Below is the wording which for many years accompanied the annual invitation sent out to members in January each year:
Membership of the Association is open to all entomologists. The amount of the annual subscription is optional, in order that no entomologist should be prevented from attending for reasons of cost. It is hoped that all entomologists who approve of the objects of the Association will become members and subscribe annually. Each year, invitations are sent to current members, who may suggest entomologists for further invitations.
In practice, the “suggested subscription” is the anticipated cost per head of the evening. However, each year the number of subscriptions considerably lower than this amount, received from postgraduate students and colleagues who are in financial difficulty, would lead to a significant loss unless those able and prepared to do so are generous and pay above the suggested amount.
Members who are unable to attend in a particular year but wish to retain their membership with a subscription are not expected to pay the full “suggested” amount, but their generosity in contributing towards the cost of the evening has proved important in subsidising the attendance of others.