World Budgerigar Organisation Constitution – 2014. (WBO)
By Johan Lucas – AWEBSA Chairperson – 16 January 2015
AWEBSA members are aware that we applied for membership of the WBO soon after our new Association was formed in September 2014 based on the WBO constitution as it was at the time. The following clause of the WBO Constitution was applicable at the time:
(i) Membership of The Organisation is open to any National Budgerigar Society which applies in writing for membership to the Secretary/Treasurer signifying its’ acceptance of the constitution and paying the stipulated annual membership fee as amended from time to time.
(ii) Where a country does not have a single National Budgerigar Society but more than one similar controlling society, such societies may apply for membership.
(iii) Annual membership fees are payable by 31st May of each year. Societies not paying the membership fee by 31st May shall lose the right to send delegates to meetings and other benefits of membership until such fees have been paid.
(iv) Annual membership fees shall be based on the total membership of the society at the end of its financial year preceding the date on which the Organisation fees are payable.
(v) Membership fees must be paid in the currency of the country of residence of the Secretary/Treasurer.
(vi) At its sole discretion the General Council may, by 65% majority, terminate the affiliation of any National Society that fails to observe the rules of the Organisation or in any way brings the Organisation into disrepute by act, deed, word or omission.
AWEBSA qualified to be a member in terms of the WBO Constitution. You will note the provisions of Clauses 3(i) and 3(ii) highlighted in yellow above.
The WBO then informed us that due to pending changes to the constitution they are not prepared to consider our application. AWEBSA then decided to withdraw our application for membership as we found little value in pursuing membership of a world body that did not honour their own constitution and precedent.
Many other countries have more than one Association as members of the WBO. The WBO also insisted on calling us a breakaway Association despite our confirmation that we are a new Association.
The AWEBSA members will recall the BSSA Chairperson e-mail to the BSSA membership on 25 September 2014 stating as follows: “This association has nothing whatsoever to do with the Budgerigar Society of South Africa (BSSA) but is a separate and independent association.”
Our decision to withdraw our application was further supported by the following extract of the same e-mail send by the BSSA Chairperson to the BSSA membership on 25 September 2014: “The aforementioned society (AWEBSA) is not and will never be a member of the WBO (World Budgerigar Organization) and therefore will never truly represent South African budgie breeders on the global stage.”
From the contents of this e-mail and the WBO stance it clearly appeared to us that a decision has already been made in terms of Clause 2(iv) “To assist in the protection of the interests of members of the organisation.”
The AWEBSA EXCO’s and Governing Body’s responses were: “Never say Never!”
Below is an extract of the revised clause 3 approved by the WBO at their meeting on 7 November 2014 in Istanbul, Turkey:
(i) Membership of The Organisation is open to any National Budgerigar Society catering for all varieties of Budgerigar that applies in writing for membership to the Secretary/Treasurer signifying its’ acceptance of the constitution and paying the stipulated annual membership fee subject to the following conditions:
a) Have been in existence for at least two years.
b) Provide by production of three years AGM minutes that they have been in existence for at least two years.
c) Provide a copy of their constitution.
(ii) Where a country is already represented in the WBO by a National Budgerigar Society(s) catering for all varieties of Budgerigar, any new applicant must comply with the following conditions.
a) Cater for all varieties of budgerigar.
b) Have been in existence for at least four years.
c) Provide by production of five years AGM minutes that they have been in existence for at least four years.
d) Provide a copy of their constitution
(iii) Where a country does not have a National Budgerigar Society catering for all varieties of Budgerigar, individual Societies may apply in writing for membership to the Secretary/Treasurer subject to the application being accompanied by the stipulated annual membership fee. Such Societies will relinquish their membership upon the acceptance of a national body within their country that satisfies condition (ii) above.”
In a Constitution without any definitions and rather open for interpretation I would be interested to establish what “catering for all varieties of Budgerigar” actually means in the context of the document?
However, I believe clause 3(iii) seems to give the game away. It would appear that some of the Societies that are members of the WBO do not cater for all varieties of Budgerigar and they are being protected with this clause. They are being given time to get their houses in order.
So why would an Association apply to be a member of the WBO especially where the possibility exists that it would be kicked out when the non-complying member society now complies?
One point is abundantly clear: Membership of the WBO of another Association in the same country is NOT NEVER. Membership has been linked to a time frame which perhaps is not an unreasonable requirement.
AWEBSA would therefore be committed to:
- Growing our Association;
- Developing our show/breeding program to a state of the art one;
- Be honourable in everything we do;
- Ensure we have clear documents, processes and systems in place; and
- Enjoy our birds and make it enjoyable for others.