The Jo Dubé Affair

Letter from Jo Dubé to the Society

Dear Gilbert & Sullivan Society,
I have resigned from my current position as Charities Representative. However, there are one or two things I would like to say.

The Treasurer’s is probably the hardest job on Committee, and I had the additional burden of being ill. Perhaps it would have been better if I had resigned in December; however, it is easy to be wise after the event.

I would like to offer an unqualified apology to the current Chair and Treasurer of the society for having left the books in such a woeful state.

Because I was unwell, I was not able to keep as close an eye on people’s spending as I would have liked. However, it is up to each individual to stick to the budget they are given, unless Committee decide to make an additional allowance. The budget for “The Mikado” was given in November and each committee member agreed to stick to it as closely as possible. No-one can possibly object if people overspend by a few pounds, but overspending by several hundred pounds is just not good enough. The budget I prepared was £3,450, and, as far as I know, there is still a copy of this in the society’s WordPerfect account. The only people who kept to their budgets were Costumes, Front of House and the Musical Director- for which I thank them. If more people had been able to keep within their budgets, then we would have made a substantial profit this year. The set cost around £400 more than was budgeted for. A decision was taken to allow Press and Publicity an additional £400 odd to place advertisements, but even taking this into account the officers concerned overspent by about £300. If committee members are not capable of keeping their spending in check, this society will collapse after only a few more years- we cannot continue to sustain losses of this magnitude.

I will also add that although it was my decision to resign, I am not happy to have done so. Last year’s loss was considerably greater than this, and it never occurred to anyone to ask the committee member who was treasurer at that time to resign. I fail to see why one person should be held wholly responsible when, after all, no-one can expect the treasurer to follow all the members of the committee, all the time, to keep an eye on their spending- nor should this be necessary. Also insofar as any loss is the responsibility of one person, it is the responsibility of the Treasurer, not the Charities Representative. However, be that as it may, I have resigned.

I have not come here this week because I know this is going to be a difficult EGM and I thought that you might find it easier if I were not here.

Yours sincerely,

J.C. Dubé

Letter from Robert Nightingale to the Society

Dear G&S,
I am writing to you to express my disgust at the recent dismissal of Jo Dubé as Charities Rep, and to demand a full explanation for this highly unprofessional course of action. In common with several other members of the society, I am appalled by this decision, for the following reasons:
1. To ask any member of the Committee to resign from her present post because of what she may or may not have done in her previous one is both vindictive and unprofessional. Someone’s ability to be Treasurer has nothing to do with their suitability for Charities, or anything else.
2. If the Society has made a loss, it is surely the fault of the Committee members who overspent on their budgets, and not the Treasurer’s. If any of you objected to the size of your budgets, you had every opportunity to say so at the Committee meetings, rather than keeping quiet and then overspending by, in some cases, hundreds of pounds. It is NOT the Treasurer’s job to chase after you all- you are supposedly mature enough to take care of your own spending.
3. Last year’s loss was greater than this year’s and yet last year’s Treasurer was not asked to resign, or even questioned, over it. Moreover, last year the Society made a huge loss out of the previous year’s profit; Jo has had the unenviable task of getting the Society out of the mess it was in when she became Treasurer.
As someone who lived in the same house as Jo for nine months, I know better than most the enormous amount of time and work she put in to make the Society successful, often during periods of bad health and severe stress.. Furthermore, this decision seems to have been taken secretly by a small handful of members, without consulting anyone else on the Committee. I therefore move that a full explanation and apology be given by those responsible before the whole Society. If they can provide no satisfactory explanation, they should be asked to resign or, if they are not committee members, to leave the Society.

-Robert Nightingale

Code of Conduct: If A Committee Member Is Asked To Resign

Following the Jo Dubé Affair in 1997, the following Code of Conduct was voted into effect by the Committee.

If a member of Committee (X) believes that another member (Y) should be asked to resign

1) An extra committee meeting shall be held, without the presence of Y.

2) X shall state, simply and clearly, why he thinks Y should be asked to resign.

3) Committee shall discuss X's statement.

4) A vote shall be cast.
a) If there is a unanimous decision in favour of X's statement, Y shall be asked to resign.
b) If there is one or more dissenting vote, Y shall not be asked to resign.

5) In the event of b) above, a further committee meeting may be called at which Y may state why he thinks he should not be asked to resign.

6) In no event shall the Chair or any other member of Committee demand the resignation of another Committee member without consulting the whole of the rest of Committee.

Budget for “The Mikado” February 1997

Set/ lighting/ technical equipment etc. -£800
Portering charges- £750
Costumes- £450
Orchestra- £400
Press & Publicity- £300
Insurance- £200
Front of House- £150
Miscellaneous- £400
Total- £3450

Gilbert & Sullivan Society Accounts for 1997, including the show “The Mikado”

Expenditure

Set and Props

S. Cox- set- 36.84
S. Cox- wood- 149.93
Props- 50.00
S. Cox- set- 107.71
O. Nash- set- 175.85
S. Cox- various- 152.87
Props- 12.13
Batteries- 31.24
Microphones- 356.00
Total- 1072.57

Costumes and Make-Up

Make-up- 50.00
MD’s suit hire- 56.90
Shoes- 9.75
Fabric- 38.36
Fabric- 43.55
Shoes- 10.00
Shoes- 20.80
Homberg’s costumes- 193.88

Press and Publicity

Posters- 7.25
Ceilidh posters- 11.40
P&P- 14.94
Ceilidh flyers- 4.68
P&P- 14.94
Yorkshire Evening Press- 44.96
Mikado posters, etc.- 70.56
Mikado posters, etc.- 9.90
Programme prep- 37.19
Yorkshire Evening Press- 261.72
Fulprint (prog)- 283.53
Yorkshire EP- 105.75
Yorkshire EP- 105.75
Total- 971.27

Music and Orchestra

Berry- piano fees- 5.00
Michelle- piano fees- 5.00
Michelle- piano fees- 5.00
D’Oyly Carte scores- 105.00
Scores- 18.75
Michelle- piano fees- 5.00
Orchestra- 120.00
Tokens for orch- 250.00
Score deposit- 105.00
Postage- 11.01
Michelle- piano fees- 5.00
Photocopying- 7.88
Total- 702.64

Front of House

Ice-creams- 94.43
FoH- 6.90
Ice-creams- 21.15
Total- 122.48

Miscellaneous

Ruddigore videos- 204.00
Petty cash- 70.00
Wine- 16.83
Glee Club- lost scores- 54.65
Silverscreen- sweat/t-shirts- 124.00
FOGS stamps- 26.35
Ceilidh food- 17.82
Chair- various- 8.95
Float- 20.00
Insurance- 207.92
Camera- 100.00
Photographs- 8.49
Treasurer- various- 20.00
Crash food- 160.00
Float- 90.00
Tickets- 98.02
Float- 150.00
Glee Club- 84.00
Silverscreen- 150.98
Ruddigore videos- 120.00
Coach- 140.00
Presents- 125.48
Alcuin fees- 45.00
University fees- 491.13
Mikado videos- 556.28
Total- 3089.90

Income

13/6/96- 24.00
28/6/96- 34.79
30/1/97 A&L- 1250.00 [Not included in income total as only a transfer of money]
31/1/97- 1st ceilidh- 178.00
31/1/97- Membership money- 55.00
31/1/97- Sweatshirts- 146.00
31/1/97- Burns’ night- 353.90
31/1/97- 406.00
13/2/97- Tickets- 309.00
14/2/97- Tickets- 576.40
19/2/97- 2141.00
25/2/97- 309.50
Vice Chancellor- 500.00
SU Shop tickets- 500.00
Returned score deposit- 105.00
Misc. 28.50
Total- 5673.09

Total

Total Expenditure- £6382.10
Total Income- £5673.09
Loss- £709.01

See Also

Ruddigore 96, including the accounts for the show that year.
Mikado 97
Pinafore 98

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