Lunar Society’s New Chair Pledges to Protect Heritage and Engage with Young People

The new chair of The Lunar Society has pledged to foster high social impact and inter-generational discussion, engage more with young people, hold constructive debate, grow the Society’s membership and build a global reach – whilst ensuring that the heritage of the Society is promoted and preserved.

Deirdre LaBassiere, Governance and Assurance Manager at Housing21 was elected as Chair of The Lunar Society following the Annual General Meeting, when there was a tie in the voting for Chair between two candidates, Peter Borg-Bartolo and Deirdre LaBassiere.

It was agreed at the meeting that, following the AGM, a meeting of the new Executive Committee would be held to determine how the election process should be pursued. Dr Borg-Bartolo withdrew his nomination as Chair and has been appointed as Vice-Chair.

The Lunar Society’s new Executive Committee comprises:

Deirdre LaBassiere Chair
Peter Borg-Bartolo Vice-Chair
Olwen Brown Honorary Secretary
Mark Purcell Honorary Treasurer
John Ellis Executive Committee Member
Stuart Guy Executive Committee Member
Mushtaq Khan Executive Committee Member
Sir Michael Lyons Executive Committee Member



Peter Mayer Executive Committee Member
Jacqui Smith Executive Committee Member
Clive Stone Executive Committee Member
Nigel Webb Executive Committee Member

Frances Anderson and John Rainford have become co-opted members.

Deirdre LaBassiere, who was elected Hon. Secretary in 2017, paid tribute to the work of the outgoing Chair, Vice-Chair and Executive Committee members, saying: “It is a huge privilege to be appointed as Chair of this remarkable and well-respected Society and my intention is to continue the extraordinarily good work of my predecessor, the Rt. Hon. Jacqui Smith, and the Society’s former Vice-Chair, Sir Michael Lyons. I am delighted that both are remaining on the executive. This both ensures continuity and retains their valued counsel and wisdom.

“Peter and I and the rest of the committee are intent on working together to maximise our influence in Birmingham and further afield and serve the needs and interests of our members and many supporters.”

Peter Borg-Bartolo, who has served as an Executive Committee member since 2017, said: “I am looking forward to working with Deirdre and the rest of the Executive Committee. I am grateful to the members for their support and am also pleased that we have resolved what was a close-run election! Our commitment is to the long-term future of the Society, serving our members and upholding our goals of stimulating ideas, broadening debate and catalysing action.”

The committee also includes Olwen Brown who has been appointed Hon. Secretary succeeding Deirdre, and Mark Purcell, who succeeds Nigel Webb as Hon. Treasurer. Also joining the committee is Clive Stone.

Deirdre thanked Frances Anderson and Olwen Brown for their advice on constitutional issues arising from the tied vote.

Yvonne Rush

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