Constitution of The Czech Handel Society

1. Nature and Legal Character of the Society

A registered charity, The Czech Handel Society (Česká Händelova společnost, z.s.) is a voluntary and independent special-interest association of individual persons that strives, under present conditions, for as wide a promotion as possible of the work of the composer George Frideric Handel (1685-1759). The Society constitutes a legal body and works on the basis of the Czech legal regulations.

2. Seat and Territory of Activities

The seat of The Czech Handel Society is Prague, capital of the Czech Republic. The Society develops its activities on the territory of Bohemia and Moravia, which does not, however, exclude its participation in Handelian movements outside the said territory, as well. The fiscal year coincides with the civil one.

3. Mission

The Society sets itself the aim, in keeping with the latest scientific knowledge and in the spirit of humanism, to acquaint the culturally-minded public with the life, work and heritage of George Frideric Handel. For this purpose it especially supports, as far as is possible, the introduction of his compositions and scientific research concerning Handelian questions. On its own it also endeavours to organize public programmes of recorded music, live concerts and specialized lectures. From a wider viewpoint it includes Handel's life-time, his musical contemporaries and also other areas of baroque creativity. It carefully keeps under review the results of Czech and foreign Handelian investigations and, likewise, the introduction of the Master's compositions in the Czech Republic and abroad. It takes the initiative in collaborating with kindred foreign societies. It also searches for possible connections, both direct and indirect ones, between Handel and the Czech lands.

4. Membership

Any individual person of eighteen years or over of Czech citizenship who takes an interest in Handel's work and is ready to participate in realizing the objectives of the Society may become a member of The Czech Handel Society. For admission of a member a verbal or written request shall be made to the committee of the Society, and this submitted request cannot be dismissed without the reasons being stated. Members can withdraw from the Society at any time with the stipulation that the membership fee already paid for the given fiscal year shall not be returned. A member may be deprived of membership by the committee if he/she has not paid a subscription for two consecutive years or has acted at variance with the objectives of the Society; this would take immediate effect. The committee is also entitled to grant membership to foreign citizens, especially those who are in an outstanding manner credited with the present-day renaissance of Handel's heritage. Distinguished personalities working in the sphere of Handelian movements, science and interpretation can be accorded, regardless of their citizenship, an honorary membership. Honorary members are exempt from paying membership fees. Each member of The Czech Handel Society shall receive a membership card. The right is conferred upon him/her of taking part in members' meetings, sharing preferentially in the actions of the Society and being informed about these actions sufficiently in advance. The Society maintains a file on members consisting of individual membership sheets. Each membership sheet contains basic personal data and records of defrayed membership fees. On a request placed with the chairman of the Society, members can look into their membership sheet or receive a copy. The sheets of members whose membership has been terminated shall remain filed permanently.

5. Organs of the Society

Organs of The Czech Handel Society are Members' Meeting and the Committee. In relation to the state authorities, legal bodies and individual persons the Society is represented by its Chairman, who is the statutory representative, or another member of the committee delegated by the Chairman, usually the Secretary.

6. Members' Meeting

A Members' Meeting of The Czech Handel Society takes place as a rule once a year. It is called together in writing by the chairman of the Society, and at least one month's notice must be given. A Member's Meeting constitutes the highest organ of the Society. It can adopt decisions if a quorum of the Society is present. A quorum shall consist of at least ten members. The Members' Meeting elects and recalls the committee, approves the constitution and determines its changes. Furthermore, it gives its opinion on matters that have been put forth by the committee, and is authorized to charge the committee with producing exhaustive information about all matters concerning the Society. If grave doubts should arise on the correctness of management, the Members' Meeting shall appoint a revising commission of at least three members and endow it with the relevant jurisdiction. Decisions of the Members' Meeting are taken by the absolute majority of the members present. If the constitution or its changes are at stake, a two-third majority of the votes is needed. Votes of all members have the same weight.

7. The Committee

Members of the Committee are elected for a period of five years. The Committee consists of at least five members, including the chairman, the secretary and the treasurer; members of the Committee elect these officials from among themselves. The Committee, called together by the chairman according to necessity, steers the activities of the Society during the period between the members' meetings. Decisions are taken by the absolute majority of all its members. Dependent on the circumstances, the Committee reserves itself the right of co-opting, until the end of its active period, new members.

8. Membership Fee

The lowest possible membership fee, covering always the given fiscal year, is fixed by the committee of the Society with allowance for the current state of the Czech economy. The right is conferred upon members of the Society of rejecting the proposed figure if this is expressed, verbally, in writing or by voting, by an absolute majority. During the fiscal year the lowest possible membership fee is not liable to any change. Members admitted to the Society in the months of November and December are excused from paying the membership fee for the current fiscal year. Members admitted to the Society within the period from January to the end of October pay, for the current fiscal year, the full membership fee, and that at the latest one month after the reception of the membership card. If the membership is valid from the 1st January, the membership fee shall be defrayed not later than the end of March of the given year. In the case of urgent financial needs the committee can ask the members for an extraordinary special-purpose fee. This fee is entirely voluntary; its payment depends on the personal decision of each individual member of the Society. Foreign members provide their membership fee in an optional amount and in optional currency. The Czech currency is kept by the Society in an account with a bank or a savings-bank; foreign currencies are deposited in an exchange banking account.

9. Donations for the Benefit of the Society

The value of voluntary donations for the benefit of The Czech Handel Society is not limited.

10. Status of a Non-profitmaking Society

The Czech Handel Society serves solely for universally beneficial purposes. Any material income can therefore be disposed of only in keeping with statute No. 3 of this constitution. Any personal profit passing to individual members to the detriment of the Society is inadmissible.

11. Dissolution of the Society

The Czech Handel Society shall be dissolved if such a wish is manifested, verbally, in writing or by voting, by at least three quarters of its members. The liquidation surplus shall be transferred to cultural and scientific purposes. Before the actual termination of the activities of the Society the members' meeting shall decide on the concrete manner of the property settlement. If this is not done by the members' meeting, it shall be incumbent on the committee of the Society to do so.

12. Approval of the Constitution

The Constitution of The Czech Handel Society was approved at the members' meeting of The Czech Handel Society in Prague on 29 April 2015.