Alan German on Thu 22/05/2003 said regarding the history page:

Oct 1993 ...The BOD considers changing the name of the club from OPCUG to PCGO

[Doesn't seem consistent with Sep 1994 where name changes from PCGO to OPCUG. Neither entry seems consistent with Jun 1991 entry for OPCUG as publisher of newsletter and Sep 1989 entry that indicates proposed name change to OPCUG.]

Jocelyn Doire on Fri 23/05/2003 said:

Alan sent me an extensive list of corrections and suggestions for the history page, but there is one that I'm not able to make sense, could somebody from that era check that out and shed some light as to what really happened?

The minutes are very confusing in that area, for example the minutes of Sep 94 says:

Motion moved by Chris Taylor, seconded by John Rasmussen and carried by all. That the Ottawa PC Users' Group be incorporated.

Motion moved by Chris Taylor, seconded by Tony Frith. Change name of Group to Personal Computer Group of Ottawa, acronym being PCGO

Motion amended by Chris Taylor, seconded by Chris Seal and carried by all. Change name to Greater Ottawa Personal Computer Users' Group

And in the minutes of Oct 93 they said

4.5 Club Name:

- Another discussion took place on the club name and the various logos developed by Harald Freise. Lynda Simons offered to play around with various fonts

- it will require a constitutional ammendment to change the club name which would best be done at the AGM in January.

- this means that the Executive needs to make a choice by November in order to present it to the membership in December / January

And to make things even more confusing, the top of the minutes says:


I don't know what happened to the "Greater".

I don't know why there was "another discussion" in Oct 93.

I don't know when and where "PCGO" was used. Maybe the name of the club and the name of the newsletter was different.

I know that "IBM" was dropped at some point in time.

Bob Gowan on Fri 23/05/2003 said:

Chris or Harald may know more of details, but I recall that there was a vote of the membership at an Annual General Meeting ('95?) that overturned actions taken by the BOD towards changing the name of the club from OPCUG to something else - probably GOPCUG ?? I recall some BOD members were (disappointed). In hindsight - wasn't it amazing that general membership showed some interest!!!

Chris Taylor on Sun 25/05/2003 Said:

I recall very vaguely the discussions about changing the name to include "Greater". But it would appear Bob is right - it would require a constitutional amendment and it looks like that did not happen.

It appears it was the fall of 1989 that we had to change our name from

"Ottawa IBM PC Users Group" because of Bell. I think it is clear we just dropped the "IBM" at that time.

We incorporated in March 1995 under the name "Ottawa PC Users Group"

So I guess all the discussions to change from "Ottawa PC Users Group" were just that - discussions that did not amount to any actual change.

Sorry, memory isn't what it used to be...I think - can't recall if ever had a good memory. :-)

I wonder if there is anything in the hard copy minutes that might provide additional insight? The on-line copies of minutes only go back to March1991.

Harald Freise on Sun 25/05/2003 said:

My recollection is the same as Chris. The executive were toying with the idea of finding a more "marketable" & "catchy" name and that we should have a logo for various reasons. Realizing that it would take another major constitutional effort we dropped the idea and OPCUG stuck.

Revised entry in the history page on Sun 25/05/2003 said:

"The BOD decides to improve the name of the club from OPCUG to PCGO (Personal Computer Group of Ottawa), and then to GOPCUG (Greater Ottawa PC Users' Group). Votes of the membership at the next Annual General Meeting (Feb 95) overturned that action taken by the BOD, and so restored the name to the original OPCUG."

Harald Freise on Sun 25/05/2003 said:


The way I sort of remember it was that the discussion stayed mostly at the board level and was consequently recorded in the minutes. The Board asked for comment from the membership but there was little or no interest from them on the subject. The timing of a name change was deemed as an excellent opportunity as the club was revising the constitution and being incorporated at the same period in time. (at least for those who hated the acronym OPCUG and wanted something more "spiffy" and "marketable")

GOPC was also a contender if I remember correctly.

Jocelyn Doire on Fri 30/05/2003 said:

Hmmm, I'm confused again... :(

In your first message you said "Realizing that it would take another major constitutional effort", and then in the second message you said "deemed as an excellent opportunity", isn't that opposite of each other?

One things that the minutes fails to say (at least I've not found it) is why the name change was abandoned. Bob said that a vote overturned the BOD choice, but you said that there was little or no interest from the membership, so then why the BOD choice did not go ahead? The minutes says that there was a motion that was accepted for GOPCUG.

Were both PCGO and GOPC considered? If so, did the letters meant the same thing?

You're welcome to submit a modified paragraph for the history page.

Bob Gowan on Fri 30/05/2003:

I'm not positive there was a vote - I suppose if there was then it "should" have been on the record. What I do remember is that there were some in the general membership who were very strongly against the proposed change and that there was some debate at a general meeting - maybe there was just a show of hands that most favoured OPCUG. You could just keep the part about a name changed being considered - but in the end, OPCUG was retained.

Morris Turpin on Fri 30/05/2003:

I seem to remember a show of hands at one of the meetings. The OPCUG name was significantly favoured over the other alternative which probably explains why the matter was dropped.

Henry Sims on Sat 14/06/2003:

I was interested in the recent discussion about the name OPCUG and possible changes. I have no written record, and only a hazy memory like several of the Board, but I do recall the earlier discussion a few years ago, before I was on the Board, when it came up for debate at a general meeting. It was my impression at that time that a few people had different suggestions, but none of them impressed me as being improvements. OPCUG has the great advantages of being established and widely known both in Ottawa and on the Internet. It is a pronounceable acronym which people can remember. If you change it, you are sacrificing an identity for no very clear reason. A clear majority at that far-off meeting supported OPCUG.

Alan German on Wed 06/08/2008:

I took the single membership cheque from last night's BOD meeting to the bank today. After paying in cheques at that branch for three years, the (new to me) teller questioned the "OPCUG" payee. Eventually, the cheque was accepted as an "exception". I was told (although I don't believe it) that either members will have to write out the club's name in full or OPCUG will have to appear in our articles of incorporation if the acronym is to be accepted by the bank. Only the constitution appears to be on-line and that (for the GOPC) isn't going to help us! Who (Gail?) has the actual articles of incorporation? Could you check how the company name is specified? The form for setting up a bank account has a "Business Legal Name" and a "Business Operating Name". Right now, both of these are Ottawa PC Users Group Inc. Common sense would dictate that the operating name should be specified as OPCUG, but if our incorporation papers state this specifically, I will be on much stronger ground arguing with the bank manager.

Gail Eagen Thu 07/08/2008:

I do have the incorporation papers and had scanned them in for a different purpose in the past. Here are the 5 pages scanned (pg 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5). I do not see a reference to OPCUG. However, the constitution mentions OPCUG. I have more than one original of the incorporation papers if you need/want one.

Chris Taylor Thu 07/08/2008:

I have uploaded the JPGs of the 5 pages of the incorporation files to the BOD file area (area 40) as

Alan German on Fri 08/08/2008:

Do you have a different (newer?) version of the constitution than that posted in the BOD area of The PUB? The latter (Revised for AGM - January, 1995) is for the "Greater Ottawa Personal Computer Users' Group, with acronym GOPC".

If there is no "official" record of the OPCUG acronym, I guess I will have to argue the case for our doing-business-as status - or just ensure that I use one of the regular tellers!

Jocelyn Doire on Fri 08/08/2008:

the constitution linked to in the BOD and the history area should be the "official" version as approved in 1995. The process to review it was started in Sep 1994, as per the history page. 1995.htm

Probably around 2005 when I did the first calendar I noticed that the election process didn't quite matched the constitution. I was not there when they reviewed the constitution in 1994/95, but I understand it was a ton of trouble, so when I made the suggestion that maybe we should update the constitution at one of the BOD meeting, the reaction was immediate and unanimous, nobody wanted to touch it. Maybe the trouble maker is gone now, and it would be easy to update this time around. Maybe.

Where do you see "OPCUG" in the constition??? All I see is "Greater Ottawa Personal Computer Users' Group, with acronym GOPC". The corporation papers has the right name though.

Our whole web site uses "OPCUG" and "Ottawa PC Users' Group" everywhere, maybe that could help to convince the bank. The newsletter could help too.

Chris Taylor Fri 08/08/2008:

I went through the BOD file area and found nothing more recent than the constitution as it appears on the web.

Harald Freise Sat 09/08/2008:

If my memory serves me well... This was a constitutional proposal that was never ratified by the membership.

Jocelyn Doire Sun 10/08/2008:

that would be consistent with what it says at the top of the currently posted constitution: "Revised for AGM - January, 1995"

Also the minutes for Sep 94:

"The BOD decides to improve the name of the club from OPCUG to PCGO (Personal Computer Group of Ottawa), and then to GOPCUG (Greater Ottawa PC Users' Group). Votes of the membership at the next Annual General Meeting (Feb 95) overturned that action taken by the BOD, and so restored the name to the original OPCUG."

If that constitution was not ratified, then the question is do we still have the actual ratified constitution in the records?

On Oct 94 a "Committee created to review the constitution: Stan McRoberts, Tony Frith, Chris Taylor and Harald Freise."

I don't remember seeing any record of what was discussed by that committee, was the purpose of that committee, was it just to change the name?

Harald Freise Sun 10/08/2008:

I believe that the purpose was to change the name to something more "catchy" and modern and to change the number of members required for a quorum to change or modify anything official. This would have included banking, and general operating procedures, elections, etc.

If I remember correctly we needed to have a very large number of the general membership physically present at the AGM to ratify any changes that were made.

Sorry to be so vague but it was a really long time ago.

Jocelyn Doire Mon 25/08/2008:

while looking for previous version of the constitution, I came across the "Chairman's Report '95" by Harald Freise that says:

"This was our first year under a new constitution and as an officially incorporated Not-For-Profit Organisation."

So it appears that the 1995 constitution was actually adopted.

Alan German on Wed 15/10/2008:


Last night, at my instigation, the BOD discussed the constitution and, in particular the name of the group.

The version of the constitution that is linked from the history page ( includes:

Section 1
The name of the organization shall be the Greater Ottawa Personal Computer Users' Group, with acronym GOPC.

However, this was a name that was initially proposed by the Constitution Committee looking into changes prior to incorporation (see: The future of the OPCUG, Tony Frith, Nov-94 newsletter). However, there was also a desire to keep the OPCUG designation, a name that had been in use on the newsletter since Jan-90. A title search was conducted on both names for the purposes of incorporation, and a vote on the name to be used was evidently taken at the Jan-95 AGM (see: Why is the group incorporating? Tony Frith, Jan-95 newsletter). Unfortunately, I can't find confirmation of the AGM's decision, either in the newsletters or BOD minutes in the three months following the AGM. Nevertheless, it's clear that OPCUG did incorporate as the Ottawa PC Users' Group and so this name must have been the outcome of the vote.

Also, Morris indicated that there is another version of the 1995 constitution, posted at that has Article 1, Section 1 as "The name of the organization shall be the Ottawa PC Users' Group, with the acronym OPCUG."

I would like to suggest that, in order to better reflect the decision relating to the revised constitution, should be updated as follows:

(1) Change the first line in the file from "Greater Ottawa Personal Computer Users' Group" to "Ottawa PC Users' Group"

(2) Change the text of Article 1, Section 1 from "The name of the organization shall be the Greater Ottawa Personal Computer Users' Group, with acronym GOPC." to "The name of the organization shall be the Ottawa PC Users' Group, with the acronym OPCUG."

These changes will give us an official document that indicates both the name and the acronym for the group (and, hopefully, for my purposes, will keep the bank happy!)


Jocelyn Doire Sun 19/10/2008:

Hi Alan,

I did a compare of the two versions and found some small differences:
the name in the title is "Greater Ottawa Personal Computer Users' Group", but the rest of the document it's "Ottawa PC Users' Group"
the name is "Greater Ottawa Personal Computer Users' Group"
1.3 ...benefit its members
1.3 ...benefit of the members
3.2 ...and made available to the members
3.2 ...and distributed to the members
3.4 ...maintain an up-to-date inventory
3.4 ...maintain an up to date inventory

Given that there are two names into, I would assume that is a later version, thought that's hard to say for sure.

I've made all the changes you've listed. I also changed the date of the revision, from "(Revised for AGM - January, 1995)" to "(Revised October 2008)".

I also updated the history page, explaining the reason for the change and provided links to both versions and the history (I've included this email and yours).

Please review and let me know if something should be changed.

Alan German on Wed 20/05/2009:


The history page and the various versions of the constitution posted on the web site really need to be updated in order to reflect what actually occurred back in 1994-95.

In particular, the current version of the constitution ( 2008.htm) is noted as being "Revised October 2008". But, it's more accurate to say that this version of the constitution was "Approved at the AGM - January, 1995". The BOD didn't change anything in the actual constitution in Oct-2008. Indeed any such change would require a vote at an AGM. What we really did was just to identify how the various documents came about.

In order to sort everything out, and bring all of the records up to date, a number of actions were approved by the BOD. I attach the relevant extract from the minutes. I think you will find that the changes are pretty straightforward. A couple of files have to be modified slightly, and some additions/deletions made to entries in the club's history in order to document the changes.

Let me know if you have any questions.


Alan reported on his review of the constitution documents posted on the web site, and some relevant documentation that was published in the January 1995 newsletter.

There is confusion between the actual constitution that was approved at the AGM in January 1995 and a number of versions of the constitution posted on the web site. The various documents are as follows:

  1. the constitution as proposed by the constitution committee in 1994 (CONSTIT.DOC in CONSTIT.ZIP posted in Area 52 - Text - OPCUG - General, also posted at 1995.htm
  2. a version of the constitution that was finally adopted that is incorrect as posted (
  3. a version of the constitution that was finally adopted, but noted as "Revised October 2008" ( 2008.htm)

The main point of concern is the name of the group. The constitution committee proposed the name as the Greater Ottawa Personal Computer Users' Group. The motion to change the name was defeated. The name thus remained as the Ottawa PC Users' Group and, subsequently (March, 1995), the group was incorporated as the Ottawa PC Users' Group, Inc.

CONSTIT.DOC is accurate, this being the proposed constitution from 1994-95.

The file constit.htm is incorrect since the document's title is for the Greater Ottawa Personal Computer Users' Group while the name specified in Article 1 is the Ottawa PC Users' Group.

Constitution 2008.htm is not correct since the constitution was not revised in 2008. (The intention is merely to correct the previously-noted inaccuracy.)

In order to correct the erroneous documents, and to clarify what occurred in 1994-95, the following actions were proposed by Alan:

  1. The file to be removed from the web site
  2. The document 2008.htm to be modified to read:
    (Approved at the AGM - January, 1995)
    and moved to Area 52 - Text - OPCUG - General as the file Constitution 1995.htm
  3. The entries on the history page to be modified to read:
    • Oct 1994 Committee created to review the constitution: Stan McRoberts, Tony Frith, Chris Taylor and Harald Freise. A new constitution is proposed <link to the file CONSTIT.ZIP posted in Area 52 - Text - OPCUG - General> for approval at the January, 1995 AGM
    • Jan 1995 At the 1995 AGM, a motion to change the club's name from the Ottawa PC Users' Group (OPCUG) to the Greater Ottawa Personal Computer Users' Group (GOPC) is defeated. The new constitution <link to the file Constitution 1995.htm now located in Area 52 - Text - OPCUG - General> is approved. Mary Seal creates the OPCUG logo. The Jan 1995 newsletter had the first version, a monochrome computer without text. The coloured one with the OPCUG text first appeared on a t-shirt in May 1995.
    • Mar 1995 The Ottawa PC Users' Group (OPCUG) is incorporated <create a PDF version of the letters patent regarding the incorporation, post this document in Area 52 - Text - OPCUG - General, and include a link to this document> to limit liability and to enhance respectability.
  4. The file 1995.htm to be removed from the web site.
  5. The entry for Oct 2008 to be removed from the History page of the web site.

Gail Eagen also reported that she found in the OPCUG files a copy of an undated letter with "Ottawa PC Users' Group" letterhead from Tony Frith to the lawyer doing the incorporation. The letter is transcribed below:

"The OPCUG had our Annual General Meeting last night and our new constitution was passed. However, as expected, members were not happy with the name change and a motion was passed to revert to our previous name as shown on this letterhead.

Would you please proceed to have the name changed. This can happen before incorporation, if it is not too late, or after. I believe one of the alternative names in your previous search included "Ottawa PC Users' Group" so there should be no need of another title search. If that is not the case please proceed with a new search right away.

Thank you.
R.A. Frith"

Subsequent correspondence from the lawyer indicates that he resubmitted the application for incorporation with the name "Ottawa PC Users' Group on March 8. 1995 and it was accepted as per a letter from the lawyer dated April 26, 1995.

>Action: 0811-08 - Chris to ensure that the correct version of the constitution is on the web site by taking the actions proposed by Alan.

>Action: 0811-09 - Alan to send information for Jocelyn to update the OPCUG history pages.

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