The Dogwood Monarchist Society (DMS) remains committed to being financially transparent and moving forward, a reconvened annual general meeting was told May 16.
However, said Dean of the College of Monarchs Steve Lobsinger, the society needs to be able to deal with any problems members might have in-house. It’s not appropriate to have them aired in public such as online venues or bars, he said.
Lobsinger’s comments follow a vigorous discussion on Xtra.ca after the DMS’s last meeting was adjourned on April 11.
Some members described the April meeting as tense; others disputed that. It was rescheduled after it was revealed that it hadn’t been called in accordance with the society’s bylaws.
“We did not follow our bylaws to a T and set it up as we were supposed to,” Lobsinger acknowledged yesterday.
Sunday’s meeting went smoothly and quickly.
Key among the topics discussed was the society’s finances, which had become a topic of online debate after Xtra’s report on the first meeting.
For 2009, DMS donations included $850 to Friends for Life Society; $5,749 to Qmunity for the Generations Project; $6,534 to Out in Schools and $5,749 to Health Initiative for Men. Out in Schools will also receive $784 raised during Matthew Shepard Month.
The society’s 2009 revenues of $39,553 include $20,107 listed as donations in the reign of Empress Iona Whipp and Emperor XXXV Mike Murrell.
The cost of this year’s coronation was $15,498. It generated $18,898 in revenue, figures show.
“The operating costs of the society was roughly $3,000 last year,” Lobsinger said.
“Coronation has to be held,” he added. “It’s our Pride parade.”
Lobsinger noted the DMS is a not-for-profit, non-reporting society which presents a statement of earnings and expenses to its annual general meeting.
“It does not have to be detailed down to every last receipt,” he said, adding he will gladly go through the books with anyone who wants to see them.
The books show that the DMS’s profits are not “going into anybody’s pockets, up anybody’s nose or down anyone’s throat,” Lobsinger said.
Sunday’s meeting also saw the lifting of the membership suspension of Empress II Mona Regina Lee.
While the reason for the suspension was not revealed, a report from Empress XXVIII Joan-E was read on the legal reasons and ramifications of a suspension.
What they were told, Lobsinger read from the report, was that members should not be allowed to defame other members.
The standing of the society in the community is at risk if that is done, he read.
As a result of the lifting of the suspension, Empress II Mona Regina Lee will take her 40-year walk at the coronation in two years’ time.
One question raised at the meeting was about the viability of paying the costs of bringing in Empress Nicole the Great Queen Mother of the Americas in from San Diego and putting her up at a hotel. A motion was made that the society not pay for outside guests to attend the coronation.
Empress IX DeDe Drew said such expenses are justified because they attract people to events.
“If you look at it from a business point of view, it was a smart, profitable move,” Drew said. “You have to spend money to make money. I think a lot of people were excited and wanted to see Nicole.” “Or not excited and wanted to see her anyway,” added Lobsinger.
The motion did not receive a second and failed.
The DMS is also going to begin documenting its history.
“We want to start collecting information on past reigns, who they were and what they did,” Lobsinger said. “It’s a wealth of history to draw on.”
As the meeting ended, Lobsinger called on members to cooperate.
“This is a constantly evolving organization,” he said. “If we want to succeed and get better, we have to work together.”