BIRMINGHAM AND EDGBASTON DEBATING SOCIETY
The Inaugural Meeting of the Edgbaston Debating Society was held on 8th October 1846. Some time later the First Birmingham Debating Society was formed; this Society did not survive for long and was eventually succeeded by the Second Birmingham Debating Society. This Society merged, in 1855, with the Edgbaston Debating Society.
The Chairman’s Medallion was commissioned in 1984 and designed by Dr. Bernard A. Juby, to depict the nature, function and situation of the Society.
The top two thirds represent the Arms of the Calthorpe family, who were the Lords of the Manor of Edgbaston. The Gavel is self explanatory and occupies the position of central authority. The lower third is from the de Bermingham Coat of Arms; this represents Birmingham itself and the two sides of the debate over which the Chairman presides and the YES/NO black and white element of voting.
The Gavel and Block were presented by Past President Ray Burton.
Rules of the Society
Space permits only a brief résumé of some of the Rules of the Society. The
Secretary can provide a full set of rules to any Member on request.
- The Society shall be called the Birmingham & Edgbaston Debating
Society and its objects shall be the debate of literary, political, historical, social and other subjects.
- Candidates for admission into the Society shall be aged at least eighteen years, be proposed and seconded in writing and shall be required to attend at least three meetings before their candidature can be considered. No candidate for admission into the Society shall be considered as elected if more than one third votes given be unfavourable. Associate members from universities can apply.
- Members shall pay an annual subscription of such an amount to be determined at each annual General Meeting of the Society.
- Every Member shall have the right to introduce visitors to the ordinary meetings of the Society, who shall be allowed to speak on the subject of discussion and to vote thereon as hereafter indicated, but they shall take no other part in the proceedings of the meeting.
- The Officers of the Society shall be the President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary, Dinner Secretary and Debates Secretary. The Committee shall consist of the Officers and up to six members of the Society; four shall form a quorum.
- The Committee shall have power to arrange the subject of debate, to fix the date and time for any meeting of the Society and generally to regulate the Society’s proceedings, but not to admit new Members or alter the Rules.
- The Chairman of each meeting shall be the President, or in his absence, the Vice President. The Chairman shall have absolute authority in every question of order, shall be sole interpreter of the Rules and in all cases of an equality of votes shall have a casting vote.
- At the close of the debate the Chairman shall put the resolution to the meeting permitting only Members to vote. On the occasion of a joint debate with another Society those other Members of that Society shall be eligible to vote parri passu on the Motion. A second vote including guests may be taken.
- The Secretary shall keep minutes of each meeting of the Society and of the Committee.
Debates are held at the Edgbaston Golf Club and are
preceded by Dinner at 7.15 p.m. prompt.
Thursday 9th November
Wednesday 13th December
Thursday 18th January
Wednesday 14th February
Thursday 15th March
Wednesday 11th April
Monday 23rd April (Rotary Debate)
Thursday 10th May
Wednesday 12th September
Thursday 11th October (AGM and Debate)