of REBDOC (Royal Engineers Bomb Disposal Officers’ Club) on application citing a Full Member as a referee. Affiliate members shall pay no fees but their privileges will be restricted to attending certain social functions, such as the Annual Dinner, by direct application.
207. Privileges of Membership. On admission, each member shall be entitled to a copy of the Constitution. They will also be entitled to receive notices of forthcoming events.
208. Cessation of Membership. Individual membership of the Association will cease when that person:
b. Resigns having given one month’s notice and having paid any fees and subscriptions then due.
c. Is recommended for expulsion by a three‑quarters majority of the Committee, but such expulsions shall be subject to appeal. Written notice shall be given of the reasons for intended disqualification to allow sufficient time for an individual to provide their defence. A decision will then be taken by the Committee taking any appeal into account.
d. Has not paid their their annual subscription by the due date (See 302).
ARTICLE 3. FUNDS
301. Funds of the Association shall consist of income derived from annual subscriptions, donations and profit from social functions. Entrance Fees and Annual Subscriptions will be decided at the Annual General Meeting (AGM).
302. The subscription year will run from 1 January. Unless by prior written arrangement with the Honorary Secretary, annual subscriptions shall be paid by Credit Card or PayPal via the MCDOA's MOJO website. Members who have not paid by 28 February will be deemed to have lapsed their membership.
303. The Association will retain as a minimum within its funds a reserve equal to covering the full cost of two Association major functions annually. Remaining funds will be unallocated and available to the Committee for expenditure on reasonable running costs, to subsidise Association events and activities, pay for members leaving gifts, make donations for members who cross the bar, and any other expenditure as agreed by the Committee.
ARTICLE 4. STRUCTURE
401. The Association shall comprise the following Structure:
a. Honorary President who shall be a senior officer and preferably Full member of the Association unanimously recommended by the Committee and endorsed at the AGM.
b. Honorary Past Presidents who shall have been Honorary Presidents of the Association.
c. The Committee which shall consist of:
• Vice Chairman
• Social Secretary
• Up to two representatives of Serving and Retired members.
ARTICLE 5. THE COMMITTEE
501. The Committee shall comprise the following, to be elected annually by the membership at the AGM. No Committee member shall hold more than one of the appointments:
a. Chair. A serving senior officer and Full Member of the Association.
b. Vice Chair. A Full Member of the Association.
c. Secretary. A serving officer and Full Member of the Association.
d. Treasurer. A Full Member of the Association.
f. Social Secretary. A Full Member of the Association.
g. Serving and Retired Officers’ Representatives.
Representatives of the Serving and Retired Members will make up a representative forum. There shall be no limit to the number of these forum members. The role of this forum will be to offer help and assistance to the Association and represent the interests of the Association at appropriate ‘gatherings’.
502. The Secretary will represent the views of those members outside the UK.
503. The Committee may co‑opt members to fill any posts falling vacant during the current year.
504. The Committee will select official guests for the Annual Dinner whose costs will be borne by the Association. These will normally comprise any members leaving the Service plus up to five non-members, including a Principal Guest, as appropriate to the occasion and their relevance to the Association.
ARTICLE 6. COMMITTEE AND GENERAL MEETINGS
601. The Committee shall meet in person or virtually at least once every six months to control and manage the business, affairs and finances of the Association. Sufficient notice shall be given to all committee members to attend. The Secretary shall publish the agenda and minutes of all meetings. The Committee will be quorate when four of its members are at the meeting. This shall include the Chair or Vice Chair unless it has been agreed in advance that someone else will chair the meeting.
602. The Chair or, in their absence,
the Vice Chair shall chair the meetings assisted by the Secretary. Each member
of the Committee shall have voting rights. In the event of a deadlock, the
man shall have a casting vote.
603. The Committee shall monitor the finances of the Association, recommend changes and agree on an agenda for the AGM.
604. The Constitution of the Association and the structure of the Committee shall be reviewed annually, adjusted if necessary for approval at the AGM.
605. Any member of the Committee may be dismissed and a replacement appointed by a three quarter majority of the Committee.
606. An AGM followed by a formal social evening shall be held at a venue to be decided by the Committee.
607. At all Annual General and Special meetings, Full Members shall have one vote for each proposal.
608. Votes may be given by members in person, or by their duly authorised proxies, who must be present at the meeting.
609. The Committee members shall be elected or re‑elected at the AGM. Nominations should be proposed and seconded by Full Members, having been endorsed by the nominee that they are prepared to serve, and are to reach the Secretary at least one month before the AGM.
610. Any proposed amendments to the Constitution, matters for discussion at the AGMs or Committee meetings, should be forwarded to the Secretary no later than 21 days before the scheduled date of the next meeting.
611. All Association members will be invited to the AGM where there will be an opportunity to vote. The AGM will be considered quorate based on those Association members present plus the Chair, or Vice Chair in their absence, and at least four Committee members.
ARTICLE 7. ACCOUNTS AND AUDITS
701. A bank account in the name of the "Minewarfare and Clearance Diving Officers' Association" shall be held at the National Westminster Bank, PO Box 25, 130 Commercial Road, Portsmouth, PO1 lES. An account needs to held in an appropriate bank account.
702. Two signatories, the Treasurer plus one other member of the Committee, will be required on all withdrawals made.
703. The Treasurer shall keep proper accounts which are to be presented at each Committee meeting. The Annual Accounts shall be presented at the AGM for approval by the membership. The accounting year shall be 1st Apr to the 31st Mar the following year. The year to date accounts is to be reported at the AGM.
704. The account shall be open to the inspection of any Member following a request made to the Chair.
705. At every AGM, at least one member shall be appointed as auditor and audit all Association accounts for the following year.
ARTICLE 8. DISSOLUTION OF THE ASSOCIATION
801. The Association shall be dissolved if and when a resolution for the same shall have been carried by a three quarter majority vote of all Full Members in person at an extraordinary or Annual General Meeting.
802. On dissolution, the Committee shall be empowered, after payment of all debts and expenses to apply surplus funds to such Naval Charities or similar bodies as they may in their absolute discretion think fit.
ARTICLE 9. DUTIES OF MEMBERS
901. In accepting membership, members undertake to abide by the Constitution of the Association and decisions of the Committee. Members of the MCDOA should to bring to the attention of the committee the death or hardship of any member or widow of any member of the Branch(es) regardless of rank, rate or MCDOA membership.’
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