Annual General Meeting and talk by Professor Thomas Wier 23 February 2023

The BGS AGM will take place at 6pm on 23 February 2023 at the Georgian Embassy, 20 St George’s Square, London SW1 2HP

This meeting is for members only and attendance at the embassy is limited and members should email the secretary Max Hess if they wish to attend in person. The meeting will also be online via zoom:

ID: 834 7529 1192- Passcode: 24597

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The meeting will start with Professor Thomas Wier‘s talk “The place of Udi in the Language History of the South Caucasus”. Thomas Wier, Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the Free University of Tbilisi received his PhD in Linguistics focused on the Georgian Language from the University of Chicago and has lived in Tbilisi for over a decade. His weekly etymologies of Georgian words provide fascinating insights into the development of the language and its history and can be found by following him on Twitter @thomas_wier. He will present on the place of the Udi in the language history of the South Caucasus. Also known as Caucasian Albanian, Udi is endangered but is still spoken to this day by inhabitants of the village of Zinobiani in Georgia’s Kahketi Region. 

BGS AGM February 2023final

The board has passed the following resolution which should be considered in addition to the Notice for the AGM on 23rd February 2023:

The board of directors of the British Georgian Society recommends the following nominees for election to the board at the next AGM on 23th February 2023 there being 3 vacant spaces:
Matthew O’Hara a part-qualified accountant (CIMA) with over 12 years of experience in finance and accounting. He has been providing services through his accounting practice and has taught courses in Applied & Alternative Economics (MSc) and Doing Business in a Changing World (MSc) at Oxford, demonstrating his strong knowledge and experience in the field. Matthew is a confident, organised, and professional individual who can effectively work under pressure and adapt to changing environments. In addition, his passion for the performing arts and traveling showcases his diverse interests and well-rounded personality.
Justin McKenzie Smith former British Ambassador to Georgia from August 2016 to August 2020. Justin McKenzie Smith joined Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service in 1994 and is a graduate of Oxford and Edinburgh Universities.  Justin was Deputy Director responsible for the UK’s relations with Russia, the South Caucasus and Central Asia in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 2008-2011. From 2004-2008, Justin was the Spokesperson for the UK Mission to the United Nations in New York and a member of the UK’s Security Council team. He also served in the British Embassy in Moscow in the second half of the 1990s. In London, Justin has also worked on European Union, human rights and press issues.
Irine Surmanidze founder and director of REZONYAC Spirits Limited, currently leading a unique and empowering venture in the production of artisanal, small-batch beverages that use citruses sourced from small farms on the Black Sea coast in Georgia. Her mission is not only to create superior quality products but also to promote sustainable and community-driven business practices through a women-led cooperative. With extensive experience in the field of arts and culture, in her previous leadership roles as a manager and a head of the culture department, she initiated and implemented various collaborative projects with Georgian arts and culture institutions, the British Council, and other UK-based arts organizations. Irine is a Chevening alumna who holds an MA in Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship from Goldsmiths University of London.
IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED, that the board of directors hereby authorizes and directs the Secretary of the British Georgian Society to promptly notify the membership of the recommended nominees, and to include their names and qualifications in the notice of the next AGM on the 23 February 2023.

There will therefore be three additional ordinary resolutions to consider at the meeting:
To appoint Matthew O’Hara as a director of British Georgian Society
To appoint Justin Mckenzie Smith as a director of British Georgian Society
To appoint Irine Surmanidze as a director of British Georgian Society

The board wishes to thank Eka Cox, Hubertus Jahn and Gia Sulkhanishvili for their time as directors of British Georgian Society.

Board Secretary
Max Hess