19th Annual General Meeting
April 1, 2007
15 Roosevelt Drive , Bedford Hills ,
NY 10507 (home of Anton and Iyeswari
Juventinus Thampoe (President), Neil
DeVotta (Secretary), Luke De Silva
(Treasurer), Anton Anandappa, Chitra
Benedict, Nimal Fernando, Ranjit
Swaris, Joe Bonjean Thampoe, and G.
meeting began with a prayer offered
by Bonjean Thampoe. Thereafter the
adoption of minutes was proposed by
Casey Thampoe and seconded by G.
Report: The report was tabled.
Ranjit Swaris proposed that the
treasurer get in touch with those
who have not paid their membership
dues and collect these
contributions. Luke proposed we
reimburse Casey for the $100.00 he
gave the SBC Tamil Literary Union on
behalf of our association after the
Union solicited an advertisement for
its 60th anniversary souvenir. The
advertisement also included a
photograph of the New York
membership taken at last year’s AGM.
It was decided that the New York
association would hereafter not
consider making contributions to any
ancillary organizations at St.
Benedict’s unless the request was
specifically made via the OBU in
Colombo . This is in keeping with
the decision recently taken by Bro.
Director and the Colombo OBU.
Luke De Silva elaborated on the
Treasurer’s Report and said there
was a shortfall of $192.00, this
being money we were due to receive
from Manhattan College but did not.
Casey Thampoe further explained how
in an instance or two contributions
we thought would be matched by
certain members’ companies were not
matched and how all this has
contributed towards the discrepancy.
The members unanimously decided that
the $192.00 ought to be written off
as a donation to Manhattan College
for letting us use the school’s
premises for the last two meetings.
Ranjit Swaris proposed adoption
of the Treasurer’s Report and Casey
Thampoe seconded the motion.
Other Business: Casey Thampoe
noted how Dean Merriman decided not
to take any Manhattan College
students to Sri Lanka due to the
escalation of violence in the
island. Neil DeVotta observed that
he too had been forced to cancel a
study abroad program in Sri Lanka
due to the problems there. Casey
said that he would look into the
possibility of sending a student
qualified to coach basketball from
Manhattan College to SBC next
summer. He proposed that this be
promoted as a scholarship for MC
students so that it is considered
both competitive and prestigious.
Given the financial costs, it is
expected that the New York
association would cover the air
ticket and stipend while support
bodies associated with SBC would
provide board and food.
De Silva noted that old boys of St.
Joseph’s College Colombo domiciled
in the United States now send an
English teacher to SJC for a year
and that we too should consider
doing so. Neil DeVotta said that
some of the stalwart Old Bens in
Colombo would love to see Lasallian
Volunteers sent to SBC. He observed
that thus far the vast majority of
Lasallian Volunteers in the United
States serve in underprivileged
areas in the U.S. and it may be hard
to get people to go all the way to
Sri Lanka . But Casey Thampoe was
encouraged to look into this
outlined a plan to raise a
sufficient quantity of money (which
the committee decided ought to at
least add up to $5,000.00) to set up
a scholarship in the memory of
Edward Benedict. Casey and Neil are
to work on a letter underlining
Edward’s services to SBC, Bens’
Alumni Association New York, and the
Sri Lankan community especially in
the tri state area and encourage Old
Bens and all those who knew Edward
to contribute towards the
scholarship. Following a discussion
on what sort of scholarship ought to
be created, it was generally agreed
that should be left to Bro. Director
and the scholarship committee at
SBC. Bens’ Alumni Association New
York, however, will insist that the
fund be set up in a separate fixed
deposit and that the organization be
provided a detailed yearly report on
how all monies were spent.
Ranjit Swaris proposed that we
invite Ashan Benedict (Edward’s and
Chitra’s son) to join the
organization even though he did not
attend SBC. Yoga seconded the
proposed that Ranjit Swaris, in
light of all his wonderful services
to the committee and College over
the years, be made the first ever
Vice Patron of Bens’ Alumni
Association New York. The motion was
unanimously approved and officially
seconded by Anton Anandappa.
Consequently, the above masthead for
the very first time includes the
position of Vice Patron.
After much discussion it was decided
to ask members to volunteer $10.00
towards Ben News. While much of the
news that appears in this newsletter
is available on the College web
site, a number of members said they
enjoyed getting the hard copy. Neil
DeVotta also noted that many Old
Bens in Sri Lanka do not have access
to the internet and this was an
inexpensive way for us to help
subsidize the publication. G.
Yogarajah volunteered to mail out
the New York members’ copies
provided Felix Dias sent him all
future editions of Ben News.
Sydney Old Bens Union President
Doug Jones is due to visit New York
City in mid June. Luke and Rohini De
Silva have graciously volunteered to
host Doug for lunch on June 16th at
their home in Stamford , Connecticut
. The committee will hold its second
meeting of the year on this day.
Bonjean Thampoe informed the
committee that Bro. Baptist Croos
celebrates his golden jubilee as a
Lasallian brother this year and that
we ought to send him a card as a
token of our appreciation. It was
agreed that we should do so.
Election of Office Bearers: The
present office bearers were elected
to continue serving through next
year. They are:
Juventinus Thampoe—Proposed by Luke
De Silva and seconded by G.
Julian Fernando—Proposed by Anton
Anandappa and seconded by G.
DeVotta—Proposed by Luke De Silva
and seconded by Ranjit Swaris
Treasurer: Luke De Silva—Proposed by
Anton Anandappa and seconded by G.
Vote of Thanks:
Luke De Silva proposed a vote of
thanks to Anton and Iyeswari
Anandappa for volunteering to hold
the AGM at their home and being such
superb hosts. Ranjit Swaris seconded
the motion. The membership
thereafter gathered to watch the
cricket world cup game between Sri
Lanka and the West Indies, which Sri
Lanka won handily!