SAIF Annual General Meeting

SAIF’s 2017 Annual General Meeting and Banquet weekend started with the Friday Associates and Past Presidents’ Lunch. This event was started several years ago as a way of thanking sponsors and Associates for their support as well as an opportunity to meet the Officers and Past Presidents of SAIF. It has proved so successful that it has now become traditional and some 50 guests were welcomed by Paul Allcock and his family.

The Friday afternoon guest speaker, wheelchair sportsman Gordon Reid (pictured above with Jim Auld, SAIF’s new Second Vice President), was well received and he commented after the event how he had enjoyed his time with “a lot of funeral directors”.

Gordon answered questions on his feelings about his rare illness which crippled him just one week before his 13th birthday. He explained how he overcame the difficulties in accepting he would be unable to walk again and his struggle to overcome the challenges to become the world’s number one wheelchair tennis champion and a double-gold Paralympian.

Delegates took the opportunity to have photographs taken with this dynamic and very humble young man with his gold medals.

On Friday evening some 90 guests enjoyed the Murder Mystery evening and helped to solve who killed the Elvis Presley impersonator. The winners, Terry’s Team – Edwin Ainsworth of Darwen and Trident Marketing (some say “it was a fix”) walked away with the ‘Sleuth Certificate’.

Saturday was the working side of the weekend with more than 100 members attending the Annual General Meeting. Chief Executive Terry Tennens completed housekeeping and welcomed the delegates. National President Paul Allcock then chaired the meeting, with Vice President Paul Bowley leading a minute’s silence in memory of all those who had passed during the year, and in particular remembering the victims of the previous week’s atrocity in London.

Mark Woollard, Membership Manager, explained the rise in membership applications with the hope that SAIF could now take its membership drive further, with funeral directors in England, Wales and Northern Ireland hopefully realising that changes in Scotland may also affect them imminently.

Standard’s Chairperson Richard Edwards gave an update on the complaints received during the year, outlining the details of the client complaints and highlighting how very often these could be settled amicably, if the funeral director acted promptly and was not afraid to make amends – very often a donation to charity will flush out the genuine complainant from those just after money.

This was followed by Linda Jones, Quality Assessor Manager. With no questions from the floor, Linda highlighted that the SAIF Quality Assessors (QAs) are seen as the face of SAIF as they travel the length and breadth of the country inspecting premises, representing SAIF and guiding members to the best of their ability.

Linda gave personal thanks to the QAs for their sterling work during the year and for their dedication in helping to achieve SAIF’s stance on “Quality over Quantity”. This was Linda’s last AGM and QA report, and she declared that she had every confidence that the QAs would take SAIF to the next level.

Golden Charter was represented by Malcolm Flanders who updated members on the current position on plan sales and took questions from the floor.

SAIFCharter Chair Julian Walker updated members with the SAIFCharter report which will be expanded on at its AGM in September.

The PR report was presented by Paul Allcock who highlighted the work of Genesis during the year and reminded members of the benefits Genesis brings in providing guidance with any PR or media work required.

The IFD College Chair Chris Parker explained the reasoning behind the membership of the College, which replaced the Fellowship, highlighting the importance of continued education and CPD points, which members of the College will be required to maintain to retain IFD membership status.

SAIF’s Treasurer John Helps presented the accounts for the year end 31 December 2016, which were proposed by Richard Edwards, seconded by Darren Carpenter and formally adopted.

The auditors Hughes Co were agreed for the forthcoming financial year, proposed by Jim Auld, seconded by Arran Brudenell and formally accepted. To bring Associates in line with full members, the rules 6.2 and 6.4 were updated. These rule changes and the election of the Executive Committee were proposed by Richard Edwards, seconded by Gary Staker and accepted en bloc.

A question from the floor confirmed that the National President was not required to be formally elected.

The Officers were welcomed and accepted as were the newly elected Executive Committee who are Nigel Appleby, Darren Carpenter, Richard Edwards, Mark Horton, Sean Martin, Jo Parker and Mark Woollard. All other nominees were thanked for standing and for their time and dedication to SAIF.

Vice President Paul Bowley gave his welcoming speech advising that his chosen charity during his year in office is The British Heart Foundation, which was particularly poignant due to his heart attack a few years ago.


Jeremy West and all those Fellows present were joined together on the stage to present the Fellowship of SAIF to Ian Sturrock, who has been an ardent supporter of SAIF since its creation.

Following confirmation that Christine Parker had stood down from her role as a SAIF Executive Committee Member and her seat on the SAIFCharter board, she was thanked for all her work and duties to SAIF and presented with a bouquet of flowers by Paul Allcock, 2016-17 SAIF President.

Alun Tucker was thanked for his dedication to SAIF and for the huge amount of work he had undertaken over the years.

Linda Jones was also officially thanked for her dedication to SAIF during the past 18 years. Linda will be leaving SAIF at the end of April and was also presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

The meeting was then formally closed.

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