Oct. 23, 2013
Members of the Shakespeare Fellowship and the Shakespeare Oxford Society have approved the unification of the two organizations under a new name and board. SOS president John Hamill and SF president Tom Regnier announced the members’ decision at the closing banquet of the SF/SOS annual conference in Toronto on October 20. Under the terms of the unification ballot, John Hamill is president of the new organization to be known as the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship.
Hamill will lead a new board of trustees who were nominated by SOS and SF board members and approved by the unification vote. In addition to Hamill, the new board will include Tom Regnier as first vice president, Joan Leon as second vice president, Michael Morse as treasurer, Richard Joyrich as secretary, Ramon Jimenez, Lynne Kositsky, Tom Rucker, and Earl Showerman. These board members take office immediately as trustees of the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship.
New board president John Hamill said:
The vote for unification was almost unanimous! We knew that there were no issues that differentiated us in any realistic way that justified maintaining separate organizations, and we both have the same main objective – provide more research to prove to the general public that Oxford was the author of the works under Shakespeare’s name. We will be looking at several ways to raise the funding for this. But, first, we need to start with more mundane issues such as merging our websites and preparing a new letterhead and logo, and we need to send out a donation appeal as the SOF. This we will hopefully achieve over the next month. We also need to send out a new SOF membership renewal form in January. I expect that this new year will prove to be very exciting as more authorship evidence is uncovered and revealed.
Results of the Shakespeare Oxford Society member’s unification vote were announced at the SOS annual meeting on October 19 in Toronto. SOS Vote Teller Frank Davis announced a total of 138 ballots in favor of the unification, two negative votes and two abstentions. The Shakespeare Fellowship tallied their vote at the SF annual meeting on October 20 also in Toronto. SF votes were counted by outgoing SF treasurer Alex McNeil, who will edit the newsletter for the unified organization, and visiting DeVere Society member Heward Wilkinson. Tom Regnier announced the vote count of 74 in favor and four against unification.
Watch the signing of the bylaws:
Thanks to Ann Zakelj for the video clip.