Statement Regarding the Recent Ballot on Constitutional Change

Background

Vincent’s Club was founded in 1863 by WB Woodgate. From its inception members have always been elected for their all-round qualities: social, sporting and intellectual.

The Club’s current, residential membership varies between 80 and 150 at any one time, with the alumni membership numbering nearly 5000. On matters of Constitutional change only the residential membership has a vote, and any change requires a majority of at least two thirds.

To celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Club in 2013 the V150 project was launched to:

  • Revitalise links with the alumni members
  • Renovate the premises
  • Ensure the Club is professionally and well managed
  • Fund a number of Sports scholarships and bursaries for both men and women, able bodied and disabled athletes.
  • Develop an Outreach programme

The Constitutional Vote

Between October 2014 and February 2015 the Club undertook a consultation process of its alumni members to seek their views on removing the word “male” from the Constitution, thus allowing for the election of women as members. 695 alumni members gave their opinion: 12% abstained; most saying it is up to the resident members to decide. 25.5% were against deleting the word “male” from the Constitution, and 62.5% alumni members were of the opinion that change should occur.

In addition Vincent’s Club also consulted Atalanta’s Club, the major Oxford club for sports women. 91% of those Atalanta’s members who voted (which was two thirds of their resident members) expressed the view that they would rather Atalanta’s remain the sole club representing women’s sport in Oxford, than Vincent’s change its constitution.

With this information to hand the resident members recently voted on the issue and whilst a majority of resident members voted to remove the word “male”, the majority fell below the two thirds required for the amendment to the constitution.

Vincent’s will continue its close relationship with Atalanta’s, and many other Oxford sportswomen, for example in running such projects as the Outreach programme. It was also a source of immense satisfaction to Vincent’s members that three of the seven sports awards the Club made in the first year of the Vincent’s scholarships and bursaries went to women, and the Club will shortly be announcing the endowment of another scholarship, which has been named after an outstanding Oxford sportswoman.

Finally, as they have for many years, Vincent’s will continue to welcome women into the clubhouse, both at lunchtime and in the evening, to enjoy the refurbished amenities for which everyone is so grateful to the Vincent’s alumni members for providing.

7 scholar athletes receive Vincent’s Awards

In 2012 Vincent’s Appeal Trust Company (VATC) and the President and Committee of the Club agreed a strategy for the future of the Club. One of the three pillars of that strategy was that Vincent’s would play an enhanced role in support of Oxford Sport, from which the Club derives its inspiration. A Vincent’s Sports Development Fund (SDF) was created to fund awards for outstanding scholar athletes who also displayed leadership qualities and a willingness to participate in outreach activities. Evidence of financial need is also an importance criterion of selection. Details can be found on the Club website.

The generosity of alumni members has made it possible for VATC and the Club to award, through the SDF, to fund four permanent scholarships and/or bursaries for up to £2,500 per annum. In addition, the SDF has further funds permitting flexibility in the number and size of the awards. In this first year, the period for applications was open for only six weeks, closing on 16 July. Despite this, the Selection Committee received an unexpectedly large number of applications of very high quality. As a result the Committee decided to award two scholarships and five bursaries, using some of the additional money in the SDF.

The successful applicants were:

Vincent’s William Broadbent Jnr Scholarship (2014-)
Connor Roth. Somerville. Ice Hockey

Vincent’s Mark Lawrence Scholarship (2014-15)
Sophia Saller. St Catherine’s. Triathlon

5 Vincent’s Bursaries (2014-15)
Samuel Trigg. Worcester. Athletics
Rebecca Lane. Jesus. Rowing
Adam McBraida. Jesus. Athletics
Lydia Dant. Wadham. Triathlon
Rowan May. Brasenose. Athletics

A reception was held in the club on Wednesday 15th October to introduce them. Applications for Vincent’s Awards for 2015-16 will be open from January 2015. An additional award has been promised.

Melville Guest
Chairman of V150 Campaign, Past President
Sam Westaway
Vincent’s Club President 2014-15

Members Register

After some delays to the to the register, the final draft is now complete. This is a list of all Vincent’s members as at our 150th anniversary, available as a smartly printed hard copy for any members who wish to order one.

As is to be expected with such a long list covering 150 years of history, accuracy has been an issue but we have endeavoured to contact all living members. If you wish to review the register, an electronic copy is available below. Members can always be located using the searchable database, but should you wish to purchase a smart hard copy please see the order form below.

Due to the size of the register, it is split into two parts for the purposes of uploading it to the website.

V150 Members Register 1/2

V150 Members Register 2/2

Register Order Form

A History of Vincent’s

In the Spring of 2014, a history of Vincent’s Club was published. The book, written by Simon Lee – to whom we are most grateful – is a highly interesting and entertaining record of many of the pivotal characters and events from the first 150 years of our existence. Full information about the book as well as purchasing details can be found in the brochure (link below).

Book Cover

Vincent’s History Brochure

To purchase your copy, you can send an email to v150admin@vincents.org.  The history of Vincent’s is available for £20 including postage and VAT, or £25 for overseas orders.