2020-2021

Notes of a Members’ Meeting held on Zoom at 20:00 hours GMT on Saturday 23rd October 2021.

  1. As Zoom host, Ron Meister admitted all 22 participants and welcomed them to the meeting.
  2. Chairman Ludwig Heuse also welcomed everyone noting that the participants represented four continents and eleven countries. He began by toasting everyone but regretted the lack of a castle pie! He explained that the gathering was not a formal AGM but more an informal meeting of members and friends. He referred to the well-understood reasons for the postponement of the AGM in 2020 and 2021 and he was now working towards an actual AGM taking place in Barcelona and Roses in 2022. At this stage, possible dates are for Friday 27th May or Friday 10th June. He briefly described the likely programme of events, little changed from the postponed meetings. He invited all the meeting’s participants to join him in Spain next year. 
  3. Nicolas Grigorellis introduced himself as the Society’s multi-lingual Webmaster. He is responsible for creating and running the all-important website, including its Facebook page, and for monitoring its content. He explained the extent to which he is required to stay focused to ensure that all unsuitable messages and material, some of it most unsuitable, were stopped and the site kept clean. Later in the meeting, he showed a video and slides of recent Society AGM’s, much to everyone’s enjoyment.
  4. John Maunder introduced himself as the Society’s Editor.He listed the six papers that had been published on Reflections Online since the last AGM held in Dover in October 2019. These papers covered articles on Hornblower’s protégés, cannonades, place names, the limited publication of three short stories in Hornblower One More Time, a miscellany of Hornblower details and one non-Hornblower paper on CSF’s three “noir” books. He also referred to a newly published book called Two Men in a Boat, about travelling down the Loire. Both Hornblower and Chairman Ludwig had already made this journey! He concluded by explaining the two reasons for the Society’s membership of the UK based Alliance of Literary Societies, an umbrella organisation for literary societies of famous and highly acclaimed authors. One reason was an attempt to attract new members and the other was a belief that the name of C S Forester should be listed with such writers.
  5. Sue Napier introduced herself as the Society’s Treasurer. She said that because of the lack of activity by the Society over the last two years of pandemic, she had little to report. She did however report that the Society’s bank balance was in a healthy state because of the recent receipt from the Forester estate of a payment of $1000. This payment had been received from eNet Press Inc from Tesilya Forester, CSF’s daughter in law. Sue indicated that she would soon be standing down as Treasurer after several years in this post.
  6. The meeting was then given over to all participants. In no particular order, speakers included Serge Aillery, Alistair Hart, Brian Jones, Chack Wong, John Roberts, Lakshman Gunasekara, Lyle Acton, Mary Hayes, Stuart Morgan, James Ashton, Andrew Hooker and Thomas L Drucker. (Apologies to those whose names were not noted). It was clear that most members had from early days felt a strong and affectionate feeling for the Hornblower books. However, there was a recognition that CSF was today not as popular with younger readers and that someone called Patrick O’Brien appeared to be outselling him. There was also a brief discussion about the collecting of first edition books written by CSF. Ron Meister informed the meeting that C S Forester had written various other short stories and articles while he was in the USA during WWII and some of them could be found electronically on eNet Press and possibly elsewhere. John Roberts showed the meeting his limited edition combined barometer and Faberge model of the Witch of Endor acquired from a much earlier AGM.
  7.  Ron then went on to thank Ludwig for all his work as Chairman and the effort he put into the preparation of each gathering of members whether in person at AGM’s or on this Zoom meeting.
  8. One notable absentee was Lawrie Brewer who was much missed and to whom the meeting sent their best wishes.
  9. In his closing words, Ludwig reminded the meeting that the CSF Society was not just about Hornblower but all his other books. He conceded that AGM’s tended to be staged close to locations where Hornblower had been present. Ludwig mentioned that he was looking for future locations for AGM’s and would welcome suggestions. He had considered the Bay of Marmorice in Turkey (HMS Atropos) and also Paris because of its museum on French maritime history showing “the other side’s view of the Napoleonic conflicts”.  Ludwig thanked Ron Meister for arranging what was a very successful meeting using Zoom and he again said that he looked forward to seeing everyone at the next AGM when it takes place in 2022 in Spain.
  10. The meeting ended at 21:30 hours GMT.

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